longnose gar

characteristics

COMMON NAME

Longnose Gar

Scientific name

Lepisosteus osseus

LENGTH

up to 6 feet

DIET

Mainly fish

FISH DESCRIPTION

Family: Lepisosteidae

Distinguishing features: The longnose gar is a large fish, up to 6’ long and tan-olive in color, with brown spots and a very long narrow snout, more than twice as long as the rest of the head. These fish have a much longer, more narrow snout than Florida gar and also lack spots on their pectoral and pelvic fins (towards the front of their body.)

Range, habitat and behavior: Canada to central Florida and west to the Rio Grande. They can be found in brackish waters.

Diet: Mainly fish. They begin preying on small insects within 10 days of hatching.

Fun facts: Gar eggs stick to aquatic plants and are toxic to animals and humans.

Gar are an ancient, primitive fish, with relatives dating back 100-200 million years.

All gar can breathe air via their swim bladders, and can gulp air at the surface in low-oxygen conditions. 

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