Re-Evaluating Species Richness of an Ancient Fish Lineage (Lepisosteidae)

Sinopoli D., Chakrabarty P., Terzi Y., Öztürk R. Ç., David S.

Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Virginia, United States Of America, 12 - 16 July 2023, pp.84

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Virginia
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Page Numbers: pp.84
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Spotted Gar (Lepisosteus oculatus, Winchell 1864) is widespread with a disjunct population in the Great Lakes Basin found from Michigan south to Louisiana, Texas, and the western Florida panhandle. The primary area of its range comprises the Mississippi River Basin and neighboring drainages. A disjunct northern and southern population sets L. oculatus apart from other gar species which have more contiguous ranges. Despite their external appearances being little changed since the Jurassic, there appears to be more diversity within gars than once expected. Spotted Gar fossils have been recovered in strata dating back to the upper Miocene/lower Pliocene (~5 mya). Here we compared differences in body shape using traditional and geometric morphometrics of northern and southern populations of Spotted Gar. We also examined genetic differences at both deep and shallow time scales to update the relevant taxonomy of this species.