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Psephurus gladius  (Martens, 1862)

Chinese paddlefish
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Image of Psephurus gladius (Chinese paddlefish)
Psephurus gladius
Juvenile picture by CAFS

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Acipenseriformes (Sturgeons and paddlefishes) > Polyodontidae (Paddlefishes)
Etymology: Psephurus: Greek, psephas, -aos = dark + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; anadromous (Ref. 117880).   Subtropical

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Asia: China, endemic to the Yangtze River and its tributaries.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 300 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 28581); max. published weight: 300.0 kg (Ref. 28581)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Head very long, snout extraordinarily long, pointed and paddle-like and base broad; mouth very large.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

This species is considered anadromous for it spends at least part of its life in the sea and migrates upriver to reproduce. It occurs in broad surfaced main streams of large rivers, usually staying in the middle and lower layers of the water column and occasionally swims into large lakes. Spawning period is in March and April with spawning sites located in the upper reaches of the Changjiang River but was also reported to take place in the lower Jinsha River between Shuifu and Yibin (Ref. 117880). It grows to 3 m in length and 300 kg in weight (Ref. 28581). Reported length of 7 m SL (Ref. 6866) and 500 kg weight (Ref. 4537, 58490) are doubtful (Paxton, pers. comm.). Piscivorous throughout most of its life. Threatened due to over harvesting and habitat loss (Ref. 58490). Expected number of mature individuals in the wild, less than 50, but more extensive surveys are needed across its range to confirm its existence; last seen in 2003 (Ref. 117880).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea and W.B. Scott, 1991. World fishes important to North Americans. Exclusive of species from the continental waters of the United States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. (21):243 p. (Ref. 4537)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

  Critically Endangered (CR) (A2cd; C2a(i); D)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO(fisheries: species profile; publication : search) | FishSource |

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.2500   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00501 (0.00196 - 0.01281), b=3.10 (2.88 - 3.32), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.2   ±0.73 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tm=5-15).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (87 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.