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Related FAQs:  Barracudas,

Related Articles: Scombroid Fishes

/A Diversity of Fishes

Barracudas, Family Sphyraenidae


Bob Fenner

Sphyraena jello Pulau Redang, Malaysia 

These are arrow-like, tubular, stiff-bodied fish predators par excellence... With a tail and muscles for rapid straight bursts of speed, a non-protrusible jawed mouth lined with sharp, pointed teeth, and typically an "I'm king of this place" attitude to match. Some to nearly two meters in length, and feared in some places more than sharks... for attacks (mainly accidental in murky water, or attracted to shiny jewelry... or a speared fish...). One genus comprising some twenty species.

Sphyraena barracuda (Walbaum 1792), the Great Barracuda. Circumtropical and subtropical; between 30 degrees north and south latitudes. Usually solitary, hanging out at the surface. Feeds on fishes and cephalopods mainly. To 200 cm., 50 kg. At right, a juvenile of about 1.5 feet in length at Ka'alu'u Beach off Kona, Hawai'i. Below: Red Sea (getting cleaned up by a pair of Labroides dimidiatus wrasses), Bahamas and St. Lucia images. http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Country/

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Sphyraena forsteri Cuvier 1829, the Big-eye Barracuda. Indo-Pacific; east Africa to the Marquesas and Society Islands. To 75 cm. Largely nocturnal, feeding on fishes, squid and penaeid shrimps. Fiji image.

Sphyraena genie Klunzinger 1870, the Blackfin Barracuda. Indo-Pacific; throughout the tropical Indian Ocean, Pacific and Red Sea. To 170 cm. Usually solitary or in pairs by day, aggregating at night to feed. Distinct dark barring and black caudal. Red Sea and Andaman Sea images. 

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
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Sphyraena guachancho, Guachanche Barracuda. Slightly protruding lower jaw; two widely spaced dorsal fins. Broken yellow mid-body stripe. To two feet length. Tropical W. Atlantic, Carolinas to Brazil and Gulf of Mexico. Roatan 2019.

Sphyraena idiastes Heller & Snodgrass 1903, the Pelican Barracuda. Southeast Pacific; Peru, Galapagos, Cocos Islands. To 91 cm. Usually found in large groups, oblivious to divers. Galapagos pic.

Sphyraena jello Cuvier 1829, the Pickhandle Barracuda. Indo-Pacific; Indo-West Pacific; Red Sea, East Africa to Vanuatu. To 150 cm. Upper half of body bars oblique, lower half nearly vertical. Tail yellowish.  image. 

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