yellowmouth barracuda

Scientific name Sphyraena viridensis
Descriptor Cuvier
Year of description 1829
IUCN category LC
Family Sphyraenidae
Genus Sphyraena
Sphyraena viridensis Sphyraena viridensis


Sphyraena viridensis, more commonly known as yellowmouth barracuda, is a predator found in the Mediterranean Sea and along the temperate eastern Atlantic ocean coastline.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    40 cm
  • Maximum size
    128 cm
  • Pattern
    vertical stripes
  • Average size
    40 cm
  • Maximum size
    128 cm
  • Pattern
    vertical stripes

How to recognize the yellowmouth barracuda ?

This large fusiform predator is primarily silver-gray with a darker back than belly. It has around twenty black stripes on its sides.

The head of the yellowmouth barracuda is slender and pointed, with a large eye located in the middle of the head and a large mouth. The fins are gray. The caudal fin is homocercal.

Unlike the barracuda, the teeth of the yellowmouth barracuda are not visible when its jaws are closed.

From afar, it is sometimes confused with the great barracuda, Sphraena sphyraena, but the stripes of the latter are less pronounced.

Sexual dimorphism

There is no apparent sexual dimorphism in the yellowmouth barracuda.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Sociability
    living in a group or alone
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The yellowmouth barracuda is a formidable predator that feeds on fish, cephalopods, and sometimes crustaceans. Juveniles are found in schools of hundreds of individuals, while adults are more solitary and territorial.

Curious, it does not hesitate to slowly approach divers. This fish, positioned in the food chain, is not accustomed to being challenged.


  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui pond en eau libre

This fish is an oviparous species that spawns in open water. The larvae are pelagic, and then the juveniles group together along the coast.

Harmless species

This fish does not pose a danger to humans. However, it is advisable to be cautious when fishing for this species as it is equipped with sharp teeth.

Where to find it?

Geographic distribution & Conservation

It is present in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, from Cape Verde to Iceland, and in the Mediterranean Sea. It is targeted by fisheries in several regions of the Mediterranean, particularly in Turkey. It is also sometimes caught as bycatch.

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Depth
    1 - 100 m

Biotope presentation

This species is most often found in shallow waters or near the surface. However, it can also be encountered at depths of up to 100 meters.

As adults, they inhabit a wide range of habitats. They usually lie in wait in rocky areas or near reefs. They are also found in sandy areas near estuaries or in port zones.

Species of the same biotope


Not recommended

We do not recommend keeping this species in an aquarium. It has unpredictable needs which, if not met, generate significant stress, potentially leading to a shorter life expectancy, an interruption of its growth or the development of pathogens.

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Adrien Falzon

Adrien Falzon

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer

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Template and content © Fishipedia - Unauthorized reproduction without prior request - ISSN 2270-7247 - Last modification 12/11/2023

Same genus

Species of the same biotope

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