Pejelagarto is the Spanish name for the large freshwater gar very common in the Mexican Southeast and particularly in the state of Tabasco. They are notable for their primitive appearance, and the family to which they belong, the Lepisosteidae, appeared during the Cretaceous and have survived to the present day relatively unmodified.
The pejelagarto has a pronounced snout that is similar to an alligator's and has long and sharp teeth, which is how the fish gets its Spanish name, from a contraction of the words "pez" (fish) and "lagarto" (alligator). Pejelagartos are large freshwater fish, commonly exceeding 1 m in length and weighing over 40 kg. They are most commonly found living in calm waters. See the main article on gars for more on these fish.
While gar are not widely eaten, there is a traditional Tabasco dish of the same name that uses chili, limes, and salt to cook the animal.
The Lipisosteidae family consists of the following main genera and species:
Genus: Atractosteus (broadhead gars)
Genus: Lepisosteus (slender gars)
- Lepisosteus platostomus (shortnose gar)
- Lepisosteus oculatus (spotted gar)
- Lepisosteus osseus (longnose gar)
- Lepisosteus platyrhincus (Florida gar)
Pejelagarto in popular culture
- Peje (abbreviation) is the nickname of a Mexican politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as he comes from the state of Tabasco.