Needlenose Gar

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Species group:

Other common names: Billfish; Gar Pike; Longnose Gar; Billy Gar

Scientific name: Lepisosteus osseus

The basics:
The Needlenose Gar is found in lakes throughout North America. A voracious surface feeder, it is uncommon in home aquaria, given its enormous adult size of up to 6 feet in length.

Needlenose Gar have long, narrow snouts twice as long as the head; in fact, they have been named after this feature. The length of the snout is 10 times the width. They have abundant, sharp, villiform teeth. The dorsal and anal fins of the longnose gar are located far back on the body, encased in a heavy armor of interlocking rhomboid and ganoid scales. Mature Gars are olive brown in color with a white belly. Dark spots can be found on the median fins and, in individuals from clear water, on the body. Young ones have a narrow brown stripe along their back and a broad dark brown strip along their sides.

24-72 inches

Gars are voracious predators. They often lie motionless near the surface until prey swim within reach. With a quick sideways thrust of their sharply toothed bill, they pierce the prey and kill it. They are a social fish, often found in groups of two to five. By the time they reach about 1 inch total length, they feed primarily on other fishes, decapods, insects, and other invertebrates. The young are cannibalistic, sometimes feeding on younger or smaller siblings.

They are very rarely kept in aquariums.

53.60-68.00 °F


71.400-107.100 mg/L


beautiful swimmer, shimmery silver color, slender silver body, Needlenose Stunning


tank size, Super predatory monster, community tank, aggressive fish, pet stores


meat eater, pretty big appetite, tiny little teeth

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