Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    obtusata
    Genus
    Sphyraena
    Family
    sphyraenidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It does not grow as large as many other barracudas. Maximum length is around 55 cm.

Introduction

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

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).

Habitat

The Yellowtail Barracuda lives in coastal and estuarine waters.

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

Ozcam map of Yellowtail Barracuda specimens in the Australian Museum. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=Sphyraena%20obtusata&zoom=off#mapView

Other behaviours and adaptations

It is a schooling species.

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.