Gar-related publications; if you have a reference to add to this list, please email the reference information to If possible, please list reference in the format of the American Fisheries Society.


2019-2020 (updates in progress 2.2020)

Smith, N.G., D.J. Daugherty, E.L. Brinkman, M.G. Wegener, B.R. Kreiser, A.M. Ferrara, K.D. Kimmel, and S.R. David. 2019. Advances in conservation and management of the Alligator Gar: a synthesis of current knowledge and introduction to a special section. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. DOI:10.1002/nafm.10369

2013-2018 (updates in progress 2.2020)

David, S.R., S.M. King, and J.A. Stein. 2018. Introduction to a special section: Angling for Dinosaurs – Status and future study of the ecology, conservation, and management of ancient fishes. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 147: 623-625.

David, S.R.and J.J. Wright. 2017. Genetic variation and biogeography of the Spotted Gar Lepisosteus oculatus from core and peripheral populations. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/jez.b.22772

Farley, N.J., A.A. Vasquez, R.S. Kik IV, S.R. David, A.S. Katailiha, J.L. Ram. 2017. Primer designs for identification and eDNA detection of gars (Lepisosteidae). Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 147: 687-695.

King, S.M., S.R. David, J.A. Stein. 2017. Precision and utility of hard structures used to age Longnose, Shortnose, and Spotted Gars. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 147: 626-638.

David, S.R., R.S. Kik IV, J.S. Diana, E.S. Rutherford, and M.J Wiley. 2015. Evidence of countergradient variation in growth of Spotted Gar Lepisosteus oculatus from core and peripheral populations. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 144: 837-850.


Buckmeier, D.L., and K.S. Reeves.  2012.  Retention of passive integrated transponder, T-bar anchor, and coded wire tags in lepisosteids.  North American Journal of Fisheries Management 32:  573-576.

Buckmeier, D.L., N.G. Smith, and K.S. Reeves.  2012.  Utility of alligator gar age estimates from otoliths, pectoral fin rays, and scales.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:  1510-1519.

Comabella, Y., A.H. Franyutti, A. Hurtado, J. Canabal, and T. Garcia-Galano.  2012.  Ontogenetic development of the digestive tract in Cuban gar (Atractosteus tristoechus) larvae.  Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries.  DOI:  10.1007/s11160-012-9289-z.

David, S.R.  2012.  Life history, growth, and genetic diversity of the spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) from peripheral and core populations.  Doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Gandy, D.A., J.S. Rehage, J.W. Munyon, K.B. Gestring, and J.I. Galvez.  2012.  Canals as vectors for fish movement: potential southward range expansion of Lepisosteus osseus L.(Longnose Gar) in South Florida.  Southeastern Naturalist 11:  253-262.

Glass, W.R., L.D. Corkum, and N.E. Mandrak.  2012.  Spring and summer distribution and habitat use by adult threatened spotted gar in Rondeau Bay, Ontario, using radiotelemetry. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:  1026-1035.

Gray, S.M., L.J. Chapman, and N.E. Mandrak. 2012. Turbidity reduces hatching success in threatened spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus). Environmental Biology of Fishes 94: 689-694.

Kelley, S.W.  2012. Age and growth of spawning longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus) in a north central Texas reservoir. Western North American Naturalist 72:  69-77.

Matthews, W.J., W.L. Shelton, and E. Marsh-Matthews.  2012.  First-year growth of longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus) from Zygote to Autumn Juvenile. The Southwestern Naturalist 57:  335-337.

McGrath, P. E. and E. J. Hilton.  2012.  Sexual dimorphism in longnose gar Lepisosteus osseus. Journal of Fish Biology 80: 335–345.

McGrath, P.E., E.J. Hilton, and J.A. Musick.  2012. Seasonal Distributions and Movements of longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus) within the York River System, Virginia. Southeastern Naturalist 11: 375-386.

