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.
Standard Common Name
Dingo Fish, Short-finned Sea-pike, Short-finned Seapike, Short-jawed Sea-pike, Yellowstripe Barracuda
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).
It does not grow as large as many other barracudas. Maximum length is around 55 cm.
It looks similar to the Longfin Pike, but as its name suggests, this species has longer dorsal and anal fin bases.
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.
Distribution by collection data
The Yellowtail Barracuda lives in coastal and estuarine waters.
Other behaviours and adaptations
It is a schooling species.
- Gomon, M.F., Bray, D. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 2008. The Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland. Pp. 928.
- 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.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology