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Species: Atractosteus tristoechus, Cuban Gar

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snout short, wide, flat
outer gill rakers 67-81

Atractosteus tristoechus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Cuban Gar

Elongate, robust, round bodied; snout elongate, but broad and relatively short (<60% of head length); nostrils at front of snout; top of skull covered with small round bony tubercles; cheeks covered with numerous plates; large fangs in 2 row on both jaws, side of roof of mouth with another row; gill rakers large, flattened and fan shaped, with multi-pointed cusps on outer edge, 67-81 outer rakers; fins without spines; pectoral low on flank; pelvics at about middle of body; dorsal (1) and anal fin at rear just before tail; vertebral column continues upwards in a fleshy ridge at base of tail fin; tail a slightly asymmetrical fan; scales form large and rhomboidal bony plates, attached diagonally to each other by peg-and-socket; 56-62 lateral line scales, 49-51 scales before dorsal fin; median fins with large scales at front of base.

Dark brown above; belly whitish.

Reaches over 200 cm.

Depth: 0-10 m.

Mainly in freshwater, but also brackish and marine inshore waters.


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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Sea snakes/mammals/turtles/birds
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Antilles endemic
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 200
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10