Blackfin Barracuda, Sphyraena qenie Klunzinger 1870

Blackfin Barracuda, Sphyraena qenie, at the Snake Pit near Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Anne Hoggett / Lizard Island Field Guide, License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike


One of the largest barracudas, the Blackfin Barracuda grows to 1.7 m and almost 30 kg in weight and is found in inshore waters and on coral reefs.

Cite this page as:
Schultz, S., Sphyraena qenie in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Jan 2020,

Blackfin Barracuda, Sphyraena qenie Klunzinger 1870

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adjacent to reefs


Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific, though its exact range and occurrences are uncertain due to identification issues. In Australia it is found off Queensland, both in inshore waters and on outer reefs. A common, schooling, species, known for its site fidelity with schools occupying the same sites over long time periods. A nocturnal feeder, most often caught on lures trolled at dawn or dusk.


D VI, 9; A II, 7-9; Llat 127-130.

Maxilla (upper jaw) reaches to just below anterior margin of eye. First gill arch with platelets that lack distinct spines. Pectoral fin tip reaches beyond origin of first dorsal fin. First dorsal fin origin posterior to pelvic fin origin. Caudal fin forked, adults have a pair of small lobes on the posterior margin close to the midline.


To at least 170 cm and at least 29 kg.


Dull blue dorsally, silvery on sides, fading to white ventrally. Numerous dark bars, extending below lateral line. Bars oblique above lateral line, almost vertical below. Caudal fin mostly black.


Of no interest to commercial fisheries. Highly prized by recreational anglers.



Similar Species

Confusing species are Sphyraena jello and S. putnamae, the former has a yellow caudal fin which lacks lobes on the posterior margin, and the latter is distinguishable by the elongated fin ray (most posterior ray) on the second dorsal fin.

Species Citation

Sphyraena qenie Klunzinger 1870, Verhandlungen der K.-K. zoologisch-botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 20: 823, Al-Quseir [Kosseir], Egypt, Red Sea.


Schultz, S.

Blackfin Barracuda, Sphyraena qenie Klunzinger 1870


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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37382009

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map