Great Barracuda

The Great Barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) is a species of barracuda that is found in open seas. It often grows to over 6 feet in length. They are voracious predators and hunt by hiding and waiting for fish to approach before ambushing. They rely heavily on surprise and short bursts of speed (up to 27mph). They are more or less solitary in their habits. Young may congregate in shoals however. They eat mostly fish. When gorged, they may herd a shoal of prey fish in shallow water and guard over them until they are ready to feed again.

These fish are elongated and have powerful jaws. The lower jaw of the large mouth juts out beyond the upper jaw. They have strong, fang-like teeth. They are unequal in size and are set in sockets in the jaws on the roof of the mouth. It has a large head that is pointed. Its two dorsal fins are widely separated. The first dorsal fin has five spines, while the second has only one spine, but nine soft rays. The pectoral fins are placed low down along the sides.

In general, the barracuda’s coloration is dark green or gray above and chalky-white below. This varies somewhat. Sometimes there is a row of darker cross-bars or black spots on each side. The fins may be yellowish or dusky.