Family: SPHYRAENIDAE, Barracudas
large canine teeth
Barracudas are medium large fishes (up to 2 m) with very elongate bodies that are cylindrical at the front; head long with a long pointed snout; large protractile mouth with a distinctly protruding lower jaw; jaws and roof of mouth with many long sharp-edged teeth of unequal sizes; gill rakers absent, or present as 1-2 short spines or spiny plates at angle of gill arch; two widely separated dorsal fins (V + I, 8-10); anal fin small, II, 7-10, similar to and under 2nd dorsal; small pectorals; pelvics I, 5, small, inserted well behind pectoral base; a forked tail; small smooth scales; a well-developed, straight, complete lateral line; silvery, often with darker bars or chevron markings.
The family, which is circumglobal in tropical and subtropical areas, contains 1 genus, with ~ 26 species. In our region there are three species, one circumtropical and two W Atlantic.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER RUSSELL (2002)