Pseudoscaphirhynchus hermanni Kessler, 1877

Dwarf sturgeon, Little Amu-Darya shovelnose, Little shovelnose sturgeon, Small Amu-dar shovelnose sturgeon



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Pseudoscaphirhynchus hermani Severtzov, 1877; Scaphirhynchus hermanni Kessler, 1877; Pseudoscaphirhynchus rossikowi Nikolskii, 1900


Conservation Status

Last record: April 1996

Rediscovered in 2020 (Sheraliev et al., 2021)


IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered


The last confirmed record of this species was in April, 1996 when 3 specimens were caught; the first record in 15 years (Birstein, 1997). However, local poachers may still be catching this species (Mugue, 2009) and efforts should be made to confirm this as, if the species does still persist, there is still hope for a conservation program to save the species from extinction. It was rediscovered in 2020 (Sheraliev et al., 2021).















Original scientific description:

Kessler, K. F. (1877). The Aralo-Caspian Expedition. IV. Fishes of the Aralo-Caspio-Pontine ichthyological region. Aralo-Caspian Exped. i-xxvii + 1-360.


Kessler, K. F. (1877). Fishes of the Aralo-Caspian-Pontine region. Trudy Aralo-Kaspiskoi Ekspeditsii 4: 160–196. [in Russian]


Other references:

Birstein, Vadim J. (1997). Threatened fishes of the world: Pseudoscaphirhynchus spp. (Acipenseridae). Environ. Biol. Fish. 48: 381-383. [Abstract]

Birstein, Vadim J., Doukakis, P. and DeSalle, R. (2002). Molecular Phylogeny of Acipenseridae: Nonmonophyly of Scaphirhynchinae. Copeia 2002(2): 287–301.

Kamilov, G. and Urchinov, Z. U. (1995). Fish and fisheries in Uzbekistan under the impact of irrigated agriculture, p. 10-41. In: T. Petr (ed.). Inland fisheries under the impact of irrigated agriculture: Central Asia. FAO Fisheries Circular No. 894.

Kuhajda, B.R., R.L. Mayden, V.B. Salnikov and V.J. Birstein. (2000). Examination of intraspecific variation and life history characteristics of Pseudoscaphirhynchus kaufmanni and P. hermanni (Actinopterygii, Acipenseridae), central Asian sturgeon endemic to the Amu Darya River. p. 223-224. In Program book and abstracts. Joint (80th) meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpatologists (ASIH), American Elasmobranch Society (AES), Herpatologists League (HL), Neotropical Ichthyological Assoc. (NIA), SSAR, CAH.

Mugue, N. (2010). Pseudoscaphirhynchus hermanni. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. ( Downloaded on 23 September 2012.

Nikolskii, A. M. (1900). Pseudoscaphirhynchus rossikowi n. gen. and spec. Ann. Mus. Zool. Acad. Imp. Sci. St. Petersburg. 5: 257-260. [in Russian]

Salnikov, V. B, V. J. Birstein & R. L. Mayden. (1996). The contemporary status of the two Amu Darya River shovelnose sturgeons, Pseudoscaphirhynchus kaufmanni and P. hermanni. The Sturgeon Quarterly 4(3): 10-14.

Sheraliev, Bakhtiyor et al. (2021). Rediscovery of rare shovelnose sturgeons in the Amu Darya River, Uzbekistan. Oryx 55(3): 332.

Zholdasova, I. (1997). Sturgeons and the Aral Sea ecological catastrophe. Environmental Biology of Fishes 48: 373-380.


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