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Species: Lepisosteus oculatus, Spotted gar

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snout 57-65% head
front eye to gill cover edge > 2/3 snout length
top head - large dark oblong blotches
WITH small bony plates under throat

Lepisosteus oculatus Winchell, 1864

Spotted gar

Elongate; a long conical snout, snout moderately narrow and moderately elongate (57-65% of upper head length), distance from front of eye to back of gill cover > 2/3 snout length; nostrils at front of snout; one row large teeth on each jaw (2 rows in young), smaller teeth on side of roof of mouth; gill rakers small and pear shaped; 15-24 on first gill arch; fleshy isthmus of body separating gill openings under throat with small bony ossicles; pectoral low on flank; pelvics at about middle of belly; single dorsal fin and anal fin at rear just before tail; fins without spines, with large scales around their bases; vertebral column continues upwards in a fleshy ridge at base of tail fin; body covered with an armor of large, heavy, rhomboidal scales that are attached diagonally to each other by peg-and-socket; top edge of tail fin covered with bony scales.

Body darker grey above, lighter below; top of head with large oblong dark blotches; body uniform or blotched above, usually 2 brown stripes along side; fins blotched.

Reaches 109 cm, at least 4.4 kg.

Depth: 0-10 m.

Mainly in freshwater; but enters estuaries.

The Gulf of Mexico.


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Salinity
  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
Inshore/Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Surface
  • Near Surface
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
Habitat
  • Freshwater
  • Estuary
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
Diet
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Extends North of GC
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • GC non-endemic
Residency
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
CITES
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 109
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10