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Sphyraenidae
BARRACUDAS
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  • Fishbase

Kinds
español

Overview
Main identification features
  • snout long pointedlower jaw projects
  • body elongate, cylindrical
  • 2 ds: short bases, well separated
  • large mouth;large canine teeth
  • c: forked
FAMILY SPHYRAENIDAE

BARRACUDAS

Barracudas are very elongate fishes with a cylindrical body anteriorly, pointed snout and protruding lower jaw. The large mouth is equipped with an awesome array of long sharp-edged teeth of unequal size. Other features include a well-developed, straight lateral line, two widely separated dorsal fins (the first with V spines), small pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins (II spines), and a forked tail. The overall coloration is silvery, often with darker bars, saddles, or chevron markings.

The family, which is circumglobal in tropical to subtropical areas, contains a single genus Sphyraena represented by about 25 species. In our region there are four endemic species and one Indo-Pacific species, and one circumtropical species (present as a vagrant). Several are commonly seen in the vicinity of reefs. They frequently occur in small to large schools, often on the edge of outer reef drop offs. However, Sphyraena barracuda, the largest species, is often encountered alone. It is frequently attracted to divers and may approach at close range. Barracudas feed primarily on fishes. They are a favorite target of anglers, and many are caught by trolling artificial lures. The flesh is excellent eating, but large specimens should be avoided because of the risk of ciguatera poisoning.


References
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Acknowledgements

I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.


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