Great Barracuda

The great barracuda, also known as barracuda, barra, short barracuda, or Commerson’s sea pike, is a marine fish species.

It’s commonly found in the western Atlantic Ocean, from Massachusetts (U.S.) to Brazil.

It’s also found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, Indo-Pacific, Caribbean, and the Red Sea, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico.

This fish usually dwells near the water surface.

The maximum depth it has been found at is around 360 feet (110 m) underwater.

You will find this fish in nearshore coral reefs, deep reefs, seagrasses, and mangroves.

Classification

Given below is the scientific classification of the great barracuda:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Istiophoriformes

Family: Sphyraenidae

Genus: Sphyraena

Species Scientific Name: Sphyraena barracuda

Great Barracuda Appearance

The great barracuda has an elongated and somewhat cylindrical body with a large mouth.

Its head is very large and pointed in shape.

The color of the great barracuda is brownish to bluish-grey on top and silvery-white at the bottom.

It has around 23 dark bars on the upper half of its body.

The anal, caudal, and second dorsal fins are violet to black in color with whitish tips.

The second dorsal fin is far from the first and is equal to the anal fin in size.

The great barracuda has powerful jaws with flat and triangular teeth that are very strong with sharp edges.

These teeth help the great barracuda prevent its prey from escaping.

They also help to cut large prey into small pieces to swallow.

The great barracuda is large in size, usually around 2 to 3.25 feet in length. However, some of these fish can exceed 4.9 feet in length.

The largest great barracuda found till now was 9.8 feet long.

Here’s what this fish looks like in real life…

Great Barracuda

Great Barracuda Lifespan

The great barracuda has been known to live for 14 years.

The female barracudas mature at the age of 4 years, while the males mature at 2 years.

The female great barracuda releases around 5000 to 30000 eggs during the spawning season from April to October.

The male barracuda also releases its sperm.

The eggs then get fertilized externally and disperse throughout the water due to the water currents.

They eventually hatch, and the young barracudas rarely look like the adult barracudas.

It’s almost impossible to differentiate between a male and female great barracuda.

Tank Size for Great Barracuda

The great barracuda isn’t found in the aquarium trade.

Maybe because of its large size and natural habitat, which is difficult to replicate in a home aquarium.

Great Barracuda Feeding Habits

The great barracuda is a piscivorous fish.

It likes to eat fish such as grunts, snappers, jacks, etc., cephalopods, and sometimes shrimp.

This fish eats bottom-dwelling creatures as well as those that dwell at higher water levels.

Great Barracuda Temperament

The great barracuda is an opportunistic predator. It catches its prey by surprising and ambushing it.

This fish is mostly solitary, but young ones often swim in shoals amongst mangroves and seagrasses.

As they mature, they move to deep reef habitats.

Once a great barracuda grows up, it stops growing in length. Instead, it grows in width.

Interesting Facts About Great Barracuda

Johann Walbaum first described the great barracuda in 1792.

It weighs around 5.5 to 19.8 lb. The largest rod-and-reel caught great barracuda weighed around 103 lb.

This fish can swim up to 36 mph in bursts to catch its prey. It’s also a great fighter if it gets caught in a fishing hook.

A lot of fishermen think that the great barracudas are related to pikes because of their similar body shapes.