Sphyraena barracuda, commonly known as Barracuda, can be found anywhere there are warm seas. Only the Eastern Pacific lacks them; they are prevalent in the tropical areas of the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic seas. Both the Red Sea and the Western Atlantic’s Bermudas had already yielded evidence of their existence.
Known for being a ferocious predator with any species in its area, they are inquisitive to swimmers and divers. If one is spearfishing under the sea, one may find Barracudas swimming nearby. Like a hunter and a hound dog, Barracudas might tag along on the journey.
Similar to piranhas, Barracudas have massive, conspicuous teeth with jagged edges and irregular shapes that are positioned in sockets within their enormous jaws. Barracudas have underbites and big, pointy heads. Barracudas can grow anywhere between 5’4 and 6 ft. Their gill coverings are coated in tiny scales and lack spines. Due to the swim bladder’s size, swimming or standing still requires little power.
The top part of a Barracuda is often bluish charcoal, deep green, white, or turquoise, with metallic sides and a chalky-white belly. The pigmentation of different species varies considerably. Some Barracuda has a row of darker straps or sporadic black patches on either side. They might have yellowish or dusky fins.
As we mentioned before, Barracudas are ferocious carnivores. Their big teeth are quite helpful for this. They can feed by slicing huge fish in half thanks to their enormous gape. They combine a sit-in-wait and an aggressive predator strategy to consume everything they can capture.
Barracudas compete for nourishment as youngsters with needlefish and tiny snapper. Depending on their environment, as the fish get older and stronger, they could compete with bigger fish like mackerel or even dolphins. Fish like jacks, grunts, groupers, snapper, tiny tunas, mullets, killifishes, herrings, anchovies, and lionfish are among the many preys that barracudas eat.
Barracuda can be found sprouting through the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the Red Sea. They’re just a few examples of the tropical and subtropical waters that these species like to inhabit. Additionally, they inhabit the seagrasses, close-by mangroves, and coral reefs. They can slither in and out of the cracks and crevices of a coral reef because of their compact skeletal structure.
The reason why they choose these habitats is all about prey availability. However, when they travel into the ocean’s broad waters, they typically swim close to the surface before diving deeper if they notice a predator nearby.
The reproduction cycles of Barracudas are not entirely clear. There’s a fair bit of speculation, but the closest to plausible time for spawning is during spring. In a shallow body of water, female Barracuda release eggs, and males discharge sperm in the process of external fertilization. A female can lay anywhere between 10,000 and 30,000 eggs.
The fertilized eggs of Barracuda are unimportant to them. They are allowed to float into the water, where they gradually gain shape. Fish enter estuaries and other shallow waterways to mature. As juvenile Barracuda grow in size, they start to explore and push further away into the surrounding habitat.
Regarding threats, Barracudas are fairly ferocious with anything that moves and is smaller than itself. Large predators like sharks, killer whales, and goliath groupers are the main predators of Barracudas. They surpass Barracudas on every avenue.
These fish are likewise threatened by people. In addition to mistakenly letting them become hooked in lines intended for other marine life, humans will capture barracudas for sustenance. The many parasites and forms of ocean pollution are additional issues that these fish must contend with. They are vulnerable to weather disasters like hurricanes, much like other marine life.
Facts about the Barracuda
- Barracudas are attracted to shiny and reflective objects.
- Barracudas tend to be very curious creatures.
- Barracudas in Florida serve the ecosystem by hunting lionfish, an invasive species.
- On average, Barracudas can swim at 36 mph.
- Huge Barracudas range from 5 to 8 ft.
Are Barracudas dangerous to humans?
When coming in contact underwater with a Barracuda, the fish will circle you because it is very curious. They think of you as a large predator and will tag along to feast on any scraps you might leave behind. If disturbed or threatened, the Barracuda will charge, flare its body, and may even bite. However, these attacks are rare. Caution is always a priority with these fish.
What attracts a Barracuda?
Like the silvery fish they eat, bright items will certainly draw the attention of barracudas. When people enter the water wearing jewelry or watches that sparkle, Barracudas may examine and believe that these items are food sources.
Do Barracudas swim close to shore?
Barracudas, particularly adult ones, can be seen swimming close to the surface of the ocean. Even though they prefer to swim in the shallow waters of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests, they occasionally stray into the open ocean’s deeper regions, frequently in quest of prey.
Are Barracudas scary?
With a narrow body that moves rapidly and a pair of jagged teeth, it’s natural to feel intimidated by Barracudas. These fish will not hold back on smaller prey. However, swimming for a long time with them and keeping a safe distance, you can see that they are calmer than Barracudas as their exterior suggests.