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Barracudas or Wahoos?

Discussion in 'Name that Critter' started by ZapDiver, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. ZapDiver

    ZapDiver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Guadalajara, México
    Hi! About 3 months ago I had a great dive in Manzanillo mexico surrounded by a huge school of barracudas (or so I thought). But recently someone said to me that it's probable that they were Wahoos, can someone please tell me what are this and how to know the difference?

    I don't know how to post the picture inside this post, so this thumbnail is a link to the bigger picture inside the pictures area of scubaboard.


    (1) How big is the critter?
    3-5 ft large

    (2) Where in the world is the critter?
    Manzanillo, Colima, México

    (3) What sort of habitat (reef, wreck, sand, rubble etc) is the critter in?
    I don't know how it's called, its a group of 3 or 4 rocks that comes from 130 ft and deeper and over the surface.

    (4) How deep is the critter?
    20 - 50 ft

    (5) What time of day (or night) did you see the critter?
    Around 10 am

    (6) Any observed behavior of the critter...
    There were hundreds of them.
  2. dumpsterDiver

    dumpsterDiver Banned

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    cuda sorry
  3. Bratface

    Bratface Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: St Thomas, VI
    Definitely barracudas
  4. Dirty-Dog

    Dirty-Dog Frequently Censored ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pueblo West, CO, USA
    I'm no icthyologist, but looks like barracuda to me.
  5. diversteve

    diversteve disengaged ScubaBoard Supporter

    Barracuda. Wahoo have a front dorsal fin. The ones in your photo don't. ex:


  6. Variegated

    Variegated Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Adelaide, Australia
    Pretty Sure your photo is subadult barracuda the giveaway being the comparatively reduced prosterior (front) dorsal fin in the barracuda to me.


    Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans: in tropical and subtropical waters, including the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas.

    Short description
    Dorsal spines (total): 23 - 27; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12 - 16; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 12 - 14; Vertebrae: 62 - 64. Mouth large with strong, triangular, compressed and finely serrate teeth. Snout about as long as the rest of head. Posterior part of maxilla completely concealed under preorbital bone. Gill rakers absent. Interpelvic process small and bifid. Swim bladder present. Body covered with small scales. No anterior corselet developed. The back is iridescent bluish green; the sides silvery with 24 to 30 cobalt blue vertical bars which extend to below the lateral line.


    An oceanic, epipelagic species frequently solitary or forming small loose aggregations rather than compact schools. Feed on fishes and squids. Eggs and larvae are pelagic (Ref. 6769). An important sport fish in some areas (Ref. 9340). Marketed fresh, salted or spice-cured slices of meat; also frozen (Ref. 9987). Flesh of very good quality (Ref. 9684).

    Sphyraena barracuda, Great barracuda : fisheries, gamefish, aquarium

    Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and east coast of Africa to Hawaii and the Marquesan and Tuamoto islands. Western Atlantic: Massachusetts (USA), Bermuda, and throughout the Caribbean Sea to Brazil (Ref. 9626). Eastern Atlantic: Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Nigeria, Senegal (Ref. 6949), Mauritania (Ref. 5377), St. Paul's Rocks (Ref. 13121), and São Tomé Island (Ref. 34088).
    Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

    Short description
    Dorsal spines (total): 6; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9 - 9; Anal spines: 1; Anal soft rays: 10. Distinguished by the double emarginate tail fin with pale tips on each lobe, and (usually) the presence of a few scattered black blotches on the lower sides (Ref. 1602). Top of head between eyes flat or concave; mouth large (Ref. 26938).

    Found predominantly at or near the surface (Ref. 6949, 48637). Juvenile occurs among mangroves, estuaries and shallow sheltered inner reef areas; adult occurs in a wide range of habitats from murky inner harbors to open seas. Diurnal and solitary, but can also be found in small aggregations. Feeds on fishes, cephalopods and sometimes on shrimps (Ref. 9626, 48637). Sold fresh. Utilized also dried or salted (Ref. 9987). Although this species is ciguatoxic elsewhere throughout its range, it has not been reported to be poisonous in the eastern Atlantic (Ref. 6949, 48637). Rarely attacks humans, usually with one quick, fierce strike, which, although serious, is rarely fatal. The world's record on hook and line is a 5.5-ft. fish taken in the Bahamas that weighed 103 lbs. (Ref. 13442).
  7. SeeWorld

    SeeWorld Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago suburbs
    Barracuda ... besides the great diagnostics already mentioned, note how the lower jaw protrudes past the upper jaw.
  8. ZapDiver

    ZapDiver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Guadalajara, México
    Thank you very much for all your answers, I'm convinced now that they were barracudas.

    I was impressed when I saw that battery of barracudas, I've never saw a live barracuda before and that dive made my day :D.

    Now I hope to see a wahoo so I can see in person the difference.
  9. koozemani

    koozemani Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Tucson, AZ
    Wahoo are delicious. That's the best way to tell.
  10. NC Wreck Diver

    NC Wreck Diver Barracuda

    # of Dives:
    Location: 40 Miles North of Philadelphia, PA
    Hey ZapDiver:

    They are cuda's. If it was a wahoo, I would have tried to shoot it! Wahoos are nice game fish.

    How is Guadalajara? I used to go there 4 times a year for business to all the electronics firms.

    Safe Diving to you.

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