Military Barracuda, Sphyraena putnamae Jordan & Seale 1907

Other Names: Chevron Barracuda, Military Seapike, Military Sea-pike, Sawtooth Barracuda

A school of Military Barracuda, Sphyraena putnamae, at Palau. Source: Stephanie W. Batzer / Flickr. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0


A silvery-grey barracuda fading to silvery-white below, with many dark bars along the side that cross the lateral line, each bar oblique in upper half and almost vertical on the lower, and a mostly blackish caudal fin without white tips.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Schultz, S. 2019, Sphyraena putnamae in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jul 2024,

Military Barracuda, Sphyraena putnamae Jordan & Seale 1907

More Info


Onslow, Western Australia, to Moreton Bay, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.

Inhabits seaward reefs, bays and turbid lagoons, often forming schools during the day.


Dorsal fin V + I,9; Anal fin II, 7-9; Lateral line 123-136.

Maxilla (upper jaw) extending to just below anterior margin of eye; gill rakers absent from first arch, upper and lower gill arch with rough platelets, each platelet without a distinct spine.

Pectoral fin tip extending beyond origin of first dorsal fin; first dorsal fin origin behind pelvic fin origin; last dorsal-fin ray elongate; caudal fin forked in large adults, with a pair of lobes on the posterior margin close to midline.


To at least 87 cm.


Grey dorsally, silvery on sides, fading to white ventrally. Numerous dark bars on sides of body. Bars oblique above lateral line, almost vertical below. Caudal fin blackish, lacking white tips.


Of little interest to commercial fisheries in Australia.


Species Citation

Sphyraena putnamae Jordan & Seale 1905, Proc. Davenport Acad. Sci. (Iowa) 10: 4, Pl. 13. Type locality: Hong Kong.


Bray, D.J. & Schultz, S. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Military Barracuda, Sphyraena putnamae Jordan & Seale 1907


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. 

Blaber, S.J.M., Young, J.W. & Dunning, M.C. 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Dampier region of north-western Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36: 247-266 (as Sphyraena bleekeri)

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Johnson, J.W. & Gill, A.C. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of Sweers Island, Gulf of Carpentaria. Gulf of Carpentaria Scientific Study Report. Geography Monograph Series. Brisbane: Royal Geographic Society of Queensland. pp. 239-260 

Jordan, D.S. & Seale, A. 1907. List of fishes collected at Hong Kong by Captain William Finch, with description of five new species. Proceedings of the Davenport Academy of Sciences 10: 1-17 pls 1-13 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

Russell, B.C. & Houston, W. 1989. Offshore fishes of the Arafura Sea. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 6(1): 69-84 

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. 

Senou, H. 2001. Sphyraenidae. pp. 3685-3697 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37382006

Depth:0-20 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:90 cm TL

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