In Latin the barracuda goes by the name of Sphyraena. To me though, the barracuda is...
A pretty impressive fish, although compared to other fish species such as the shark, not too much is known about this predator of the deep. We’re gonna focus on the great barracuda that is normally found in the reefs off the Florida Keys. Let’s start with…
The barracuda has a pretty slender, streamlined body. It has a large mouth and the top of its head is nearly flat. They have large razor sharp teeth and a projecting lower jaw
They range in color from a sorta brownish to bluish gray on top and a greenish to silver color on their sides. Their belly is white. When young, they can alter these color patterns in order to camouflage themselves from either other predators or potential prey. They seem to lose this ability as they age.
As fish go, the barracuda is considered quite large. The largest one ever hooked was about 5 ½ feet in length and weighed in at 103 pounds. Its thought that they can reach upwards of 6 feet and weigh about 120 pounds
Your “average” barracuda has a lifespan of about 14 years. Males reach sexual maturity at the age of two and females at the ripe old age of four.
Where Do They Spawn?
Since the barracuda makes its home in large open waters, little is known about their spawning habits. It is believed that they go to deeper waters and away from the reefs in order to reproduce. This might reduce the likelihood of smaller fish that live around the reef of eating their larvae.
When Do They Spawn?
There are many theories. Some indicate that barracuda spawn only at certain times throughout the year while others seem to think that their spawning habits are dictated by the phases of the moon. Others seem to think that the barracuda spawn year round with the exception of the colder winter months.
Do They Make Good Parents?
In a traditional sense, no. Once the eggs are fertilized and deposited, they are subject to drifting around on the ocean currents. Barracuda do not stick around to care for their young.
What Do They Eat?
Barracudas are not what you would call “picky eaters.” A young barracuda’s diet might consist of small fish such as herrings, sardines, small mullets, anchovies and jacks. As they grow older they graduate to such prey as snapper, grouper, tuna, mackerel and just about any other fish that frequent the reef.
How Do They Catch Their Prey?
Usually by a combination of sight and stealth. Barracuda will come up on their prey from behind at speeds clocked at nearly 40 miles per hour and depending on the size of the prey, either swallow it whole or sever it into manageable chunks with their razor sharp teeth.
Who Eats Them?
Well, in their infancy, they are subject to any number of predators. As they reach adulthood, only dolphins, giant tuna, and the occasional lucky shark have the equipment to take on the barracuda. As for us humans, the barracuda is considered more of a “sporting” fish than that of a meal and therefore barracuda fishing has not been commercialized.
Generally thought of as the solitary type, schools numbering in the hundreds and upwards of a thousand younger barracuda have been observed. This tendency towards schooling seems to wane as the barracuda age.
Are They Dangerous?
If I were another fish, the answer would be yes. Being a human and as along with almost everything else, we pose more of threat to the barracuda since pollution has taken its toll and the chance of barracuda getting caught up in commercial fishing nets always exists
Barracuda attacks on humans are rare although they have been known to trail after divers and snorklers. Most attacks by barracudas occur against folks who enjoy the sport of spearfishing. Either the barracuda might try and steal a fish that has been recently speared and/or mistake the shiny equipment such as knives for that of a fish and launch an attack.
Somebody really ought to node the car that went by the same name, it was a classic...If you do, please msg me..thx