Size59 inches (150 cm)
DietMosquito larvae, crustaceans, minnows, shad, blue crabs
HabitatFreshwater in quiet, clear pools and backwaters of lowland creeks, and small to large rivers
- Has a moderately long snout and one row of small pointed teeth along the upper jaw.
- Olive-brown to black on the back and sides and white to yellowish ventrally. There is a profusion of dark spots on its body, heads and fins.
- Can reach 59 inches (150 cm) and weigh 10 lbs. (4.4 kg).
- Growth rate is rapid. By the end of its first year the spotted gar can grow to 9.8 inches (25 cm) in length.
The spotted gar is known as a voracious predator.
- Early life stages feed on mosquito larvae and crustaceans. A young gar will eat minnows, while adults prey on larger fish, especially shad.
- Spotted gar in coastal habitats will consume blue crabs in addition to fish.
- Known as a voracious predator.
- Occurs from Lake Erie and Lake Michigan drainage south through the Mississippi River basin to Gulf coast tributaries.
- Found in freshwater in quiet, clear pools and backwaters of lowland creeks, as well as small to large rivers where there is an abundance of rooted aquatic vegetation.
- Occasionally will enter brackish water.
- Spotted gar spawns from February to June.
- Female will spawn with several males and releases her eggs along the bottom.
- “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.
- It is a popular game fish throughout much of its range.
- The lifespan of this species is believed to be about 18 years.
- Fishes of Alabama. Boschung, H. and Mayden, R., pg. 117
- McClane’s Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes. McClane, A.J., pg.180
- Peterson Field Guides – Fresh Water Fishes. Page, L.M. and Burr, B.M., pg. 30