Longnose gar

Longnose gar
Longnose Gar
Longnose gar at the New England Aquarium.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Lepisosteiformes
Family: Lepisosteidae
Genus: Lepisosteus
Species: L. osseus
Binomial name
Lepisosteus osseus
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The longnose gar, Lepisosteus osseus, is a primitive ray-finned fish of the gar family. It is also known as the needlenose gar.



Longnose gar.png

The longnose gar ranges in length from 60–182 cm (24–72 in) and weighs 0.5–3.5 kg (1.1–7.7 lb); The world record is 50.31 pounds, caught in Trinity River, Texas in 1954; FishBase reports a maximum size of 2 m (6.6 ft). Average life span is 17- 20 years. The snout is elongated into a narrow beak containing many large teeth. The gar has a long body, that is shaped like a cylinder, and is covered with diamond-shape scales. It has a long black streak across the body.


The longnose gar is found in rivers and lakes throughout the eastern half of the United States, as far north as southern Quebec and extreme southern Ontario in the Great Lakes and as far south as northern Mexico. The most concentrated numbers of longnose gars are found throughout the American Deep South, Texas, Alabama (Cahaba River system) and anywhere along the Mississippi River. Longnose Gar are found in warm, shallow water with abundant vegetation.


Longnose gar at the Steinhart Aquarium.

Although angling for longnose gars is not the dominant method of capturing them due to their tough, bony mouth, they will take live baits. They are more often captured by specialized methods that entangle the teeth in nylon threads, by bowfishing, or by spearfishing.

If angling for gar, a small circle hook should be used, allowing the gar several minutes with it. The circle hook will prevent any serious injury to the gar, as it is designed to catch only in the corner of the mouth. The fish are known as nocturnal feeders in some waters, so anglers should be prepared to angle for them in the twilight.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • longnose gar — noun also long nosed gar : a gar (Lepisosteus osseus) that has a snout more than twice as long as the rest of its head and is widely distributed in rivers and lakes of the eastern and north central sections of the United States …   Useful english dictionary

  • longnose gar — noun A large freshwater garfish with very long slender snout …   Wiktionary

  • gar — gar1 /gahr/, n., pl. (esp. collectively) gar, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) gars. 1. Also called garfish, garpike. any predaceous freshwater fish of the genus Lepisosteus, of North America, covered with hard, diamond shaped… …   Universalium

  • longnose — adjective Having a long nose . longnose gar …   Wiktionary

  • longnose — Garfish Gar fish , n. [See {Gar}, n.] (Zo[ o]l.) (a) A European marine fish ({Belone vulgaris}); called also {gar}, {gerrick}, {greenback}, {greenbone}, {gorebill}, {hornfish}, {longnose}, {mackerel guide}, {sea needle}, and {sea pike}. (b) One… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gar — Garfish Gar fish , n. [See {Gar}, n.] (Zo[ o]l.) (a) A European marine fish ({Belone vulgaris}); called also {gar}, {gerrick}, {greenback}, {greenbone}, {gorebill}, {hornfish}, {longnose}, {mackerel guide}, {sea needle}, and {sea pike}. (b) One… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tropical gar — Taxobox name = Tropical Gar regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Actinopterygii ordo = Lepisosteiformes familia = Lepisosteidae genus = Atractosteus species = A. tropicus binomial = Atractosteus tropicus binomial authority = Gill,… …   Wikipedia

  • long-nosed gar — noun see longnose gar …   Useful english dictionary

  • Lépisosté osseux — Lépisosté osseux …   Wikipédia en Français

  • holostean — ▪ fish Introduction       any member of a group of primitive bony fishes (bony fish) that make up one of the three major subdivisions of the superclass Actinopterygii (ray finned fishes). Holosteans are represented today by the bowfins (bowfin)… …   Universalium

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