Family: Sphyraenidae, Barracudas view all from this family
Description The great barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) is a species of barracuda. Great barracudas often grow over 6 feet (1.8 m) long and are a type of ray-finned fish.
Barracudas are elongated fish with powerful jaws. The lower jaw of the large mouth guts out beyond the upper. Barracudas possess strong, fang-like teeth that are unequal in size and set in sockets in the jaws and on the roof of the mouth. The head is quite large and is pointed and pike-like in appearance. The gill-covers do not have spines and are covered with small scales. The two dorsal fins are widely separated, with the first having five spines and the second having one spine and nine soft rays. The second dorsal fin equals the anal fin in size and is situated more or less above it. The lateral line is prominent and extends straight from head to tail. The spinous dorsal fin is situated above the pelvis. The hind end of the caudal fin is forked or concave, and it is set at the end of a stout peduncle. The pectoral fins are placed low down on the sides. The barracuda has a large swim bladder.
In general, the barracuda's coloration is dark green or a blue type coloration or grey above 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 dark.
Dimensions Up to 6' (1.8 m); 83 lbs (37.6 kg).
Warning Divers should be cautious: Great Barracudas can attack people with their very sharp teeth. This species may also cause ciguatera poisoning when eaten.
Habitat Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes, Ocean or bay shallows, Open ocean.
Range New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Texas.