Wright, J., S.R. David, and T.J. Near. 2012. Gene trees, species trees, and morphology converge on a similar phylogeny of living gars (Actinopterygii: Holostei: Lepisosteidae), an ancient clade of ray-finned fishes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63: 848-856.

Clay, T.A., M.D. Suchy, A.M. Ferrara, Q.C. Fontenot, and W. Lorio. 2011. Early growth and survival of larval alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula, reared on artificial floating feed with or without a live Artemia spp. supplement. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 42: 412-416.

Glass, W.R., L.D. Corkum, and N.E. Mandrak. 2011. Pectoral fin ray aging: an evaluation of a non-lethal method for aging gars and its application to a population of the threatened spotted gar. Environmental Biology of Fishes 90: 235-242.

Perschbacher, P.W. 2011.  Effects of structure, forage, and stocking density on juvenile production of alligator gars in outdoor pools.  North American Journal of Aquaculture 73:  21-23.

Sipiorski, J.T. 2011. The world according to gars: the molecular systematics and comparative phylogeography of living gars (Actinopterygii: Lepisosteidae). Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, Illinois.

Cavin, L. 2010. Diversity of Mesozoic semionotiform fishes and the origin of gars (Lepisosteidae). Naturwissenschaften 97: 1035-1040.

Comabella, Y., A. Hurtado, and T. Garcia-Galano. 2010. Ontogenetic Changes in the morphology of Cuban gar (Atractosteus tristoechus). Zoological Science 27: 931-938.

Grande, L. 2010. An empirical synthetic pattern study of gars (Lepisosteiformes) and closely related species, based mostly on skeletal anatomy. The resurrection of holostei. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication 6: i-x, 1-871; supplementary issue of Copeia 10: 2a. (see image left)

McGrath, P.E. 2010. The life history of longnose gar, Lepisosteus osseus, an apex predator in the tidal waters of Virginia. Doctoral dissertation, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Salnikov, V.B. 2010. First finding of gar Atractosteus sp. (Actinopterygii, Lepisosteiformes, Lepisosteidae) in the Caspian Sea near the coast of Turkmenistan. Russian Journal of Biological Invasions 1: 17-20.

Spitzer, M. 2010. Season of the gar: adventures in pursuit of America’s most misunderstood fish. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, Arkansas. (see image left)

Moyer, G.R., B.L. Sloss, B.R. Kreiser, and K.A. Feldheim. 2009. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) and their variability in two other species (Lepisosteus oculatus and L. osseus) of Lepisosteidae. Molecular Ecology Resources 9: 1-4.

Murie, D.J., D.C. Parkyn, L.G. Nico, J.J. Herod, and W.F. Loftus. 2009. Age, differential growth and mortality rates in unexploited populations of Florida gar, an apex predator in the Florida Everglades. Fisheries Management and Ecology 16: 315-322.

Alfaro, R.M., C.A. Gonzales, and A.M. Ferrara. 2008. Gar biology and culture: status and prospects. Aquaculture Research 39: 748-763.

Barrientos-Villalobos, J., and E. De Los Monteros. 2008. Genetic variation and recent population history of the tropical gar Atractosteus tropicus Gill (Pisces: Lepisosteidae). Journal of Fish Biology 73: 1919-1936.

Herrington, S.J., K.N. Hettiger, E.J. Heist, and D.B. Keeney. 2008. Hybridization between longnose and alligator gars in captivity, with comments on possible gar hybridization in nature. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 137: 158-164.

Tkach, V.V., E.J. Strand, and L. Froese. 2008. Macroderoides texanus n. sp. (Digenea: Macroderoididae) from alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula in Texas. Parasitology Research 104: 27-33.

Selected Earlier Publications (Journal Articles, Dissertations, Theses)
Aguilera, C., R. Mendoza, G. Rodriguez, and G. Marquez. 2002. Morphological description of alligator gar and tropical gar larvae, with an emphasis on growth indicators. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 131: 899‐909.

Bonham, K. 1941. Food of gars in Texas. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 70: 356‐362.

