Alligator gar

Atractosteus spatula

Family Lepisosteidae - gars

Body elongate, cylindrical; color dusky above, white to yellow below; snout moderately elongate, flattened, relatively short; nostrils at tip of snout; dorsal and anal fins set far back on body; pectoral and pelvic fins placed low on body; pelvic fins abdominal (well behind pectoral fins) in placement; body encased in armor of large, thick, diamond-shaped scales; sometimes with dark spots on caudal peduncle and fins; no spots on head; 2 rows of fang-like teeth on either side of upper jaw, 2nd row on roof of mouth.
Similar Species
Has 2 rows of fang-like teeth on either side of upper jaw (only 1 in other gars), no spots on head, snout relatively short.
Bay and freshwater, occasionally wanders into Gulf
Maximum Size
300 cm (10 ft), common to 200 cm (6 1/2 ft)
Fin Element Counts
D. 7-10; A. 7-10 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Lepisosteus spatula
State size/bag limits
No size limits; bag limit is 1; Check for state record.