Striped Barracuda (species: Sphyraena obtusata) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Sphyraena obtusata
Striped Barracuda

©Andy Lewis: Striped Barracuda, GBR.

©Andy Lewis: An adult Striped Barracuda

©Lyle Vail: Striped Barracuda at Lizard Island
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Sphyraenidae
Genus Sphyraena
Species Sphyraena obtusata



Distinguishing features

A elongate silvery fish with large eyes, two faint dark stripes along the flank, and a yellowish tail. Usually seen in large schools along shallow reef margins.


  • Up to 60 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



Doiuchi and Nakabo (2005) recognise three species in the "obtusata" group, of which two occur on the Great Barrier Reef: Sphyraena obtusata (including its synonym Sphyraena flavicaudata) and Sphyraena pinguis.

There are no records of Sphyraena pinguis from the Lizard Island area as yet (Feb 2019) but it's possible that some of the photos provided here for Sphyraena obtusata are incorrectly identified.

by Anne Hoggett


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Shallow patch reefs and rocky shores in a sheltered location.

Can be found in most sheltered locations around the island.


This species feeds on reef based crustaceans when small but then preys on small fishes in the adult sizes. They are usually seen quietly aggregating near prominant coral bommies during the daytime, and the same school will use an area for an extended period of time. Schools can be seen near the clam gardens in Watson's Bay, and at the Horseshoe Reef.

Web resources


  • Doiuchi, R. and T. Nakabo (2005). The Sphyraena obtusata group (Perciformes: Sphyraenidae) with a description of a new species from southern Japan, Ichthyological Research, 52: 132-151. LIRS catalog number 90146.