Great Barracuda “Sphyraena Barracuda”

great barracuda

Last updated on July 15th, 2022 at 06:15 pm

The Great Barracuda is a predatory fish, one of the largest species in the barracuda family. It can be found near islands and along coastlines throughout the Caribbean Sea, Florida Strait, Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic Bight, and waters surrounding Central America.

They are mostly located in deep water but may enter relatively shallow areas. They are found on coral reefs and around the seaward side of islands.

The Great Barracuda has a long, cylindrical body with an arched back that is covered with small scales. The mouth cavity stretches upwards to form jaws that contain protruding teeth for snaring prey fish. It also contains gill rakers shaped like small sickles.

Its body is dark olive-gray to brown, and it has a white or yellowish belly. It looks like the Great White Shark but can be distinguished by its larger scales (about 97). The Great Barracuda’s coloring also helps camouflage them from prey fish swimming above; they are able to blend in with the sand and rocks on the ocean floor.

They are solitary hunters, but they have been known to school with other predatory fish for hunting purposes. Their diets consist primarily of smaller fishes such as sardines, menhaden, herrings, anchovies, and mackerels, as well as larger prey including crustaceans and other smaller fish.

Origins and descriptions

great barracuda

The great barracuda is a saltwater fish that inhabits the shallow coastal waters of tropical and subtropical regions around the world. They have been found in depths up to 150 feet, but can most often be found within 30 feet from shore. The average adult size of a great barracuda is about 47 inches long with some species growing as large as 64 inches.

The average weight is between 12 and 35 pounds, but some species have been known to weigh over 100 pounds with the all-tackle record being 143 pounds.

The great barracuda has a torpedo-shaped body that is silvery grey on top and white on its underside. Its body is covered with a series of dark, irregular stripes and bars that are horizontal on its sides. Its head has a distinctive spear-like shape when viewed from above.

They have large eyes equipped with yellow lenses which allow them to see well in dim light conditions found in the waters they inhabit. They also possess long sickle-like pectoral fins and a large first dorsal fin.

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Species profile

great barracuda

The great barracuda (Sphyraena Barracuda) can be found in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. They are typically an abundance of the Caribbean Sea, Florida, Bermuda islands to Brazil; however, they have been known to enter into brackish estuaries as well.

They will also commonly migrate along the coastlines of Central America to Mexico but are primarily found in areas around mangrove trees. Great barracudas have also been known to travel as far north as Massachusetts and Long Island, New York during the summer months.

Great Barracuda scientific name

The scientific name of the great barracuda is Sphyraena Barracuda.

Color and appearance

Great barracuda has a silver body with blue on the lower half and yellowish-green upper part. The gill cover is lined in black while their fins are typically dark grey or black.

Their backs are covered by large scales which make them appear to be armored from above, however, they do not offer protection against all predators such as the moray eel.

Their teeth are long and needle-like, designed to catch prey quickly before they have a chance to escape. Great barracudas are known for their aggressive behavior when hunting or defending themselves against danger. They will often use this in order to feed on whatever is available at the time including crabs, shrimp, octopus, eels, small fish, and other barracudas.

Great barracuda are known to grow up to an average of two feet long but have been recorded at three meters in length with the longest being four meters! They typically weigh around eight pounds but can weigh up to 45 pounds or more!

Great Barracuda habitat

Great barracuda can be found in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. They are typically an abundance of the Caribbean Sea, Florida, Bermuda islands to Brazil; however, they have been known to enter into brackish estuaries as well.

They will also commonly migrate along the coastlines of Central America to Mexico but are primarily found in areas around mangrove trees. They have also been known to travel as far north as Massachusetts and Long Island, New York during the summer months.

Great barracuda size

They can reach up to six feet in length and weighs around 30 pounds.

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Tank size

A Great barracuda requires at least a 75 gallon tank.

Life cycle

The life cycle of the great barracuda starts with the male fertilizing the eggs of a female, which she then carries for around three weeks before they hatch. The fry are free-swimming after six days and spend a lot of time in the upper water layers where they feed on zooplankton. They then spend around eighteen months in this layer until they mature.

