What Do Barracuda Eat? – Full Guide

what do barracuda eat

Barracuda are some of the most impressive predatory fish on the planet. They can grow more than 5 feet long and weigh as much as 100 pounds.

This species of fish is predatory in nature and uses the element of surprise to hunt its prey.

Barracuda are capable of swimming at speeds of 36mph and are incredibly agile, which makes them elusive to their few natural predators.

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at the barracuda’s diet and specifically answer what do barracuda eat?

This fish typically feeds on other smaller species of fish including jacks, snappers, grunts, anchovies, herrings, and much more.

What Do Barracuda Actually Eat?

Barracuda are opportunistic feeders which will feed on most species of fish that cross their path. They are predatory in nature and actively hunt and kill their prey.

This species of fish has a torpedo-like shape that is perfect for swimming at high speeds through the ocean, escaping their few natural predators, or chasing after prey.

They hunt mainly using their sight, and they even sometimes attempt to steal spearfishermen’s catch instead of hunting their own.

The diet of barracuda is varied. Below I’ve listed some of the most common prey for barracuda:

  • Groupers
  • Herring
  • Jacks
  • Grunts
  • Snappers
  • Anchovies
  • Small tuna
  • Killifishes
  • Mullets

Barracuda are not fussy eaters and will eat a variety of smaller fishes that swim into their territory.

They are even known to eat smaller barracuda at times which makes them cannibals.

Do Barracuda Eat Meat?

Barracudas are carnivores which means they do indeed eat meat. Their diet consists of a range of different smaller fishes that they are able to catch.

They have a mouth full of large, razor-sharp teeth that can be as large as 1-inch in length.

Barracuda use their large teeth to rip and shred their prey before digesting it. They are most certainly meat-eaters that feed on other fish.

How Do Barracudas Hunt?

This species of fish is well known for its aggressive nature and high-performing build that allows them to chase and hunt fish.

They use the element of surprise to catch their prey off guard, hiding in reefs at night before bursting after their prey at speeds of up to 36mph.

Barracuda use their sight to identify prey, and once they catch it they have large, sharp teeth they use to tear chunks out of their prey before consuming it.

They are large, powerful fish that are incredibly agile in the water. Their torpedo-shaped body allows them to reduce drag in the water, ensuring they have the speed needed to catch even the most agile of prey.

They are formidable hunters that have very few natural predators in the wild.

Barracuda are also scavengers that will sometimes trial spearfishermen in hopes that they can snag an easy meal from their catch.

More On The Barracudas Diet

Barracuda can often be found swimming in the ocean in search of plankton-feeding fish.

Their silver body makes them difficult for prey to detect, giving the barracuda the element of surprise before it strikes.

They use their eyesight to identify prey and tend to notice more brightly colored fish, reflections, or unique movement patterns.

This can mean that they sometimes confuse a divers knife for a silverfish, which can be a little unnerving to see a fully grown barracuda rushing towards you teeth first only to find out that you’re a human, not their dinner.

For this reason, if you do ever go diving in waters that you know may be home to barracuda, it’s a good idea to ensure you don’t have any reflective gear on you, such as knives, compasses, or any metal.

Any of these objects could reflect light which could trigger a barracuda to attack, thinking that it’s a small fish.

The good news is that barracuda are not interested in humans, they are very passive towards people and attacks on humans are incredibly rare.

Most attacks occur when the barracuda are swimming in murky waters and mistake humans for large prey, but most attacks can be avoided with some basic precautions.

Barracuda generally feed on large schools of fish, as this way they get the most bang for their buck.

They prefer to spend as little energy as possible whilst hunting for food, but will also burst after prey if they believe it’s worth it.

They have been known to force schools of fish into shallow waters where they can effortlessly pick off large amounts of prey at one time.

These fish are also scavengers and will pick off the remains of dead fish, whales, sharks, and other animals.

They are more than happy feeding on scraps instead of expending their own energy to hunt their own food.

Final Thoughts

So, what do barracuda eat? They feed on a varied diet of smaller fish that includes groupers, herring, jacks, grunts, and much more.

These predatory fish use their incredible speed to chase after prey, and then their large teeth to tear chunks out of it before consuming their catch.

Barracuda are impressive hunters that are at the top of the food chain and have few natural predators.

However, sharks, orca, dolphins, and large tuna will not pass up on the opportunity to feed on barracuda should they come across one, and if they can catch it.

Hopefully, this post has been helpful and you’ve learned something new today about the barracuda’s diet.

Feel free to stick around to learn more about barracuda and many other species of fish and marine life.

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