Sphyraena barracuda  (Edwards, 1771)

Great barracuda
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Image of Sphyraena barracuda (Great barracuda)
Sphyraena barracuda
Picture by Patzner, R.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Sphyraenidae (Barracudas)
Etymology: Sphyraena: Greek, sphyraina, -es = the name of a fish (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 100 m (Ref. 6949), usually 3 - 30 m (Ref. 40849).   Subtropical; 42°N - 35°S, 180°W - 180°E (Ref. 55300)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 66.0, range 58 - ? cm
Max length : 200 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); common length : 140 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3692); max. published weight: 50.0 kg (Ref. 6949)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 6; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9; Anal spines: 1; Anal soft rays: 10. Distinguished by the double emarginate tail fin with pale tips on each lobe, and (usually) the presence of a few scattered black blotches on the lower sides (Ref. 1602). Top of head between eyes flat or concave; mouth large (Ref. 26938).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and east coast of Africa to Hawaii and the Marquesas and Tuamoto islands. Western Atlantic: Massachusetts (USA), Bermuda, and throughout the Caribbean Sea to Brazil (Ref. 9626). Eastern Atlantic: Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Nigeria, Senegal (Ref. 6949), Mauritania (Ref. 5377), St. Paul's Rocks (Ref. 13121), and São Tomé Island (Ref. 34088).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found predominantly at or near the surface (Ref. 6949, 48637). Juvenile occurs among mangroves, estuaries and shallow sheltered inner reef areas; adult occurs in a wide range of habitats from murky inner harbors to open seas. Diurnal and solitary, but can also be found in small aggregations. Feeds on fishes, cephalopods and sometimes on shrimps (Ref. 9626, 48637). Sold fresh. Utilized also dried or salted (Ref. 9987). Although this species is ciguatoxic elsewhere throughout its range, it has not been reported to be poisonous in the eastern Atlantic (Ref. 6949, 48637). Rarely attacks humans, usually with one quick, fierce strike, which, although serious, is rarely fatal. The world's record on hook and line is a 5.5-ft. fish taken in the Bahamas that weighed 103 lbs. (Ref. 13442).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Daget, J., 1986. Sphyraenidae. p. 350-351. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 4339)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic (Ref. 4690)




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00912 (0.00570 - 0.01458), b=2.96 (2.83 - 3.09), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.8 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.09-0.11; tm=2-4).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (79 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.