Pickhandle Barracuda, Sphyraena jello Cuvier 1829

Other Names: Dingo-fish, Giant Seapike, Giant Sea-pike, Pick-handle Barracuda, Sea Pike, Slender Seapike

Pickhandle Barracuda, Sphyraena jello, at Raja Ampat, Irian Jaya Barat, Indonesia. Source: David R / iNaturalist. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike


One of the larger barracuda species, the Pickhandle Barracuda is found in small schools in inshore waters.

Cite this page as:
Schultz, S., Sphyraena jello in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Aug 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2549

Pickhandle Barracuda, Sphyraena jello Cuvier 1829

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Distribution approximately centred on northern Australia, extending to Africa in the west and Vanuata in the east. Found in inshore tropical and sub-tropical areas, including turbid inshore waters and estuaries. In Australia, found in northern waters from Shark Bay in WA to Jervis Bay in NSW. Exact distributional range uncertain due to identification problems. 

Active during the day, forming small schools, though larger individuals tend to be solitary.


D VI, 9; A II, 7-9; Llat 130-140.

Maxilla (upper jaw) reaches to just below anterior margin of the eye. First gill arch with platelets, without distinct spines. Origin of first dorsal fin posterior to pelvic fin origin. Caudal fin forked, lobeless.


To 125cm and at least 15 kg.


Dark brown/green dorsally, silver on sides, fading to white ventrally. Numerous dark bars, extending below lateral line. Bars oblique above lateral line, almost vertical below. Caudal fin yellow.


A popular fish for recreational fishers.



Species Citation

Sphyraena jello Cuvier 1829, Historie naturelle des poissons. 3: 349,Vizagapatam, India.


Schultz, S.

Pickhandle Barracuda, Sphyraena jello Cuvier 1829


Hoese, D.F., D.J. Bray, J.R. Paxton, & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. in Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.

Senou, H. (2001). Sphyraenidae. pp. 3685-3697 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds) The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

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CAAB Code:37382004

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