Sphyraena flavicauda

Yellowtail barracuda | Shortjawed Barracuda | Shortjawed Seapike | Yellow-tail Barracuda | Yellowstripe Barracuda
Sphyraena flavicauda
Sphyraena flavicauda, Ha'apai Is, Tonga, Photo: Andrew Green
Sphyraena flavicauda
Sphyraena flavicauda, QLD, Australia, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
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Sphyraena flavicauda
Sphyraena flavicauda


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Narrow silver body, often with stripes along sides. Spiny 1st dorsal fin, when extended, is similar height to soft rear dorsal fin. This fin is slightly higher than soft dorsal fin in almost identical S. obtusata (Striped Barracuda), which also has a slightly shorter pectoral fin. Both may or may not have yellow tail. Two other very similar small barracudas, S. forsteri (Blackspot Barracuda) and S. helleri (Heller's Barracuda), differ by pelvic fin position further towards tail, but are very difficult to distinguish in field.


Max Size: 60 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 22-32.2°C

Depth: 2-25m

Habitat Generalization Index: 0.92

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (3.1% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Many (43 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: RD Stuart-Smith, GJ Edgar, AJ Green, IV Shaw. 2015. Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland