Alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula)

Scientific Name:

Atractosteus spatula

Common Name(s):

Alligator gar, Gator gar, Catan


North America: ranges from Mississippi River basin from southwestern Ohio and southern Illinois in USA south to Gulf of Mexico; Gulf of Mexico Coastal Plain from Enconfina River in Florida, USA to Veracruz, Mexico (


"Very young specimens have a dorso-medial white stripe, which is lost when the fish reaches approximately 10-15cm" ( Juveniles to sub-adult gator gars can be identified by their large eyes (even when compared to other Atractosteus species) and "dashed" pattern along the lateral side of the fishes. They range from a bronze to dark colouration.

Gator gars usually have a blotched or stritationed patterned fins, and are the largest (both in length and girth) of the 7 extant species of gars.

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