The barracuda is of the genus Sphyraena, a ray-finned fish armed with sharp jagged teeth giving it the title "Tiger of the Sea." It has a uniform, stream-lined body similar to a torpedo that is both slim and flexible allowing it to swim gracefully through coral reefs with the narrow openings and sharp turns. The barracuda has an unusual gas-filled chamber that the barracuda can inflate or deflate allowing it to raise or lower its body to a different level and its body is covered with very smooth undersized scales. The barracuda floats in murky water waiting for its prey to swim into range, and it lunges forward with great speed capturing its meal of smaller fish, anchovies, grunts and mullets. The larger barracuda is very inquisitive and bold and is potentially dangerous to humans. The barracuda has mistaken arms or legs for fish on numerous occasions tearing into unsuspecting swimmers. The Barracuda is normally found in warm and tropical areas, however, can also be found in the more temperate areas. These sleek swimming machines can grow as big as six or seven feet depending on their locale.
The upper body of the barracuda is gray, dark blue or dark green with a chalky-white belly; it has very distinctive shimmery silver sides. Their fins can be dusky or yellowish in color; some of them have dark cross bars or black spots on the sides. The great barracuda prefers living in brackish water; others are primarily found in the oceans waters around the world. Fishing for barracuda is a very popular sport, and the meat from the fish is favored as fillets or steaks. In West Africa, they smoke their barracuda giving them a distinct smoky flavor and are used in soups and sauces. The great barracuda is believed to be the cause of ciguatera food poisoning.