Thyrsites atun

Thyrsites atun
Thyrsites atun, Hobart, TAS, Photo: Graham Edgar
Thyrsites atun
Thyrsites atun, Bathurst Channel, TAS, Photo: Lizzi Oh
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Thyrsites atun
Thyrsites atun


Temperate Australasia


Elongate silver fish that occurs in schools and has a superficial resemblance to the barracudas (family Sphyraenidae), although not closely related. Adult barracouta are commonly taken on trolled lures near the Victorian and Tasmanian coasts, while small schools of juveniles sometimes enter sheltered bays. The species was once a mainstay of the fish and chip trade but stocks crashed in the mid 1970s and are yet to recover. Fillets of this fish also lost favour with the public, because they are often infested with a parasitic tapeworm that, although harmless to humans, turns the flesh soft and milky.


Max Size: 200 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 10.4-19.9°C

Depth: 0-200m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

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 (2.6% 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 (72 per transect)

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

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney