Blackspot Barracuda, Sphyraena forsteri Cuvier 1829

Other Names: Bigeye Barracuda, Big-eye Sea-pyke, Black-spot Barracuda, Blotched Sea-pike

Blackspot Barracuda, Sphyraena forsteri, at Maale, Maldives. Source: Philippe Guillaume / Flickr. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial


Little is known about this small barracuda.

Cite this page as:
Schultz, S., Sphyraena forsteri in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Dec 2020,

Blackspot Barracuda, Sphyraena forsteri Cuvier 1829

More Info


near reefs


Found throughout the tropical and sub-tropical Indo-Pacific. In Australia, recorded from all coastal waters with the exception of Victoria and Tasmania. Inhabits coral reefs and lagoons. Nocturnal, but forms large schools during the day.


D VI, 9; A II, 9; Llat 112-133.

Maxilla (upper jaw) just reaches the anterior margin of the eye, or not at all. First gill arch bears platelets, each with distinct spines. Pectoral fin reaches beyond origin of first dorsal fin. Origin of first dorsal fin posterior to origin of pelvic fin. Caudal fin forked in all stages, lobeless.


To 65 cm.


Dark green dorsally, silvery on sides, fading to white ventrally. Body without bars or stripes, small dusky spot present behind axil of pectoral fin. Caudal fin dark.


Of no interest to fisheries in Australia. Possibly taken by recreational fishermen trolling lures.




Named for Johann Reinhold Forster (1729-1798), a German naturalist who travelled with Captain Cook on his second voyage in 1772.

Species Citation

Sphyraena forsteri Cuvier 1829, Historie naturelle des poissons. 3: 353, New Guinea [Neotype. Originally based on a drawing of fish from Tahiti.]


Schultz, S.

Blackspot Barracuda, Sphyraena forsteri Cuvier 1829


Eschmeyer, W.N. (2008) The Catalogue of Fishes on-line. (California Academy of Sciences: San Francisco) Available from:  (13 March 2009).

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:37382005

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