The great barracuda is an opportunistic feeder, hunting mostly at dawn and dusk when the light levels are low enough for its sensitive eyes to function well. This species’ diet consists of a number of smaller fish such as jacks, grunts, snappers, groupers, small tuna, and mullet. It will also eat crabs, squid, and octopus when they are available.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Great barracuda are aggressive and will attack humans if provoked, especially divers who carry shiny objects such as cameras. They often swim in schools of around 20-30 fish but there have been reports of many more individuals swimming together.

Great barracuda care

great barracuda

Barracuda are popular saltwater fish that require a certain level of care to survive in captivity. This includes having the proper tank, food, decorations, and temperature for their habitat. It is important to make sure all equipment has been tested before bringing them home as well as approved by an expert or pet store employee. If they are not properly cared for, they can become stressed or ill.

Great barracuda diet

Barracuda are carnivores and require a diet of meat. The most common types used for pet fish come from either their natural prey or can be purchased at the store in pellets, sticks, or flakes. For example, live shrimp is often fed to barracuda as their part of the meal while some pellet food includes krill and silversides.

Barracuda has a powerful jaw and sharp teeth to help them consume their prey with ease. This means that they require larger food in order for it to fit into their mouth without being swallowed or crushed before they can eat it properly.

Tank mates

Barracuda can be kept in a tank with other fish, but it is important to make sure they are compatible. They should not be placed in tanks with small or slow-moving creatures as this will stress them out and cause injury when barracuda attempt to compete for food.

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Barracuda are known to be aggressive fish that can often injure or kill other fish they share the tank with. This is why it is important to research any species before adding them into an aquarium as their aggression ranges from mild to very violent depending on their mood and what type of fish they are sharing a habitat with.

It’s also important to be aware of the size difference between barracuda and other fish in order to ensure they are not out-competed for food or unable to get enough oxygen. For example, if a larger species is living with them, it’s important that their tank has plenty of hiding spaces so the barracuda don’t feel threatened while also having a tank divider so they don’t swim into the other side and injure themselves.

Water conditions

The temperature of the water is crucial to keep in mind when owning a barracuda. They need clean, clear saltwater that has been tested frequently for quality and can tolerate temperatures between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Barracuda is also known to be very sensitive fish that require high levels of oxygenated water or they could become lethargic and become ill. This means that a filter, air stones, or bubblers may be necessary to keep the water quality high enough for them to thrive in their habitat.

In order to ensure barracuda have been properly acclimated before being placed into an aquarium, it is important they gradually transition from one tank to another over the course of a day. This means gradually adding more water from the old tank into the new one until they are fully adjusted and comfortable in their environment.


great barracuda

Barracuda are not commonly bred in captivity and therefore do not lay eggs like other fish. Instead, they reproduce by spawning which is when a male releases his sperm into the water where it travels to fertilize an egg.

Spawning can be triggered by increasing their food intake as well as lowering the temperature of their water to mimic the change in seasons. It is also necessary for them to have dark tanks or special lighting setups where they can feel secure so they spawn at night when it feels safest.

Barracuda are very rare fish that require a high level of care, which makes them difficult pets to own even on an aquarium owner’s best day.

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Barracuda have very short life spans in captivity and can only survive for about 5 years on average. This is because they are known to live much longer lives in the wild, sometimes up to 25-30 years old!

This means that a barracuda’s lifespan will be far shorter when kept as a pet fish where their tank does not have the right conditions to support its life.

Parasites and diseases

Barracuda is very susceptible to parasites and diseases. It can become infected with ichthyophonus hoferi, a parasitic flatworm that causes white spot disease in the barracuda, which eventually leads it to death. Another example of this is ciguatera poisoning from eating toxic organisms such as algae or dinoflagellates.


Barracuda have few natural predators. Large, deep-diving sharks such as the tiger shark and the great white shark are probably capable of preying on barracuda, but most instances where a barracuda has been consumed by these species involve very large specimens (over 400 pounds), so this may be more rare than previously thought.

Large barracuda are known to prey on smaller barracudas, but only a few species have been documented doing so. In general, this is due to size and diet differences rather than the aggressive nature of larger fish towards their smaller counterparts.

Does it make good pets?

No. Barracuda do not make good pets due to the fact that they are large, predatory fish. They have been known to injure or kill people who keep them in aquariums, so it is very important for owners of barracudas to be aware of their aggressive nature and know how best to care for them.


Barracuda are beautiful, predatory fish that can be found all over the world. While they do not make good pets for aquariums due to their size and aggressive nature, people can still enjoy watching them in the wild.