Barracudas are large saltwater fish of the genus Sphyraena. They have elongated bodies, a protruding lower jaw, and conspicuous fang-shaped teeth with aggressive tendencies. Acanthocybium solandri, also known as the wahoo, is a tropical and subtropical game fish that looks eerily like barracuda. However, following closer study, they actually differ in numerous ways! Let’s explore.
Wahoo vs Barracuda: A Comparison
|Size||Up to 8 feet, up to 158lbs||5-6 ft, up to 102lbs|
|Colors||Silver With Light Blue Stripes||Brownish Or Bluish-Gray, Green Fade To Silver, Dark Spots|
|Physical Features||Needle-Like Teeth, Long Dorsal Fin, Long Body, Forked Tail, Long Snout||Snake-Like, Fang-Like Teeth, Huge Jaws, Pointed Skulls, Tiny Scales|
|Danger||Sharp Teeth Dangerous Even After Death||Have Been Known To Bite|
|Diet||Squid And Fish, Including Mackerel, Butterfish, And Herring||Fish Such As Jacks, Grunts, Groupers, Snappers, Tiny Tunas, Mullets, Killifishes|
|Lifespan||5 to 6 years||10 to 15years|
|Habitats||Tropical And Subtropical Waters, Higher Latitudes During Summer||The Tropics, Subtropics, Shallow Waters With Submerged Coral Reefs|
|Habits||Lives A Solitary Life, Occasionally In Pairs Or Small, Groups For Feeding||Curious, Frequently Try To Steal, Hunt Primarily By Sight|
Key Differences Between Wahoo and Barracuda
The primary distinction between the Barracuda and the Wahoo is that the Barracuda refers to a genus of fish while the Wahoo refers to a specific species of fish. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss eight additional important distinctions between these two categories of fish, including their physical characteristics, the environments in which they live, and the foods that they eat!
Wahoo vs Barracuda: Size
It is possible for the Atlantic wahoo to reach a length of 8 feet and a weight of 158 pounds, while the average length is between 3 and 5 feet. A mature barracuda can reach lengths of 5 to 6 feet and weighs at least 102 pounds.
Wahoo vs Barracuda: Colors
Wahoos appear practically silver and have nearly undetectable scales, yet when excited, their bodies illuminate with blue stripes. The dorsum and top sides of the large barracuda are brownish or bluish-gray, with a greenish hue that fades to silver and a white belly.
Wahoo vs Barracuda: Physical Features
The wahoo’s dorsal fin is quite long. Its body is also long and streamlined; designed for speed. It has sharp, triangular teeth and a forked tail. Their jaws are large, and their noses are as long as their heads.
Like piranhas, barracuda have conspicuous, sharp-edged, fang-like teeth in the sockets of their jaws. Their gill covers are adorned with small scales, and they lack spines.
Wahoo vs Barracuda: Danger
Wahoos can cut into their prey and then swallow up the fragments thanks to their impressive teeth. They can be difficult to capture and handle as they are also exceedingly fast. Wahoos can even be dangerous after they have died if you accidentally touch their razor-sharp teeth.
Aquatic life may be endangered by some barracuda species. Swimmers have been known to be bitten by barracuda, however, this is an extremely rare occurrence, possibly due to poor visibility.
Wahoo vs Barracuda: Diet
Among the fish that large barracudas consume are jacks, grunts, groupers, snapper, little tunas, mullets, killifish, herring, and anchovies. To consume large fish, barracudas have broad mouths and razor-sharp teeth.
A variety of fish including mackerel, squid, butterfish, and round herring are the primary sources of the Wahoo’s diet. Its razor-sharp teeth enable it to consume larger prey.
Wahoo vs Barracuda: Lifespan
Wahoos have a 5 to 6 years life expectancy. It has been estimated that Great barracudas live for 10 to 15 years.
Wahoo vs Barracuda: Habitat
Tropics, subtropics, shallow waterways with submerged coral reefs, beaches, open seas, and mangroves are common habitats for barracuda. The great barracuda lives in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide, although it’s most widespread in the western Atlantic Ocean.
Wahoos live in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. They live year-round in tropical seas but migrate to higher latitudes in summer. The Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean encircle Mexico with Wahoo-filled waters.
Wahoo vs Barracuda: Habits
Wahoos are solitary. They sometimes form pairs or small groups around food. Instead of hiding or ambushing, they actively pursue prey. Because they hunt by sight, barracudas often take fish from spear fishers or approach divers by mistake. Adult barracudas are solitary hunters, but young barracudas gather in hundreds or thousands.
Wrapping Up Wahoo vs Barracuda
Despite their superficial similarities, barracudas and wahoo belong to two distinct fish families. To recap, the barracuda has enormous teeth that resemble fangs, but the wahoo has little teeth that resemble needles. Similarly, the wahoo’s dorsal fin is significantly longer. They also have distinct habitats, activities, and nutritional needs.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Karelj - Public Domain
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