Boudreux, P.J., A.M. Ferrara, and Q.C. Fontenot. 2007. Acute Toxicity of Ammonia to Spotted Gar, Lepisosteus oculatus, Alligator Gar, Atractosteus spatula, and Paddlefish, Polyodon spathula. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 38: 322‐325.

Burns, T.A., and D.T. Stalling. 1981. Gar ichthyootoxin: its effects on crayfish, with notes on bluegill sunfish. The Southwestern Naturalist 25: 513-515.

Clay, T. 2009. Growth, survival, and cannibalism rates of alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) in recirculating aquaculture systems. Master’s thesis, Nicholl’s State University, Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Dean, B. 1895. The early development of gar‐pike and sturgeon. Journal of Morphology 11:1‐55.

DiBenedetto, K.C. 2009. Life history characteristics of alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) in the Bayou DuLarge area of southcentral Louisiana. Master’s thesis, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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

Ferrara, A. M. and E. R. Irwin. 2001. Standardized procedure for internal sex identification in Lepisosteidae. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 21: 956-961.

Ferrara, A. M. 2001. Life-history strategy of Lepisosteidae: implications for the conservation and management of alligator gar. Doctoral dissertation, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.

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. The Southwestern Naturalist 46:151-157.

Goodyear, C. P. 1967. Feeding habits of three species of gars, Lepisosteus, along the Mississippi gulf coast. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 96: 438-449.

Holt, R. 1973. Age and growth, length-weight relationship, condition coefficient, and feeding habits of spotted gar, Lepisosteus oculatus (Winchell), within the Kentucky waters of Kentucky Reservoir. Masters thesis, Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky.

Johnson, B.L., and D.B. Noltie. 1996. Migratory dynamics of stream-spawning longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus). Ecology of Freshwater Fish 5: 97-107.

Johnson, B.L., and D.B. Noltie. 1997. Demography, growth, and reproductive allocation in stream-spawning longnose gar. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 126: 438-466.

Kammerer, C.F., L. Grande, and M.W. Westneat. 2004. Comparative and developmental functional morphology of the jaws of living and fossil gars (Actinopterygii: Lepisosteidae). Journal of Morphology 267:1017-1031.

Ladonski, J. 1998. Life history traits and age-related changes in reproductive potential of the shortnose gar (Lepisosteus platostomus Rafinesque) in southern Illinois. Masters thesis, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Landolt, J.C. 1970. Certain aspects of gill respiration of gars (Pisces: Lepisosteidae). Doctoral dissertation, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.

Love, J.W. 2002. Sexual dimorphism in spotted gar Lepisosteus oculatus from southwestern Louisiana. American Midland Naturalist 147: 393-399.

Love, J.W. 2004. Age, growth, and reproduction of spotted gar, Lepisosteus oculatus (Lepisosteidae), from the Lake Pontchartrain estuary, Louisiana. The Southwestern Naturalist 49: 18-23.

Martinez-Ibarra, J.A., Y.G. Guillen, J.I. Arrendo-Jimenez, and M.H. Rodriguez-Lopez. 2002. Indigenous fish species for the control of Aedes aegypti in water storage tanks in Southern Mexico. BioControl 47: 481-486.

May, E.B., and A.A. Echelle. 1968. Young of year alligator gar in Lake Texoma, Oklahoma. Copeia 1968: 629‐630.

McCarley, H., and L.G. Hill. 1979. Reproduction of Lepisosteus spatula (Lepisostedae) in Lake Texoma. The Southwestern Naturalist 24: 694‐695.

Mendoza, R., C. Aguilera, G. Rodriguez, and R. Castro. 2002. Morphophysiological studies on alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) larval development as a basis for their culture and repopulation of their natural habitats. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 12: 133‐142.

Mendoza, R., C. Aguilera, L. Carreon, J. Montemayor, and M. Gonzalez. 2007. Weaning of alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) larvae to artificial diets. Aquaculture Nutrition 14: 223 ‐231.

