Gar family, Lepisosteidae, includes seven living species of fish in two genera that inhabit fresh, brackish, and occasionally marine, waters of eastern North America, Central America, and the Caribbean islands.
The gars are members of the Lepisosteiformes (or Semionotiformes), an ancient order of "primitive" ray-finned fish; fossils from this order are known from the late Cretaceous onwards. Fossil gars are found in Europe, India, South America, and North America, indicating that in times past, these fish had a wider distribution than they do today. Gars are considered to be a remnant of a group of rather primitive bony fish that flourished in the Mesozoic, and are most closely related to the bowfin, another archaic fish now found only in North America. There are many species of gar, including the alligator gar, that can exceed 10 feet in length.
Atractosteus spatula (Lacépède, 1803) (Alligator gar)
Atractosteus tristoechus (Bloch & J. G. Schneider, 1801) (Cuban gar)
Atractosteus tropicus Gill, 1863 (Tropical gar)
Lepisosteus oculatus Winchell, 1864 (Spotted gar)
Lepisosteus osseus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Longnose gar)
Lepisosteus platostomus Rafinesque, 1820 (Shortnose gar)
Lepisosteus platyrhincus DeKay, 1842 (Florida gar)