Alligator Gar

alligator gar

Although few alligator gars approach the record size of 10 feet and 300 pounds, they are still among the largest freshwater fish in North America.  Gars can live in water that is too low in oxygen for many fish, by gulping air at the surface into their lung-like swim bladders.

Redear Sunfish

redear sunfish

Commonly called the shellcracker, the redear sunfish specializes in eating snails. It has specially adapted teeth in the back of its mouth for crushing snail shells.

Mosquitofish

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The little mosquitofish has a big job – keeping the mosquito population down by feeding on its aquatic larval and pupal stages.  In turn, the mosquitofish is preyed upon by larger fish such as bass and pickerel, and wading birds. 

Longnose Gar

gar

As its name implies, the longnose gar sports a long, narrow snout armed with many sharp teeth for catching smaller fish.  To keep itself from becoming prey, the gar is protected by hard, diamond-shaped scales.  Another remarkable feature is the gar’s ability to breathe air when the aquatic oxygen supply is low. 

Azureus Cichlid

azureus cichlid

The azureus cichlid is a plankton-feeder from Lake Malawi in Africa.  As they mature, the males turn from silver to electric blue.  The flashier, the better, to seduce the females and ward off other males.

Oscar

oscar web

Originating from South America, this popular sport fish was intentionally released from fish farms and has been established in Florida since the 1950′s.  This predatory species has a high reproductive rate and outcompetes native fish for resources.

Tilapia

tilapia

These cichlids, native to eastern Africa are mouth-brooding fish that carry both eggs and young in their mouths.  Since good parenting skills enhance their already high reproductive rates, they often outcompete native fish for resources.

Red Pirahna

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With its strong jaws and razor-sharp teeth, a red-bellied piranha can easily strip its prey to the bone. Though it is capable of attacking and feeding on larger animals, the piranha’s reputation as a vicious man-eater is unwarranted. It typically eats other fish, crustaceans, and insect.