25 Octobre 2013
The Heller’s barracuda (Sphyraena helleri) belongs to the barracuda family. However it differs from the blackfin barracuda by its silvery gray color and especially by the two gold lines that cross its body from head to tail. This fish can measure up to 80cm with an extended and thin body. It owns translucent fins and an hollow tail. It has 2 dorsal fins, 2 pectoral fins, 1 pelvic fin and 1 anal fin.
Present in the Pacific Ocean, the Heller’s barracuda can also be found in the Indian Ocean especially in the East Africa and near the Mascarene Islands. This fish is particularly fond of areas exposed to a light current as passes or reef points. It can live as deep as 200ft.
You could contemplate a great concentration of Heller’s barracuda in the Tuamotu archipelago. The barracudas move in shoal during the day. In contrast, the individuals disperse at night to search for food. Its diet is composed of small fish and more rarely of crustaceans.
Given its small size, Heller's barracuda is threatened by many large predators. So, as many fish, the reunification in shoal of numerous individuals allows the barracudas to better defend themselves.
Encountering the Heller’s barracuda during diving is often a "sparkling" moment. In fact, when you cross the path of a barracuda shoal, you often are blinded by the daylight reflecting on their silver body. Usually, this fish is not really timid, so you could easily approach a shoal without scaring them off. It is a really nice encounter !
© photos - V.Truchet, T.Kotouc