Animalia > Chordata > Actinopterygii > Lepisosteiformes > Lepisosteidae > Lepisosteus > Lepisosteus oculatus

Lepisosteus oculatus (Spotted gar)

Synonyms: Cylindostreus productus; Cylindrosteus agassiz; Cylindrosteus agassizii; Lepidosteus oculatus; Lepisosteus productus
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Wikipedia Abstract

The spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) is a primitive freshwater fish of the family Lepisosteidae, native to North America from the Lake Erie and southern Lake Michigan drainages south through the Mississippi River basin to Gulf Slope drainages, from lower Apalachicola River in Florida to Nueces River in Texas, USA. It has a profusion of dark spots on its body, head, and fins. Spotted gar are long and have an elongated mouth with many teeth used to eat other fish and crustaceans. They grow to 0.61–0.91 metres (2–3 ft) in length and weigh 1.8–2.7 kilograms (4–6 lb) on average, making it the smallest of the gars. The name Lepisosteus is Greek for "bony scale". Habitat for spotted gar is clear pools of shallow water in creeks, rivers, and lakes.
View Wikipedia Record: Lepisosteus oculatus


Adult Weight [3]  5.38 lbs (2.44 kg)
Female Maturity [2]  3 years 6 months
Diet [1]  Carnivore
Adult Length [2]  3.7 feet (112 cm)
Brood Dispersal [2]  In the open
Brood Egg Substrate [2]  Phytophils
Brood Guarder [2]  No
Litter Size [2]  22,000
Maximum Longevity [2]  18 years
Nocturnal [1]  Yes
Water Biome [1]  Lakes and Ponds, Rivers and Streams, Brackish Water

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Amistad National Recreation Area   Texas, United States
Big Thicket Biosphere Reserve National Park II 616880 Texas, United States
Central Gulf Coastal Plain Biosphere Reserve 40530 United States  
Jean Lafitte National Hist. Park & Preserve National Historical Park II 17686 Louisiana, United States
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge VI 28351 Louisiana, United States
Land Between the Lakes Biosphere Reserve V 166264 Kentucky, Tennessee, United States
Little River National Wildlife Refuge   Oklahoma, United States
Mammoth Cave Area Biosphere Reserve (Natn'l Park) National Park II 51235 Kentucky, United States
Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park 20001 Tennessee, United States
Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve 37548505 North Carolina, Tennessee, United States  

Prey / Diet

Callinectes sapidus (blue crab)[4]
Cyprinodon variegatus (sheepshead minnow)[4]
Farfantepenaeus aztecus (brown shrimp)[4]
Lagodon rhomboides (Salt-water bream)[5]
Lucania parva (Rainwater killifish)[4]
Menidia beryllina (Waxen silverside)[4]
Mugil cephalus (gray mullet)[5]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Ariopsis felis (Sea catfish)1
Atractosteus spatula (Alligator gar)1
Centropomus undecimalis (Thin snook)1
Cynoscion nebulosus (Spotted weakfish)2
Makaira nigricans (Ocean guard)1
Pandion haliaetus (Osprey)1
Paralichthys lethostigma (Southern flounder)1
Sciaenops ocellatus (Spotted bass)1


Parasitized by 
Neoechinorhynchus cylindratus[6]
Proteocephalus ambloplitis <Unverified Name>[6]
Proteocephalus australis[4]
Proteocephalus elongatus[4]
Rhipidocotyle lepisostei[4]
Thometrema lotzi[6]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Aquarium & Rainforest at Moody Gardens
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo
Bristol Zoo Gardens
Bronx Children's Zoo
Caldwell Zoo
Cameron Park Zoo
Dierenpark Emmen
Ecodrome CV
Florida Aquarium
Jackson Zoological Park
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Kharkiv Zoo
Memphis Zoological Garden & Aquarium
Mesker Park Zoo
Miejski Ogrod Zoologiczny Warsaw
National Aquarium in Baltimore Inc
Newport Aquarium
Oklahoma City Zoological Park
Permskii Zoologicheskii Sad
Rotterdam Zoo
San Antonio Zoological Gardens & Aquar
Steinhart Aquarium (CA Acad of Science
Tallinn Zoo
Toledo Zoological Gardens
Tulsa Zoo & Living Museum
Wonders of Wildlife Museum

Range Map

America, North - Inland waters; Canada; Great Lakes; Mississippi; Missouri; Nearctic; North America: Lake Erie and south Lake Michigan drainages south through Mississippi River basin to Gulf Slope drainages from lower Apalachicola River in Florida to Nueces River in Texas, USA.; USA (contiguous states);



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Frimpong, E.A., and P. L. Angermeier. 2009. FishTraits: a database of ecological and life-history traits of freshwater fishes of the United States. Fisheries 34:487-495.
3de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
4Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
5Production sources and food web structure of a temperate tidal estuary: integration of dietary and stable isotope data, Kirk O. Winemiller, Senol Akin, Steven C. Zeug, Mar Ecol Prog Ser 343: 63–76, 2007
6Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
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Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access