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Genus Atractosteus

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#1 Guest_teleost_*

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:33 AM

Atractosteus: Broad nosed gars
Defining characteristic of Atractosteus is a second row of teeth on the upper jaw. However this can be seen on some Lepisosteus genus fish as well when young.

The Alligator Gar is our only native Atractosteus genus gar and it is very distinctive from all other Native North American Gars. These fish can be quickly Identified when young by a white stripe on the snout when under 13 CM. even in older fish they are very distinctive in body shape and fin shape. No other gar really looks like the Gator.. they are a very unique species. The very Broad snout is evident very young which is not the case with Lepisosteus gars. These fish also tend to have very large and flaglike fins early in age. Lepisosteus tend to be slower in growing out the paired fins. There is NO Dark dorsal stripe on these fish and they do not have a Lateral dark stripe either. Any fish showing a Lateral or dorsal stripe in the continental US above 5 CM would be a Lepisosteus species and not Atractosteus. The Alligator gar also tends to show a mottled pattern when very small that is very unlike any Lepisosteus species. The young have a chainlike White and dark dorsal pattern rather than a singular dorsal stripe or light dorsal pigmentation.

#2 Guest_teleost_*

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 03:38 PM

Atractosteus spatula Alligator Gar
11 CM juvenile
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