Atractosteus spatula - (Lacepède, 1803)
Alligator Gar
Synonym(s): Lepisosteus spatula
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Atractosteus spatula (Lacepède, 1803) (TSN 201897)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102977
Element Code: AFCBA02010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Other Bony Fishes
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Lepisosteiformes Lepisosteidae Atractosteus
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Help
Concept Reference: Wiley, E. O. 1976. The phylogeny and biogeography of fossil and recent gars (Actinopterygii: Lepisosteidae). Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas Miscellaneous Publications 64:1-111.
Concept Reference Code: A76WIL02NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Atractosteus spatula
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly included in the genus Lepisosteus. Placed by Wiley (1976) in genus Atractosteus, along with L. tristoechus, L. tropicus, and a number of fossil species. Nelson (1984) regarded Atractosteus as a subgenus of Lepisosteus. The 1991 AFS checklist (Robins et al. 1991) also included this species in the genus Lepisosteus. Page and Burr (1991), Etnier and Starnes (1993), and Nelson (1994) followed Wiley's use of the generic name Atractosteus.
Conservation Status
Help

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 24Oct2011
Global Status Last Changed: 13Dec1999
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Large range mainly in rivers and river-mouth estuaries in the central and southeastern United States and eastern Mexico; uncommon to rare in most of range, abundant enough to support fisheries in some areas; extirpated or disappearing in northern part of range, declining in the south; decline may be related to channelization, impoundments, frequent barge traffic, and commercial fishing.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3N4 (19Jun2000)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S2), Arkansas (S2), Florida (S3), Illinois (SH), Indiana (SX), Kentucky (S1), Louisiana (S4), Mississippi (S2), Missouri (S1), Ohio (SX), Oklahoma (S1), Tennessee (S1), Texas (S4)

Other Statuses

American Fisheries Society Status: Vulnerable (01Aug2008)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Historical range included the Mississippi River basin from southwestern Ohio (Trautman 1981), southern Indiana, and southern Illinois (Smith 1979) to the Gulf of Mexico; also the Gulf Coastal Plain from the Florida panhandle (Gilbert 1992) to Veracruz, Mexico, with disjunct occurrences in Nicaragua and northwestern Costa Rica (Wiley 1976, Lee et al. 1980). Now the species is extirpated or very rare in most of the northern part of the range north of the Gulf Coastal Plain. A single 1.5-m-long individual has been reported from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California; this introduction was attributed to release by an aquarium hobbyist (Raquel 1992). No other non-native occurrences in the United States are known (Fuller et al. 1999).

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: The number of extant, distinct occurrences is unknown but probably is at least a few dozen. Lee et al. (1980) mapped approximately 90 locality records in the United States, but existing evidence indicates that most of those in the northern part of the range are not represented by extant populations (see trend comments). Robison and Buchanan (1988) mapped 17 sites in Arkansas for the period 1960-1987. Mettee et al. (1996) and Boschung and Mayden (2004) mapped 12 sites in Alabama. Pflieger (1997) mapped five locations in Missouri, but none were more recent than 1965. Smith (1979) discussed records from a few locations in Illinois, but populations evidently no longer exist in those areas. Etnier and Starnes (1993) mapped four sites in Tennessee but noted that recent confirmed records are lacking. Ross (2001) mapped 14 sites in Mississippi, but only 3 were relatively recent. Gilbert (1992) mapped 10 locations in Florida, but the number of extant populations was not indicated.

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000. This gar is uncommon to rare throughout most of the range, except locally in swamps and bayous of the south-central United States (Page and Burr 2011). However, Hoese and Moore (1998) stated that this gar is common in brackish water, frequently seen in the Gulf of Mexico, and common as a market fish in Louisiana. It is numerous enough to support a fishery in a reservoir in Tamaulipas, Mexico (Garcia de Leon et al. 2001).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Local declines have been attributed to overfishing, habitat degradation from river channelization and impoundments, loss of spawning habitat and loss of passages between main river channels and floodplains, and frequent barge traffic (Gilbert 1992, Herkert 1992, Etnier and Starnes 1993, Pflieger 1997, Irwin et al. 2001, Boschung and Mayden 2004, Miller and Robison 2004).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past three generations is unknown but likely exceeds 10 percent and may exceed 30 percent. One generation is here estimated at 20 years.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: Area of occupancy and abundance have declined over the long term, particularly in the northern part of the range. The degree of decline is uncertain but likely exceeds 30 percent. This gar was historically rare in Illinois (Smith 1979), with no confirmed recent records. It was known historically from the Ohio River in Ohio (Trautman 1981), with no confirmed recent records. In Missouri, Pflieger (1997) described evidence that numerous specimens had been collected in the Missouri section of the Mississippi River, but he knew of no records of this species in Missouri more recent than 1965. A drastic decline evidently has occurred in Tennessee, where the species may be extirpated (Etnier and Starnes 1993). Commercial fishermen report occasional captures, but the identity of these fishes is questionable (Etnier and Starnes 1993). In Oklahoma, "generally there has been a consistent decline in numbers" (Miller and Robison 2004). Robison and Buchanan (1988) reported that the population in Arkansas has declined drastically during the last 40 years and that recent confirmed records are few (typically large ones, perhaps indicating a decline in reproduction or recruitment). Formerly there was a significant commercial and sport fishery, but now the species is rarely captured. Historically of statewide distribution in Louisiana (Douglas 1974) but now declining in abundance (Bobby Reed, pers. comm., 1999). Long-term trend in Mississippi is unknown (Ross 2001); all but 3 of the 14 locations mapped in Mississippi by Ross were pre-1983. In Alabama, the species has declined in abundance (Boschung and Mayden 2004); and Mettee et al. (1996) noted that the species has become rare in inland sites in recent years. Small individuals (18-30 inches TL) were found (date not specified, but presumably recently) in brackish water in the Mobile Delta, indicating the occurrence of at least some recruitment. In Florida, the species is widely distributed in the panhandle, but the trend is unknown (Gilbert 1992). Populations may be declining in some Gulf Coastal areas where this gar remained common until recent years (Etnier and Starnes 1993).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Determine current range and abundance, especially in Mexico. Determine the locations where current reproduction is occurring.

Distribution
Help
Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Historical range included the Mississippi River basin from southwestern Ohio (Trautman 1981), southern Indiana, and southern Illinois (Smith 1979) to the Gulf of Mexico; also the Gulf Coastal Plain from the Florida panhandle (Gilbert 1992) to Veracruz, Mexico, with disjunct occurrences in Nicaragua and northwestern Costa Rica (Wiley 1976, Lee et al. 1980). Now the species is extirpated or very rare in most of the northern part of the range north of the Gulf Coastal Plain. A single 1.5-m-long individual has been reported from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California; this introduction was attributed to release by an aquarium hobbyist (Raquel 1992). No other non-native occurrences in the United States are known (Fuller et al. 1999).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, FL, IL, INextirpated, KY, LA, MO, MS, OHextirpated, OK, TN, TX

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Baldwin (01003)*, Clarke (01025)*, Monroe (01099)*
AR Arkansas (05001), Faulkner (05045), Lafayette (05073), Miller (05091), Monroe (05095), Perry (05105), Phillips (05107), Pope (05115), Yell (05149)
FL Bay (12005), Escambia (12033)*, Santa Rosa (12113)*, Walton (12131)*, Washington (12133)*
KY Ballard (21007)*, Boone (21015)*, Bracken (21023)*, Calloway (21035)*, Campbell (21037)*, Carlisle (21039)*, Crittenden (21055)*, Fulton (21075), Jefferson (21111)*, Kenton (21117)*, Livingston (21139)*, McCracken (21145)*
MO Butler (29023), Cape Girardeau (29031), Mississippi (29133)*, Perry (29157)*, St. Charles (29183)*, Ste. Genevieve (29186)*
MS Adams (28001), Clarke (28023)*, Coahoma (28027)*, DeSoto (28033)*, George (28039)*, Hancock (28045), Holmes (28051), Humphreys (28053)*, Issaquena (28055), Jackson (28059), Leflore (28083), Marion (28091), Quitman (28119), Sharkey (28125), Tunica (28143), Warren (28149), Washington (28151), Yazoo (28163)*
OK LeFlore (40079), McCurtain (40089), Sequoyah (40135)
TN Dyer (47045), Henry (47079)*, Lake (47095)*, Lauderdale (47097), Obion (47131)*, Tipton (47167)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays (03140101)+, Yellow (03140103), Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+, Lower Conecuh (03140304), Escambia (03140305)+, Middle Alabama (03150203), Lower Alabama (03150204)+, Middle Tombigbee-Chickasaw (03160201), Lower Tambigbee (03160203), Mobile - Tensaw (03160204), Mobile Bay (03160205), Upper Chickasawhay (03170002)+*, Pascagoula (03170006)+, Escatawpa (03170008)+, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+, Lower Pearl. Mississippi (03180004)+, Bogue Chitto (03180005)
05 Ohio Brush-Whiteoak (05090201)+, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)+, Licking (05100101)+*, Lower Wabash (05120113), Lower Cumberland (05130205)+, Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)+, Tradewater (05140205), Lower Ohio (05140206)+*
06 Kentucky Lake (06040005)+
07 Peruque-Piasa (07110009)+*, Cahokia-Joachim (07140101)*, Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau (07140105)+*, Whitewater (07140107)+, Cache (07140108)*
08 Lower Mississippi-Memphis (08010100)+, Bayou De Chien-Mayfield (08010201)+, Obion (08010202)+*, Forked Deer (08010206)+, Lower Hatchie (08010208)+, Horn Lake-Nonconnah (08010211)+*, Lower Mississippi-Helena (08020100)+, Lower St. Francis (08020203)*, Cache (08020302), Lower White (08020303)+, Lower Arkansas (08020401)+, Lower Mississippi-Greenville (08030100)+, Coldwater (08030204)+, Upper Yazoo (08030206)+, Big Sunflower (08030207)+, Lower Yazoo (08030208)+*, Deer-Steele (08030209)+, Lower Ouachita-Bayou De Loutre (08040202), Lower Saline (08040204), Bayou Bartholomew (08040205), Bayou D'arbonne (08040206), Lower Ouachita (08040207), Lower Red (08040301), Castor (08040302), Dugdemona (08040303), Little (08040304), Black (08040305), Bayou Cocodrie (08040306), Boeuf (08050001), Bayou Macon (08050002), Tensas (08050003), Lower Mississippi-Natchez (08060100)+, Lower Mississippi-Baton Rouge (08070100), Bayou Sara-Thompson (08070201), Amite (08070202), Tickfaw (08070203), Lake Maurepas (08070204), Tangipahoa (08070205), Lower Grand (08070300), Atchafalaya (08080101), Bayou Teche (08080102), Vermilion (08080103), Mermentau Headwaters (08080201), Mermentau (08080202), Upper Calcasieu (08080203), Whisky Chitto (08080204), West Fork Calcasieu (08080205), Lower Calcasieu (08080206), Lower Mississippi-New Orleans (08090100), Liberty Bayou-Tchefuncta (08090201), Eastern Louisiana Coastal (08090203), East Central Louisiana Coastal (08090301), West Central Louisiana Coastal (08090302)
11 Upper Black (11010007), Current (11010008)+, Eleven Point (11010011), Upper White-Village (11010013)*, Polecat-Snake (11110101), Robert S. Kerr Reservoir (11110104)+, Frog-Mulberry (11110201), Dardanelle Reservoir (11110202), Lake Conway-Point Remove (11110203)+, Petit Jean (11110204), Fourche La Fave (11110206)+, Lower Arkansas-Maumelle (11110207), Farmers-Mud (11130201), Lake Texoma (11130210), Middle Washita (11130303), Bois D'arc-Island (11140101), Pecan-Waterhole (11140106)+, Mckinney-Posten Bayous (11140201)+, Middle Red-Coushatta (11140202), Loggy Bayou (11140203), Red Chute (11140204), Bodcau Bayou (11140205), Bayou Pierre (11140206), Lower Red-Lake Iatt (11140207), Saline Bayou (11140208), Black Lake Bayou (11140209), Cross Bayou (11140304)
12 Toledo Bend Reservoir (12010004), Lower Sabine (12010005), Lower Neches (12020003), Lower Angelina (12020005), Village (12020006), Lower Trinity-Kickapoo (12030202), Sabine Lake (12040201), East Galveston Bay (12040202), West Galveston Bay (12040204), Lower Brazos-Little Brazos (12070101), Aransas Bay (12100405), Aransas (12100407)
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
Help
Basic Description: A fish (gar) that grows to very large size.
General Description: One of the largest freshwater fishes in North America, attaining sizes of up to 3 m and 300 pounds.
Reproduction Comments: Spawning occurs April to June in Louisiana (Suttkus 1963), possibly January to September in Oklahoma-Texas (Echelle and Riggs 1972). Seasonal variation in ovarian weight indicated peak spawning in July-August in northeastern Mexico (Garcia de Leon et al. 2001). In Alabama, females mature at age 11 and live to age 50; males mature at age 6 and live to age 26 (Irwin, cited by Boschung and Mayden 2004).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Estuarine Habitat(s): River mouth/tidal river
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes sluggish pools of large rivers and their bayous, oxbow lakes, swamps, and backwaters, rarely brackish or marine waters along the coast (Page and Burr 2011). Spawning occurs over vegetation in warm shallow water (e.g., see Garcia de Leon et al. 2001). Spawning may occur in an impoundment (Lake Texoma) in Oklahoma (Boschung and Mayden 2004, Miller and Robison 2004). Young may float at the surface among twigs and leaves (Boschung and Mayden 2004).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Eats mostly fishes and crabs and occasionally other small vertebrates (e.g., see Seidensticker 1987, Garcia de Leon et al. 2001).
Length: 305 centimeters
Economic Attributes
Help
Economic Comments: Supports a gillnet fishery in a reservoir in Tamualipas, Mexico (Garcia de Leon et al. 2001).
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Group Name: Gars

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Data on dispersal and other movements generally are not available. Separation distance (in aquatic kilometers) is arbitrary but reflects the likely low probability that two occupied locations separated by less than several kilometers of aquatic habitat would represent truly independent populations over the long term.

Because of the difficulty in defining suitable versus unsuitable habitat, especially with respect to dispersal, and to simplify the delineation of occurrences, a single separation distance is used regardless of habitat quality.

Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 24Oct2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 24Oct2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Allen, C. R., S. Demarais, and R. S. Lutz. 1994. Red imported fire ant impact on wildlife: an overview. The Texas Journal of Science 46(1):51-59.

  • Anderson, Allison A., C. Hubbs, K. O. Winemiller, and R. J. Edwards. 1995. Texas freshwater fish assemblages following three decades of environmental change. The Southwest Naturalist 40(3):314-321.

  • Boschung, H. T., and R. L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 736 pages.

  • EDWARDS, ROBERT J. AND SALVADOR CONTRERAS-BALDERAS. 1991. HISTORICAL CHANGES IN THE ICHTHIOFAUNA OF THE LOWER RIO GRANDE (RIO BRAVO DEL NORTE), TEXAS AND MEXICO. SOUTHWEST. NAT. 36(2):201-212.

  • Echelle, A. A., and C. D. Riggs. 1972. Aspects of the early history of gars (Lepisosteus) in Lake Texoma. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 101:106-112.

  • Etnier, David A. and Wayne C. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. 681 pp.

  • Fuller, P. L., L. G. Nico, and J. D. Williams. 1999. Nonindigenous fishes introduced into inland waters of the United States. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 27. x + 613 pp.

  • Garcia de Leon, F. J., L. Gonzalez-Garcia, J. M. Herrera-Castillo, K. O. Winemiller, and A. Banda-Valdes. 2001. Ecology of the alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula, in the Vicente Guerrero Reservoir, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist 46(2):151-157.

  • Gilbert, C. R. 1992. Alligator gar Atractosteus spatula. Pages 128-132 in C.R. Gilbert, editor. Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Volume II. Fishes. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.xl + 247 pp.

  • Herkert, J. R., editor. 1992. Endangered and threatened species of Illinois: status and distribution. Vol. 2: Animals. Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board. iv + 142 pp.

  • Hoese, H. D., and R. H. Moore. 1998. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico: Texas, Louisiana, and adjacent waters. Texas A&M University Press, College Station.

  • Irwin, E. R., A. Belcher, and K. Kleiner. 2001. Study 36--population assessment of alligator gar in Alabama. ADCNR, Montgomery, Alabama. 126 pp.

  • Jelks, H. L., S. J. Walsh, N. M. Burkhead, S. Contreras-Balderas, E. Díaz-Pardo, D. A. Hendrickson, J. Lyons, N. E. Mandrak, F. McCormick, J. S. Nelson, S. P. Platania, B. A. Porter, C. B. Renaud, J. Jacobo Schmitter-Soto, E. B. Taylor, and M.L. Warren, Jr. 2008. Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries 33(8):372-407.

