European Barracuda (Sphyraena Sphyraena)

Latin name: Sphyraena sphyraena
Common name: European barracuda
Other names: Great barracuda
In other languages: E: Espeton, F: Bacune Europenne, D: Europäischer Barrakuda
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Sphyraenidae
Genus: Sphyraena

Distribution: The listed species is common throughout the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and also in the Atlantic.

Habitat: Can be seen in coastal waters during the summer months.

Behaviour: Swimming in shoals with larger adult specimens being more solitary. They are ferocious predators.

Size: Common: 30 - 50cm, maximum: 165cm.

Did you know? The European barracuda has been regarded by many as dangerous to man (divers and swimmers). We however have never known or heard of them harming anyone in the Mediterranean. Regarding their size, it would be wise though, to observe them from a distance instead of approaching them when chance permits. There are now three species of sphyraenidae within the Mediterranean. One being as listed above, another one being sphyraena viridensis. Though not as abundant as the above listed species, it does on many occasions get misclassed as the same one and frequents the north coast as Africa as far as the Nile delta. The third species is sphyraena chrysotaenia. This species is an immigrant from the Red Sea via the Suez Canal and much smaller than the two previously named species.