-Just a quick photographic preview of some of the things coming soon from “Gar-Con 2012” (International Network for Lepisosteid Research Conference 2012). Check out this tropical gar (Atractosteus tropicus) from the gar farm; much more to come!–
-See photo and link for the story of a giant alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) that was recently bowfished in Texas. This alligator gar is one of the largest in recent history (over 8′ long and over 300 lbs), even though an accurate weight could not be determined. Information is not provided as to whether or not the large female gator gar had already spawned by the time of capture (it was bowfished out of a spawning group); it would be unfortunate to lose those good genes from the pool. It would also be interesting to analyze aging structures (otoliths, scales) from the individual to determine how old this fish was (alligator gars have been aged to over 70 years). This fish at least gives hope that there are still monster alligator gars still out there…and hopefully those beasts are able to evade capture for many more years.
-A great photo from National Geographic: “Down the Hatch” captures an alligator eating a Florida gar (Lepisosteus platyrhincus). The caption on the site actually misidentifies the gar as an alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula), but morphology (also locality) definitely indicate L. platyrhincus. We have submitted a message to them with this information (we will see if it is fixed!) Great photograph reGARdless!–
The first complete molecular phylogeny of living gars (Lepisosteidae) was published in the June 2012 issue of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Abstract and table/figure summaries are available HERE. Researchers and others interested in the full article please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks to all involved with completing this important analysis!
Massive spawning group of longnose gars (Lepisosteus osseus) in northwest Ohio. Article by Toledo Blade on longnose gars and other fishes observed spawning this season located HERE.
In anticipation of my upcoming trip to Villahermosa (Tabasco state, Mexico), here is a great video put together by colleagues at the tropical gar aquaculture farm (Otot-Ibam) highlighting their gar production. Great shots/sequences of gar development and the culture process. I’ll be presenting at the 4th International Meeting on Lepisosteid Research in mid-June, and we’ll get to tour the farm as well as participate in workshops.
Tropical gar (Atractosteus tropicus) Aquaculture