Holostei (gars and bowfins) > Lepisosteiformes
(Gars) > Lepisosteidae
Etymology: Lepisosteus: Greek, lepis = scale + Greek, osteon = bone; bony sacled (Ref. 45335); osseus: From the word osseus, meaning bony (Ref. 10294).
More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; demersal; pH range: 7.0 - 25.0; dH range: 10 - 15; depth range 0 - ? m (Ref. 55225), usually 0 - ? m (Ref. 55225). Subtropical; 12°C - 20°C (Ref. 2060); 48°N - 23°N, 99°W - 69°W (Ref. 55225)
North and Central America: Atlantic Slope from Delaware River in New Jersey to central Florisa; St. Lawrence River in Quebec through Great Lakes and Mississippi River basin to Red River (Hudson Bay basin), North Dakota, and south to Louisiana; Gulf Slope drainages from central Florida to Rio Grande drainage in Texas and Mexico.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 66.9  range ? - 80 cm
Max length : 200 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 17.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 22.8 kg (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 36 years (Ref. 12193)
soft rays: 8 - 10. Long narrow snout. Olivaceous brown above and white below. Dark spots on median fins and on body (Ref. 37032). Scales ganoid: thin bony scutes on leading edges of unpaired fins, and on both edges of caudal fin (Ref. 4639).
Facultative air-breathing (Ref. 126274); Adults occur in sluggish pools, backwaters and oxbows of medium to large rivers, and lakes (Ref. 10294). Usually found near vegetation. Occasionally found in brackish waters. Spawning occur in freshwater and possibly slightly brackish water (Ref. 4639). Migrate up rivers during the spawning season (Ref. 4639). Eggs and larvae are demersal and adhesive (Ref. 4639). Voracious predator, feeding on various fishes and crustaceans. The roe is poisonous.
Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea and W.B. Scott, 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. (20):183 p. (Ref. 3814)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion