Sphyraena chrysotaenia

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Sphyraena chrysotaenia
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scombriformes
Family: Sphyraenidae
Genus: Sphyraena
S. chrysotaenia
Binomial name
Sphyraena chrysotaenia

Sphyraenella chrysotaenia (Klunzinger, 1884)

Sphyraena chrysotaenia, the yellowstripe barracuda, is a species of predatory, ray finned fish from the family Sphyraenidae which is found in the Indo-West Pacific region. It has entered the Mediterranean Sea from the Red Sea through the Suez Canal as a Lessepesian migrant and is now an important species in the fisheries of the eastern Mediterranean.


Sphyraena chrysotaenia has a very elongated, torpedo-shaped body, typical of the barracudas, with two well-separated dorsal fins, the first dorsal fin has with five spiny rays, with the first ray being the longest, the rays then progressively decrease in size posteriorly. The second dorsal fin has its origin in front of the origin of the anal fin. The tail is markedly forked. The pectoral fin sits directly below the origin of the first dorsal fin with the pelvic fin below it. The large head is conical with a large eye, pointed snout and slightly projecting lower jaw. The jaws and palate are lines with large canine shaped teeth which vary in size. The small scales are cycloid in form and the lateral line is almost straight.[2] The preoperculum is covered in scales and its lower posterior margin is concave. They are coloured brown-grey above and silvery below, a dusky stripe runs from the snout through centre of the eye, above the base of the pectoral fin to base of the tail, this stripe may show a yellowish tint on the head. The distal portion of first dorsal and caudal fins is blackish, the second dorsal, pectoral and base of the caudal fins are yellowish. They have been recorded up to 32 cm standard length but average 20–25 cm.[3][4]


Sphyraena chrysotenia has an Indo-West Pacific distribution occurring from the Red Sea and Madagascar east through the Indian Ocean to China and northern Australia. It was first recorded in the Mediterranean off Palestine in 1931, and had spread as far west as Malta by 1993 and north to the southern Adriatic Sea by 2002.[2] It has been misidentified as Sphyraena obtusata but this species has not been recorded from the Mediterraean.[5]


Sphyraena chrysotenia forms large schools in inshore waters in the pelagic and demersal zones to a depth of 50m. It is piscivorous, catching its food near the bottom and feeds mainly on schooling fish such as Sardinella aurita and Engraulis encrasicolus, but will also feed on crustaceans. The spawning season in the Mediterranean runs from April to September, or August to November in the central Mediterranean and the eggs and fry are planktonic, the juveniles are often recorded in very shallow waters.[2][3][6] S. chrysotaenia is a relatively short-lived species with a maximum age of 5 years old.[7] S. chrysotaenia reaches sexual maturity at a total length of 195mm for females and 197.1mm for males, usually at 2 years old.[6]

An analysis of the parasites of Sphyraena chrysotenia in the Mediterranean showed that the fish, after its invasion of this Sea, lost at least two parasite species, co-introduced three parasite species and acquired six native parasite species from its native congener Sphyraena sphyraena.[8]


Sphyraena chrysotenia is now the most common species of barracuda caught by artisanal fisheries in Lebanon, outnumbering the other landed species by 70%.[9] It can be caught in considerable quantities in inshore waters using purse-seine nets, gillnets and by trawling.[3] It was first recorded in the Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia in 2002 and now forms an important part of the total fishery.[10] In the Gulf of Suez studies showed indications of overexploitation of the stock as fish being landed were too small to be sexually mature.[7]


  1. ^ "Synonyms of Sphyraena chrysotaenia Klunzinger, 1884". Fishbase.org. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Sphyraena chrysotaenia". CIESM Atlas of Exotic Fishes in the Mediterranean Sea. CIESM. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Obtuse barracuda (Sphyraena chrysotaenia)". Marine Species Identification Portal. ETI Bioinformatics. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Sphyraena chrysotaenia, Yellowstripe barracuda, photos, facts and physical characteristics". Skaphandrus. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  5. ^ A. Zenetos; et al. (2005). "Annotated list of marine alien species in the Mediterranean with records of the worst invasive species". Mediterranean Marine Science. 6 (2): 63–118. doi:10.12681/mms.186.
  6. ^ a b Zouari-Ktari Rim; Bradai Mohamed-Nejmeddine; Bouain Abderrahmen (2009). "Reproduction and growth of the Yellowstripe Barracuda Sphyraena chrysotaenia Klunzinger, 1884, in Central Mediterranean". Reviews in Fisheries Science. 17 (4): 485–493. doi:10.1080/10641260903082471.
  7. ^ a b Azza El Ganainy; Amal Amin; Abdallah Ali; Hanan Osman (2016). "Age and growth of two barracuda species Sphyraena chrysotaenia and S. flavicauda (Family: Sphyraenidae) from the Gulf of Suez, Egypt". Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research (in Press). 43: 75–81. doi:10.1016/j.ejar.2016.09.002.
  8. ^ Boussellaa, Wiem; Neifar, Lassad; Goedknegt, M. Anouk; Thieltges, David W. (2018). "Lessepsian migration and parasitism: richness, prevalence and intensity of parasites in the invasive fish Sphyraena chrysotaenia compared to its native congener Sphyraena sphyraena in Tunisian coastal waters". PeerJ. 6: e5558. doi:10.7717/peerj.5558. ISSN 2167-8359. PMC 6140674. PMID 30233995. open access
  9. ^ Stefano Lelli; Dr Paolo Carpentieri; Dr Francesco Colloca; Sarjoun Moubayed (2006). Commercial Landing and Fishing Metiers within the Artisanal Fishery of Tyre, Lebanon (PDF) (Report).
  10. ^ Zouari-Ktari Rim; Ennejjar Samira; Bradai Mohamed-Nejmeddine; Ghorbel Mohamed; Bouain Abderrahmen (2007). "Age and Growth of the Lessepsian Migrant Sphyraena chrysotaenia Klunzinger, 1884 from the Gulf of Gabes (Eastern Mediterranean)(abstract)". Reviews in Fisheries Science. 15 (3): 169–181. doi:10.1080/10641260701484259.