Sphyraena guachancho Cuvier, 1829
Guachanche barracuda
photo by Freitas, R.

Family:  Sphyraenidae (Barracudas)
Max. size:  200 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 1,750.0 g
Environment:  pelagic-neritic; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 100 m,
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: Massachusetts (USA), northern Gulf of Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean Sea to Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Senegal to Angola, including the Canary Islands and Cape Verde.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 6-6; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-9; Anal spines: 2-2; Anal soft rays: 8-8. Diagnosis: 102-119 scales in lateral line; no chevrons on the flanks or, if present, not so well marked as in Sphyraena afra (Ref. 57401). Description: body elongate, slightly compressed; head large, with a long and pointed snout; interorbital space convex; hind edge of opercular bone with 2 spines; mouth large, lower jaw prominent without any skin appendage; hind end of premaxillary reaching level of anterior rim of eye in adults; teeth strong, pointed, of irregular size and turned backwards on both jaws; teeth on roof of mouth; 1st dorsal fin begins behind insertion level of ventral fin; last rays of soft dorsal and anal fins elongated, stretching over the last rays when folded back; hind end of pectoral fin stands behind insertion level of ventral fin; caudal fin forked; scales small, 102-119 in lateral line (Ref. 57401). Coloration: back and upper part of flanks greyish or olive greenish, lower part of flanks and belly silver white; in live fish, a narrow irregular and yellow stripe stretches along middle of flank; edge of ventral and anal fins blackish; ends of median caudal rays blackish; sides of adults with dark spots and vertical bars which, forward, curve to form chevrons, but not so obvious as in Sphyraena afra (Ref. 57401).
Biology:  Occurs in shallow and generally turbid coastal water over muddy bottoms, often around river estuaries. Schooling species (Ref. 6949). Occasionally enters estuaries and brackish waters (Ref. 57401). Feeds on mainly on fishes belonging to the Engraulidae, Clupeidae, Lutjanidae and Synodontidae families and also on squid from the Loliginidae family (Ref. 9626). Maximum reported size: 71cm (Ref. 57401). Marketed fresh and salted.
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 29 January 2013 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Musschoot, Tobias - 27.04.15
Checked by: Torres, Armi G. - 26.08.94

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