Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Lepisosteiformes (Gars)
Family: Lepisosteidae (Gars)

Genus/species: Lepisosteus oculatus


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The smallest of the four species of gar. Weight to 4.4 kg.(9.7 pounds), maximum recorded for wild fish is 44.8″ (112cm). Body long and cylindrical with elongated mouths. colored dark olive to brown above. L. oculatus has thick, ganoid (diamond-shaped) scales. All fins with dark spots; belly whitish; snout short.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Lake Erie and south Lake Michigan drainages; Mississippi River drainage from Illinois south to East Oklahoma, East Tennessee; Gulf Coast streams from West Florida to Central Texas. Found in clear pools with aquatic plants in streams, swamps and lakes; may enter brackish water on the Gulf Coast.

DIET IN THE WILD: Voracious predator with an elongated mouth with many teeth feeding on fishes and benthic crustaceans.

Spotted Gar IMG_1369

REPRODUCTION: Spawns between the months of May and July. Eggs are simply scattered among aquatic vegetation, and no parental care is exhibited. The roe (or egg mass) is highly toxic to humans, animals, and birds.

PREDATORS: Eaten by larger fish, alligators and herons.

LONGEVITY: Live to at least 18 years.  

CONSERVATION: Not evaluated by the IUCN. Not in need of special conservation efforts.


REMARKS: Have a specialized swim bladder which allows them to gulp air and live in the poorly oxygenated back waters.

They are primitive fish and date back to the Cretaceous period, some 65 to 100 million years ago. The ancestors of spotted gar swam with the dinosaurs.

Water Planet Feeding Cluster WP31

Swamp SW02


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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Centrarchidae (Sunfishes)

Genus/species: Micropterus  salmoides

Largemouth Bass 4515020403_327c45ebbd_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Common length : 40.0 cm, (16 inches), max. published weight: 10.1 kg (22 1/4 lbs). Mouth large; maxillary extending beyond the eye. Green to olive dorsally, milk-white to yellow ventrally, with a black band running from the operculum to the base of the caudal fin. Caudal fin rounded

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Native to eastern North America and historically ranged from southern Canada to northern Mexico, and from the Atlantic coast to the central region of the United States. Prefers quiet, shallow, clear water with lots of vegetation. Seldom found deeper than 20 feet.

DIET: Crayfish and other fish species including their own. Other sunfish species are the food of choice for most adult largemouth bass.

REPRODUCTION and DEVELOPMENT: Males prepare and build a crude nest in shallow water. Following an act of courtship, female lays eggs in the nest. Males guard the eggs until they hatch. The schooling fry remain close to their father for about a month.

PREDATORS: Herons, bitterns, and kingfishers. Max. reported age: 23 years.

Largemouth Bass 6268037751_8f1c84e75e_b

CONSERVATION: World Conservation Union (IUCN) not listed as endangered or vulnerable.

REMARKS: It is the most popular game fish in the United States and is a potential pest as it can eradicate indigenous species. Largemouth bass have been introduced successfully all over the world.

Swamp SW02


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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae (Sunfishes)

Genus/species: Pomoxis nigromaculatus

Black Crappie  5230993160_366f8f8c16_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Length 13-38 cm (5 – 15 in) in length. The average weight varies from 0.25-0.90 kg (9 – 31 oz). Deep and laterally compressed body with symmetrical dorsal and anal fins. Color is silvery-gray to green with irregular or mottled black splotches over the entire body. Color varies among populations of P. nigromaculatus with age, habitat, and breeding are all determinants of the intensity of mottling.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: North America: native to freshwaters of central and eastern North America, today widely introduced throughout the U.S.  Habitat: Lakes, ponds, sloughs, and backwaters and pools of streams. Prefers clear water and sites with vegetation over mud or sand.

DIET IN THE WILD: Mid-water omnivore that feeds in vegetation and open water. Its numerous gill rakers allow it to consume planktonic crustaceans; however aquatic insects, minnows, and fingerlings of other species comprise its main diet.

Black Crappie 3202662242_7502b65334_b

REPRODUCTION: P. nigromaculatus produce an average of 40,000 spherical eggs and the male watches o the nest until eggs hatch, which is usually about 2–3 days.

PREDATORS: Larger fishes such as pike, walleye and muskellunge. Average lifespan 10-13 years.

CONSERVATION: Not endangered.

REMARKS: A very popular tasty sport fish.

Feeding Strategies WP31 and Swamp SW02


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KINGDOM Animalia
PHYLUM Chordata
CLASS  Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
ORDER Gasterosteiformes (Sticklebacks and seamoths)
FAMILY Gasterosteidae (Sticklebacks and tubesnouts)
GENUS/SPECIES  Gasterosteus aculeatus




Common length : 5.1 cm or 2 in.  Identified by the 3 to 4 sharp, free spines before the dorsal fin, the pelvic fin reduced to a sharp spine and a small ray, the series of plates along the sides of the body and are usually mottled brown or greenish.



 Coastal oceans in northern Europe, Asia and North America

 Freshwater streams, estuaries


DIET: worms, aquatic insects, fish eggs and fry


REPRODUCTION:  Red means ready.  At mating time, the chin and belly of male sticklebacks turn red. The brighter the red, the more enticing they are to the females they’re courting. Male sticklebacks weave rounded nests of algae, leaves and pebbles.   The neater the nest, the more likely a male is to woo a mate to lay her eggs inside. Once she does, he drives her out, guards and aerates the eggs until the hatch.


Salt Marsh Pop_up CC03
Animal Attractions




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