Tuesday 4 December 2018

Atractosteus spatula: Alligator Gar caught in Indian lake.

Conservationists in the Indian state of Maharashtra have raised concerns after an Alligator Gar, Atractosteus spatula, was caught in the Pavana Dam Lake near Pune on Saturday 2 December 2018. Alligator Gars are large predatory Fish native to North America, capable of reaching over 3 m in length, and likely to be able to consume most Indian Fish, which makes it potentially a threat to the local ecosystem should the species become established. It is thought that the Fish originated in a private aquarium, something popular with the wealthier parts of the local community, and either escaped or was deliberately released when it become to large.

An Alligator Gar, Atractosteus spatula, caught in Pavana Lake Dam in Maharashtra State, India, on Saturday 2 December 2018. Pune Mirror.

Aligator Gars are the largest freshwater Fish in North America, and the largest living members of the
Lepisosteiformes (Gars), an ancient lineage of Ray-finned Fish, which branched off as a separate evolutionary lineage during the Mesozoic. They lack the expandable jaws of Teleosts, and have a heavily vascularised swim-bladder which can be used as a lung. Gars today are found only in the Americas, but fossil specimens are known from Europe and India.

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