alligator gar
FWS Focus

Overview

Scientific Name

Atractosteus spatula
Common Name
alligator gar
Kingdom

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers

TSN:

Characteristics

Characteristic category

Lifecycle

Characteristics

Lifecycle

Alligator gar eggs normally hatch between 48 to 72 hours after having been laid. Larval gar will remain attached to the aquatic vegetation until their egg yolks are absorbed. The yolk sac absorption stage normally lasts between 5 to 10 days. After their yolks have been absorbed, the young gar will detach themselves from the vegetation and begin to search for food. Juvenile gar feed on plankton, invertebrates, amphibians, and fish.   

Lifespan

Alligator gar eggs normally hatch between 48 to 72 hours after having been laid. Larval gar will remain attached to the aquatic vegetation until their egg yolks are absorbed. The yolk sac absorption stage normally lasts between 5 to 10 days. After their yolks have been absorbed, the young gar will detach themselves from the vegetation and begin to search for food. Juvenile gar feed on plankton, invertebrates, amphibians, and fish. 

Characteristic category

Physical Characteristics

Characteristics

Weight

Alligator can get big! They can weigh up to 350 pounds. 

Size & Shape

Alligator gar is one of the largest freshwater fish in North America. Their common length is 79 inches with the maximum reported length being 10 feet.

Color & Pattern

An alligator gar is a ray-finned fish with a torpedo-shaped body. They are usually brown or olive in coloring and their scales are not like the scales of other fishes, they are ganoid scales which are bone-like, diamond-shaped scales.

 

 

Characteristic category

Geography

Characteristics

Import/Export

The range of these fish is from southwestern Ohio and southern Illinois to the Mississippi River drainage basin. It continues south to the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico coastal plain from the Ecofina River in Florida to Veracruz, Mexico.  

Range

Alligator gar range from southwestern Ohio and southern Illinois to the Mississippi River drainage basin. Their range continues south to the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico coastal plain from the Ecofina River in Florida to Veracruz, Mexico.

Characteristic category

Overview

Characteristics

Overview

The alligator gar is one of the largest freshwater fish in North America. They are also sometimes referred to as a living fossil because scientist can trace them back 100 million years in the fossil record. 

 

Geography

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