Animal Species:Yellowtail Barracuda, Sphyraena obtusata Cuvier, 1829

The Yellowtail Barracuda is a relatively small schooling species that occurs in coastal and estuarine waters of tropical and temperate Australia.

Yellowtail Barracuda, Sphyraena obtusata

Richard Vevers © Richard Vevers

Standard Common Name

Yellowtail Barracuda

Alternative Name/s

Dingo Fish, Short-finned Sea-pike, Short-finned Seapike, Short-jawed Sea-pike, Yellowstripe Barracuda

Identification

The Yellowtail Barracuda is yellowish or greenish to brown above and silvery below. It usually has two stripes on the side of the body, and sometimes a line of whitish bars may be present on the upper sides. It has an elongate body but is actually shorter than most other barracudas. The first dorsal fin is positioned over the tip of the pectoral fin (versus well behind it).

Size range

It does not grow as large as many other barracudas. Maximum length is around 55 cm.

Similar Species

It looks similar to the Longfin Pike, but as its name suggests, this species has longer dorsal and anal fin bases.

Distribution

In Australia, the species occurs from north-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country, and south on the east coast as far as the Sydney region of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Sphyraena obtusata

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Yellowtail Barracuda specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The Yellowtail Barracuda lives in coastal and estuarine waters.

Other behaviours and adaptations

It is a schooling species.

Classification

Species:
obtusata
Genus:
Sphyraena
Family:
sphyraenidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Gomon, M.F., Bray, D. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 2008. The Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland. Pp. 928.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Yellowtail Barracuda, Sphyraena obtusata, Sphyraenidae, green, brown, silver, long and skinny, 30 cm - 1 m, countershaded, stripes or bands, estuarine, marine, adult,