Great Barracuda Koh Tao
Learn about Great Barracuda on Koh Tao
The Great Barracuda is the largest out of the Barracuda family and is considered to be a highly skilled apex predator.
Great Barracuda are amazing to look at underwater and always provide scuba divers with a memorable experience and you can see just how big they can grow.
Where to find the Great Barracuda on Koh Tao
Great Barracuda can be found around a number of dive sites and even snorkeling locations around Koh Tao.
Dive sites like Sail Rock Pinnacle, Chumphon Pinnacle and Southwest Pinnacle are prime spots to see them in deeper water.
However, they are often seen in shallow water due to the abundance of marine life Koh Tao has to offer with White Rock, Aow Leuk and Mango Bay dive sites often attracting these mammoth predators.
How to identify the Great Barracuda
Great Barracuda are usually easy to identify whilst scuba diving due to their size that dwarfs most other fish swimming close.
Their body is long and cylindrical that resembles a torpedo shape and they are usually a mix of a blue-grey colour with black markings.
Great Barracuda has Razor Sharp Teeth
The head of the Great Barracuda is very flat and it forms into a point at the end of their mouths.
They have a huge underslung jaw that is filled with two (2) sets of teeth and the outer set are very closely set together and form almost on the side of their lips.
The second set of teeth are razor sharp Jurassic like teeth and the top and bottom jaws have holes that allow the jaw to completely close shut, offering little chance of escape for their prey.
Great Barracuda Characteristics & Behaviour
Great Barracuda have been in our oceans for over fifty million (50,000,000) years and they are known as one of the most highly skilled predators.
They are usually seen alone rather than in groups and can often be seen by scuba divers underneath the dive boat hiding in the shade.
Whenever you see a Great Barracuda you can be forgiven for thinking that they have a guilty look as though stalking something and that is because they most likely are.
They have become masters of ambushing nearby prey and the Great Barracuda can accelerate in bursts of up to thirty-five (35 mph) miles per hour.
Great Barracuda can grow up to two (2) metres in length, so they find it difficult to hide but what they lack in stealth, they gain in speed, which is not good news for its prey.
Attracted to Shiny Objects
Fortunately for scuba divers, Great Barracuda around Koh Tao are not interested in divers and they will often remain still, almost showing off ready to be photographed, just remember no flash photography.
Like all Barracuda they hunt by sight and are very attracted to shiny objects and they are regularly seen on night dives at White Rock and will follow a scuba diver around and use the torch beam as a way of hunting.
Interesting Facts about the Great Barracuda
Due to the Great Barracuda being high up the food chain and preying on larger species of fish, they can build up a high concentration of toxins and be poisonous to eat by humans – also known as – Ciguatoxic.
Great Barracuda have been known to live up to 15 years of age and their age can be identified by the amount of rings formed on certain clusters of their scales.
The Male Great Barracuda matures almost exactly twice as fast as their female counterparts.
Sign up for our Fish ID or Night Diver Specialty course and we will introduce you to the Great Barracuda so you can see them in action.