Sphyraena ensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Sphyraenidae

Scientific Name: Sphyraena ensis Jordan & Gilbert, 1882
Common Name(s):
English Mexican Barracuda, Barracuda
French Bécune Mexicaine
Spanish Barracuda Mexicana, Barracuda Picúa, Picuda, Picuda Picúa

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-05-02
Assessor(s): Robertson, R., Collette, B., Molina, H. & Guzman-Mora, A.G.
Reviewer(s): Carpenter, K., Polidoro, B. & Livingstone, S. (Global Marine Species Assessment Team)
This species is common and widespread in the tropical eastern Pacific. There are no known threats. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is present in the eastern Pacific from southern California to the southwestern and central eastern Gulf of California to northern Chile, and is seen rarely at Malpelo.
Countries occurrence:
Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – southeast
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):25
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is a common species in artisanal fisheries in Panama (Sommer 1995). There is no other population information available for this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This pelagic species is fairly common (Sommer 1995); it is found in the continental shelf (CENAIM 1992). According to Cooke (1992), this species may occasionally be found in middle estuaries, mangroves and bar-formed lagoons along the tropical eastern Pacific region. It is usually found in schools. It is found to 25m.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known threats for this species.

This species is an important commercial fish in Golfo de Montijo, Panama (Vega 2004). It is an important food fish in Mexico, the USA (Sommer 1995), and Colombia. Most of the Mexican production is frozen for export (Sommer 1995).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species specific conservation measures for this species. However, this species' distribution includes a number of Marine Protected Areas in the tropical eastern Pacific region.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.1. Marine Neritic - Pelagic

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

CENAIM. 1992. A field guide to the edible fishes and shellfishes in coastal waters of Ecuador.

Cooke, R. 1992. Prehistoric nearshore and littoral fishing in the eastern tropical pacific: an icthyological evaluation. Journal of World Prehistory 6(1): 1-49.

Froese, R., Palomares, M. and Pauly, D. 2002. Estimation of life history key facts of fishes. Available at:

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

IUCN and UNEP. 2014. The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). Cambridge, UK. Available at: .

Robertson, D.R. and Allen, G.R. 2006. Shore fishes of the tropical eastern Pacific: an information system. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Panamá.

Sommer, C. 1995. Sphyraenidae. Barracudas, picudas. FAO, Rome.

Vega, A.J. 2004. Evaluación del recurso pesquero en el Golfo de Montijo. Ciudad de Panamá.

Citation: Robertson, R., Collette, B., Molina, H. & Guzman-Mora, A.G. 2010. Sphyraena ensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T178106A7488815. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
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