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Genus: Lepisosteus, Alligator Gars


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top jaws - 1 row fangs each side
14-33 small, pear shaped gill rakers

LEPISOSTEUS

ALLIGATOR GARS

Elongate; a long conical snout; nostrils at front of snout; one row large teeth on top jaw, smaller teeth on side of roof of mouth; gill rakers small and pear shaped, 14-33 on first gill arch; pectoral low on flank; pelvics at about middle of body; 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.

A new world genus found in tropical to subtropical north  America, with four species, mainly in freshwater but entering brackish water; three species in our region.