Sphyraena argentia

Spanish: Picuda Barracuda, Barracuda Plateada.

Pacific barracudas are thin barracudas rarely exceeding 4.5  kg, they grow to a maximum length of 1.2 m. They can be distinguished from Mexican barracudas by their silvery sides and a general lack of bars or spots.

The Pacific Barracuda is characterized by its overall barracuda-like appearance, blue-brown back, series of faint oblique bars above the prominent dark lateral line, and silver underbody.

The fins of this fish species have grey rays and yellowish membranes. Its pelvic fins originate well behind the pectoral fins and under the first dorsal fin. The Pacific Barracuda's pectoral fins are short, with 16 rays. The caudal fin is deeply forked. The Pacific Barracuda is found in the first 50 feet of the water column, in and around reefs.

Pacific barracudas are slender, predatory fishes with small scales, a large mouth with fang-like teeth, and a protruding lower jaw. The tail fin is forked and the two dorsal fins are widely separated.

Pacific barracudas have well-deserved reputations for being a voracious hunters. Fish, such as groupers, grunts, snapper, bream and even young barracudas are among its prey. The barracuda attacks swiftly, charging at its prey at great speed and taking a large snapping bite with its powerful jaws. The barracuda uses its acute eyesight to hunt and will usually move quickly toward light or sudden movement that might indicate the presence of prey. In murky water, it tends to attack an object even before identifying it. When several barracudas hunt in a group they will often herd their prey together into a dense shoal, forcing the fish towards shallow water so that they can feed on a greater number of fish.

In Mexico fishing waters, the Pacific Barracuda is found all along the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula, on the eastern side of Baja as far north as Loreto, and around the Revillagigedos Islands. It is absent from other parts of the Sea of Cortez and is not found along the coast of the mainland.

The Pacific Barracuda reaches a maximum length of 4 feet, and 18 pounds in weight.


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