alligator gar underwater view

Alligator Gar

Atractosteus spatula

CLASS Actinopterygii | ORDER Lepisosteiformes | FAMILY Lepisosteidae

RANGE Coastal southeast United States and into Mexico

HABITAT Slow-moving rivers, lakes, bayous, and bays

DIET Mainly fish; also snakes, turtles, birds, and small mammals

Up to 300 lbs.

Up to 10 ft.

IUCN Status
Least Concern
alligator gar

Of the seven known gar species, the alligator gar is the largest. It gets its name from its alligator-like snout and its double row of dagger sharp teeth.

This ancient fish has existed for 100 million years. Unlike most of its close relatives, the alligator gar can breathe air and survive above water for up to two hours.

Their eggs are poisonous to humans.

alligator gar

Flood control measures have altered their spawning habitats, resulting in population declines. They have also been frequently overhunted.