FCE LTER Journal Articles


Canals as Vectors for Fish Movement: Potential Southward Range Expansion of Lepisosteus osseus L. (Longnose Gar) in South Florida


Lepisosteus osseus (Longnose Gar) is a large-bodied predator, whose Florida distribution remains unclear at the southern edge of its range. We reviewed available literature and museum voucher specimens to provide a more accurate range description, and we discuss recent collections in south Florida. Longnose Gar has not been previously reported in natural habitats south of Lake Okeechobee. Instead, records south of the lake are from canals, and most are recent (since 2000), including our own southernmost 2011 record. No records from Everglades natural habitats have been collected. Previous studies have shown native range expansions in anthropogenically disturbed landscapes. We suggest that the Longnose Gar is expanding its range southward in Florida using canals as dispersal vectors and/or suitable habitat.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DBI-0620409 and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.