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Hackleback the Shovelnose sturgeon
The shovelnose sturgeon, Scaphirhynchus platorynchus, is the smallest species of freshwater sturgeon native to the United States of America. It is often called "hackleback", "sand sturgeon", or "switchtail." Switchtail refers to the long filament found on the upper lobe of the caudal fin (often broken off as adults). Shovelnose sturgeon are the most abundant sturgeon, found in the Missouri River and Mississippi River systems, and the only commercially fished sturgeon in the United States of America (Pflieger 1997).
The scientific name Scaphirhynchus, Greek, means "spade snout," and platorynchus, Greek, means "broad snout." The shovelnose sturgeon is characterized by a long slender filament on the upper lobe of the caudal fin. They have a flattened rostrum (modified snout) that is also shovel shaped. There are four fringed barbells on the ventral side of the rostrum that can be found in a straight line, which is equidistant from the mouth opening to the tip of the snout, unlike pallid sturgeon. The belly of the shovelnose sturgeon is covered with scale-like plates, which is another distinguishing factor from pallid sturgeon whom have primarily scale less bellies. Coloration of the shovelnose sturgeon ranges from a light-brown to buff with a white belly.