The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Lepisosteus platostomus
Lepisosteus platostomus
(Shortnose Gar)
Native Transplant
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Lepisosteus platostomus Rafinesque, 1820

Common name: Shortnose Gar

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Suttkus (1963); Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993).

Size: 83 cm

Native Range: Mississippi River basin from southcentral Ohio, northern Indiana and Wisconsin to Montana and south to northern Alabama and Louisiana (Page and Burr 1991).

US auto-generated map Legend USGS Logo
Alaska auto-generated map
Hawaii auto-generated map
Caribbean auto-generated map
Puerto Rico &
Virgin Islands
Guam auto-generated map
Guam Saipan
Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Lepisosteus platostomus are found here.

StateYear of earliest observationYear of last observationTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
Wisconsin196219836Fox; Lake Michigan; Lake Winnebago; Lower Fox; Upper Fox; Wolf

Table last updated 10/4/2018

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: This species likely reached Lake Winnebago via the Wisconsin-Fox Canal, a canal connection from the Mississippi River basin to the Fox River in the Great Lakes basin (Priegel 1963).

Status: Established in Wisconsin (Becker 1983; Page and Burr 1991).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: None.

References: (click for full references)

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI. 1052 pp. Available: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/EcoNatRes.FishesWI

Clearwater, S.J., C.W. Hickey, and M.L. Martin. 2008. Overview of potential piscicides and molluscicides for controlling aquatic pest species in New Zealand. Science & Technical Publishing, New Zealand Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand.

Etnier, D.A., and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN. 681 pp.

Evermann, B.W., and E.L. Goldsborough. 1902. Notes on the fishes and mollusks of Lake Chautauqua, New York. Report of U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries 27:169-175.

GLMRIS. 2012. Appendix C: Inventory of Available Controls for Aquatic Nuisance Species of Concern, Chicago Area Waterway System. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Field Guide Series, volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Priegel, G.R. 1963. Dispersal of the shortnose gar, Lepisosteus platostomus, into the Great Lakes drainage. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 92(2):178.

Scott, W.B., and E.J. Crossman. 1998. Freshwater Fishes of Canada. Galt House Publications Ltd., Ontario. 966 pp.

Suttkus, R.D. 1963. Order Lepisostei, pp. 61-88. in: Bigelow et al. (eds.) Fishes of the Western North Atlantic. Soft-rayed Bony Fishes, Vol. 1, pt. 3. Memoir, Sears Foundation of Marine Research, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P., J. Larson, T.H. Makled, and A. Fusaro

Revision Date: 8/2/2013

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., J. Larson, T.H. Makled, and A. Fusaro, 2019, Lepisosteus platostomus Rafinesque, 1820: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?speciesid=757, Revision Date: 8/2/2013, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 4/23/2019

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2019]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [4/23/2019].

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