Animalia > Chordata > Actinopterygii > Lepisosteiformes > Lepisosteidae > Atractosteus > Atractosteus spatula

Atractosteus spatula (Alligator gar; Gemfish)

Synonyms: Atractosteus adamantinus; Atractosteus lucius; Lepisosteus berlandieri; Lepisosteus ferox; Lepisosteus spatula; Litholepis adamantinus
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Wikipedia Abstract

Alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) are ray-finned euryhaline fishes related to bowfin in the infraclass Holostei (ho'-las-te-i). The fossil record traces the existence of alligator gars back to the Early Cretaceous over a hundred million years ago. They are the largest in the gar family, and among the largest freshwater fishes in North America.
View Wikipedia Record: Atractosteus spatula


Female Maturity [2]  11 years
Diet [1]  Carnivore
Adult Length [2]  10.0 feet (305 cm)
Brood Dispersal [2]  In the open
Brood Egg Substrate [2]  Phyto-lithophils
Brood Guarder [2]  No
Litter Size [2]  200,000
Maximum Longevity [2]  50 years
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
Jean Lafitte National Hist. Park & Preserve National Historical Park II 17686 Louisiana, United States
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge VI 28351 Louisiana, United States
Little River National Wildlife Refuge   Oklahoma, United States

Prey / Diet

Anchoa mitchilli (Bay anchovy)[3]
Callinectes sapidus (blue crab)[3]
Lagodon rhomboides (Salt-water bream)[3]
Lepisosteus osseus (Long-nose gar)[3]
Litopenaeus setiferus (white shrimp)[3]
Mugil cephalus (gray mullet)[4]
Ruppia cirrhosa (spiral ditchgrass)[3]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Cynoscion nebulosus (Spotted weakfish)1
Lepisosteus oculatus (Spotted gar)1
Makaira nigricans (Ocean guard)1
Pandion haliaetus (Osprey)1
Sciaenops ocellatus (Spotted bass)1


Parasitized by 
Dichelyne lepisosteus <Unverified Name>[5]
Rhipidocotyle lepisostei[3]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Alexandria Zoological Park
BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo
Bristol Zoo Gardens
Caldwell Zoo
Cameron Park Zoo
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Florida Aquarium
Nat'l Mississippi River Museum & Aquar
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Singapore Zoological Gardens
Steinhart Aquarium (CA Acad of Science
Toledo Zoological Gardens
West Edmonton Mall Marine Life Center

Range Map

America, North - Inland waters; Mexico; Mississippi; Missouri; Nearctic; 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.; 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.
3Jorrit 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.
4Production 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
5Gibson, 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