Animalia > Chordata > Actinopterygii > Acipenseriformes > Polyodontidae > Polyodon > Polyodon spathula

Polyodon spathula (American paddlefish; Spoonbillcatfish; Spoonbill cat; Spoonbill catfish; Spadefish; Paddlefish; Mississippi paddlefish; Duckbill Cat)

Synonyms: Squalus spathula
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Wikipedia Abstract

The American paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) is a species of basal ray-finned fish closely related to sturgeons in the order Acipenseriformes. Fossil records of paddlefish date back over 300 million years, nearly 50 million years before dinosaurs first appeared. American paddlefish are smooth-skinned freshwater fish commonly called paddlefish, but are also referred to as Mississippi paddlefish, spoon-billed cats, or spoonbills. They are one of only two extant species in the paddlefish family, Polyodontidae. The other is the critically endangered Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius) endemic to the Yangtze River basin in China. American paddlefish are often referred to as primitive fish, or relict species because they retain some morphological characteristics of their early ancestors, inclu
View Wikipedia Record: Polyodon spathula


Adult Weight [3]  109.98 lbs (49.89 kg)
Female Maturity [2]  9 years
Male Maturity [3]  6 years
Diet [1]  Planktivore
Adult Length [2]  7.2 feet (221 cm)
Brood Dispersal [2]  In the open
Brood Egg Substrate [2]  Litho-pelagophils
Brood Guarder [2]  No
Litter Size [2]  1,000,000
Maximum Longevity [2]  55 years
Migration [1]  Potamodromous
Water Biome [1]  Lakes and Ponds, Rivers and Streams, Brackish Water


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Apalachicola United States Nearctic Temperate Floodplain River and Wetlands    

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Audubon National Wildlife Refuge IV 14642 North Dakota, United States
Big Thicket Biosphere Reserve National Park II 616880 Texas, United States
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge VI 28351 Louisiana, United States
Land Between the Lakes Biosphere Reserve V 166264 Kentucky, Tennessee, United States
Little River National Wildlife Refuge   Oklahoma, United States
Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park 20001 Tennessee, United States
Saint Croix International Historic Site   Maine, United States
Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve 37548505 North Carolina, Tennessee, United States  
Upper Miss. River Nat'l Wildlife Refuge National Wildlife Refuge VI 25823 Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, United States

Prey / Diet

Aglaodiaptomus forbesi[4]
Daphnia pulex (Water flea)[4]
Diacyclops thomasi[4]
Leptodiaptomus ashlandi[4]
Leptodiaptomus siciloides[4]


Parasitized by 
Homalometron armatum[5]
Hysterothylacium dollfusi <Unverified Name>[5]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Bristol Zoo Gardens
Cameron Park Zoo
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Dierenpark Emmen
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Nat'l Mississippi River Museum & Aquar
Newport Aquarium
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
Wonders of Wildlife Museum

Range Map

America, North - Inland waters; Austria; Canada; Europe - Inland waters; Great Lakes; Hungary; Kuban River; Mississippi; Mississippi-Missouri; Missouri; Nearctic; North America: Mississippi River system, including the Missouri River into Montana, the Ohio River, and their major tributaries. At least one country reports adverse ecological impact after introduction. International trade restricted (<b>CITES</b> II,; North America: Mississippi River system, including the Missouri River into Montana, the Ohio River, and their major tributaries. At least one country reports adverse ecological impact after introduction. International trade restricted (<b>CITES</b> II, since 11.6.92).; Palearctic; Romania; Russian Federation; Tennessee; USA (contiguous states); Volga;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Frimpong, E.A., and P. L. Angermeier. 2009. FishTraits: a database of ecological and life-history traits of freshwater fishes of the United States. Fisheries 34:487-495.
3de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
4Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
5Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access