Atractosteus spatula
Family Lepisosteidae
(Lacepéde 1803)

Lateral view of three alligator gars
The topmost alligator gar image is from the Marion Fish Hatchery in Alabama. Image courtesy of Matthew R. The middle and bottommost alligator gars pictured above are from the Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery in Mississippi (UF 238407). Florida Museum photos by Zachary Randall.

The alligator gar has a broad snout, two rows of teeth on the upper jaw and between 59 and 66 laterally compressed rakers. It can be found in swamps, bayous, lakes and sluggish pools and backwaters of large rivers. It is rarely found in brackish or salt water, and is a member of the gar family.

Status & distribution

  • Status — Native freshwater
  • Florida Distribution — Western and North Central drainages
  • River Drainages — Escambia River, Yellow River, Choctawhatchee River and Econfina Creek
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