  • Mettee, M.F., P. E. O'Neil, and J.M. Pierson. 1996. Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin. Oxmoor House, Inc., Birmingham, Alabama. 820 pages.

  • Miller, R. J., and H. W. Robison. 2004. Fishes of Oklahoma. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 450 pp.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., editor. 2004. Alabama Wildlife. Volume 1. A checklist of vertebrates and selected invertebrates: aquatic mollusks, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 209 pages.

  • Nelson, J. S. 1984. Fishes of the world. Second edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York. xv + 523 pp.

  • Nelson, J. S. 1994. Fishes of the world. Third edition. John Wiley and Sons, New York. 600 pp.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 29, Bethesda, Maryland. 386 pp.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Sixth edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 29. 386 pages.

  • Page, L. M., H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, N. E. Mandrak, R. L. Mayden, and J. S. Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Seventh edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. xix + 663 pp.

  • Pflieger, W. L. 1997a. The fishes of Missouri. Revised edition. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City. vi + 372 pp.

  • ROSS, STEPHEN T. 1996. INLAND FISHES OF MISSISSIPPI. SELECTED SPECIES ACCOUNTS. COAUTHORED WITH W.M. BRENNEMAM, W.T. SLACK, M.T. O'CONNELL, AND T.L. PETERSON. ILLUSTRATED BY D.G. ROSS. DRAFT COPY.

  • Raquel, P. F. 1992. Record of the alligator gar (Lepisosteus spatula) from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. California Fish and Game 78(4):169-171.

  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.

  • Ross, S. T. (with W. M. Brennaman, W. T. Slack, M. T. O'Connell, and T. L. Peterson). 2001a. The Inland Fishes of Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi: Mississippi. xx + 624 pp.

  • SHIPLEY, FRANK S. 1991. OIL FIELD-PRODUCED BRINES IN A COASTAL STREAM: WATER QUALITY AND FISH COMMUNITY RECOVERY FOLLOWING LONG TERM IMPACTS. TEXAS J. SCI. 43(1):51-64.

  • Seidensticker, E. P. 1987. Food selection of alligator gar and longnose gar in a Texas reservoir. Proceedings of the Annual Conference, Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 41:100-104.

  • Simon, Thomas P. 2011. Fishes of Indiana. Indiana University Press. Bloomington, 345 pp.

  • Suttkus, R. D. 1963. Order Lepostei. Pages 61-88 in H. B. Bigelow and W. C. Schroeder, editors. Fishes of the western North Atlantic. Memoirs of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research I, Part 3. New Haven, Connecticut.

  • Wiley, E. O. 1976. The phylogeny and biogeography of fossil and recent gars (Actinopterygii: Lepisosteidae). Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas Miscellaneous Publications 64:1-111.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Boschung, H. T., and R. L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 960 pp.

  • Burr, B. M., and M. L. Warren, Jr. 1986a. Distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, Scientific and Technical Series No. 4, Frankfort, Kentucky. 398 pp.

  • Douglas, N. H. 1974. Freshwater fishes of Louisiana. Claitor's Publishing Division, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 443 pp.

  • Etnier, D. A., and W. C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennessee. xiv + 681 pp.

  • Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina. i-x + 854 pp.

  • Mettee, M. F., P. E. O'Neil, and J. M. Pierson. 1996. Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin. Oxmoor House, Birmingham, Alabama. 820 pp.

  • Pflieger, W. L. 1975. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation. Columbia, Missouri. viii + 343 pp.

  • Robison, H. W. and T. M. Buchanan. 1988. Fishes of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, Arkansas. 536 pp.

  • Ross, S. T., and W. M. Brenneman. 1991. Distribution of freshwater fishes in Mississippi. Freshwater Fisheries Report No. 108. D-J Project Completion Report F-69. Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Parks. Jackson, Mississippi. 548 pp.

  • Smith, P. W. 1979. The fishes of Illinois. University of Illinois Press, Urbana. 314 pp.

  • State Natural Heritage Data Centers. 1996a. Aggregated element occurrence data from all U.S. state natural heritage programs, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Navajo Nation and the District of Columbia. Science Division, The Nature Conservancy.

  • Trautman, M. B. 1981. The fishes of Ohio. Second edition. Ohio State University Press, Columbus, Ohio. 782 pp.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2018.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2018 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.