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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Great Barracuda Sphyraena barracuda

Barracuda are fast-moving predators with needle-sharp teeth and an undeserved reputation for ferocity. The great barracuda has a long, streamlined body with the second dorsal fin set far back near the tail. This fin arrangement, along with a large, powerful tail, allows it to stalk its prey and then accelerate forward at great speed. Large barracuda in frequently dived sites will often allow divers to approach closely. Very occasionally a lone fish may attack a diver if it mistakes a hand or shiny watch for a silvery fish. Eating even small amounts of barracuda can result in ciguatera poisoning, caused by toxins accumulated from its food.

Great Barracudazoom image
Great Barracudazoom image
Great Barracudazoom image
Great Barracudazoom image
  • Order Perciformes
  • Length Up to 6 ft (2 m)
  • Weight Up to 110 lb (50 kg)
  • Depth 0–330 ft (0–100 m)
  • Distribution Tropical and subtropical waters worldwide
Great Barracuda habitat mapzoom image