Mitchell, G.T. 1965. The use of fin rays in age and growth studies of gar from Lake Texoma Oklahoma. Master’s thesis, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.

Moore, G.A., M.B. Trautman, and M.R. Curd. 1973. A description of postlarval gar (Lepisosteus spatula, Lacepede, Lepisosteidae), with a list of associated species from the Red River, Choctaw County, Oklahoma. The Southwestern Naturalist 18:343‐344.

Netsch, N.F., and A. Witt, Jr. 1962. Contributions to the life history of the longnose gar, (Lepisosteus osseus) in Missouri. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 91: 251-262.

O’Connell, M.T., T.D. Shepherd, A.M.U. O’Connell, and R.A. Myers. 2007. Long‐term declines in two apex predators, bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) and alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula), in Lake Pontchartrain, an oligohaline estuary in southeastern Louisiana. Estuaries and Coasts 30: 567‐574.

Ostrand, K.G., M.L. Thies, D.D. Hall, and M. Carpenter. 1996. Gar ichthyotoxin: Its effect on natural predators and the toxin’s evolutionary function. Southwestern Naturalist 41: 375‐377.

Poly, W. J. 2001. Distribution of the alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula (Lacepede, 1803), in Illinois. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 94:185‐190.

Pope, K.L., and G.R. Wilde. 2003. Variation in spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) mass-length relationships in Texas reservoirs. Texas Journal of Science 55: 43-48.

Raney, E.C. 1942. Alligator gar feeds upon birds in Texas. Copeia 1942: 50.

Redmond, L.C. 1964. Ecology of the spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus Winchell) in Southeastern Missouri. Master’s thesis, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.

Robertson, C.R., S.C. Zeug, and K.O. Winemiller. 2007. Associations between hydrological connectivity and resource partitioning among sympatric gar species (Lepisosteidae) in a Texas river and associated oxbows. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 17: 119-129.

Scarnecchia, D.L. 1992. A reappraisal of gars and bowfins in fishery management. Fisheries 17: 6-12.

Simon, T.P. and R. Wallus.1989. Contributions to the early life histories of gar(Actinopterygii:Lepisosteidae) in the Ohio and Tennessee River basins with emphasis on larval development. Transactions of the Kentucky Academy of Science 50:59-71.

Simon, T.P. and E.J. Tyberghein. 1991. Contributions to the early life history of the spotted gar, Lepisosteus oculatus Winchell, from Hatchet Creek, Alabama. Transactions of the Kentucky Academy of Science 52:124-131.

Smith, O.A. 2008. Reproductive potential and life history of spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) in the Upper Barataria Estuary. Master’s thesis, Nicholl’s State University, Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Snedden, G.A., W.E. Kelso, and D.A. Rutherford. 1999. Diel and seasonal patterns of spotted gar movement and habitat use in the lower Atchafalaya River Basin, Louisiana. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 128: 144-154.

Suchy, M. 2009. Effects of salinity on growth and survival of larval and juvenile alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula), and on plasma osmolality of non-teleost actinopterygiian fishes. Master’s thesis, Nicholl’s State University, Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Suttkus, R.D. 1963. Order Lepisostei. In Fishes of the Western Atlantic; Part Three, Soft-rayed fishes. Yale University Memoir Sears Foundation for Marine Research 1, eds. H.B. Bigelow et al., 61-88. New Haven, Connecticut.

Tyler, J.D. and M.N. Granger. 1984. Notes on the food habits, size, and spawning behavior of spotted gar in Lake Lawtonka, Oklahoma. Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Sciences 64:8-10.

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

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.

Hocutt, C.H. and E.O. Wiley. 1986. The Zoogeography of North American Freshwater Fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

Hubbs, C.L., K.F. Lagler, and G.R. Smith. 2004. Fishes of the Great Lakes Region, revised edition. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Nelson, J. S. 1994. Fishes of the world, 3rd edition. Wiley, New York.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 1991. A Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.

Trautman, M.B. 1981. The Fishes of Ohio, revised edition. Ohio State University Press, Columbus.

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