Yellow Tail Barracuda Koh Tao


Learn about the Yellow Tailed Barracuda on Koh Tao

Yellow Tailed Barracuda are the smallest species of Barracuda that can be seen whilst snorkeling or scuba diving on Koh Tao.

As they are individually smaller, Yellow Tailed Barracuda will often school together in large shoals as a means of safety.

Yellow Tail Barracuda Koh Tao
Yellow Tail Barracuda Koh Tao

Where to find the Yellow Tailed Barracuda on Koh Tao

Yellow Tailed Barracuda can be found at many of the dive sites around Koh Tao, although they tend to be at sheltered reef dive sites and not as much at the deeper open water dive sites like their larger relatives.

You can see Yellow Tailed Barracuda at most of the dive sites including Twins, White Rock, Shark Island and Chumphon Pinnacle.

Shallow bays such as Aow Leuk, Mango Bay and Tanote Bay are also home to large schools of Yellow Tail Barracudas.

How to identify the Yellow Tailed Barracuda

Like all Barracuda, the appearance of Yellow Tailed Barracuda offers a hydro-dynamic torpedo shaped body however, as they are a smaller version, this particular species grows to a maximum length of around 50cm.

Other than its smaller size, another way to identify this particular marine life species is by looking at its dorsal fin, which is almost directly above the anal fin.

Yellow Tail Barracuda Koh Tao Marine LIfe
Yellow Tail Barracuda Koh Tao Marine LIfe

Yellow Caudal Fin

The easiest way to distinguish this Barracuda whilst scuba diving is by looking for their electric yellow coloured caudal fin (Tail Fin).

Yellow Tailed Barracuda always provide scuba divers with a mesmerising experience, especially if you see them schooling in large numbers.

Yellow Tailed Barracuda Characteristics & Behaviour

When we think of Barracuda, we visualise a fast predator with big white teeth and while this is mostly true, Yellow Tail Barracuda are not as ferocious as other members of the Barracuda family.

For this reason, Yellow Tail Barracuda have to think about defence as much as offense, which is why you often see them in huge schools at dive sites.

Yellow Tail Barracuda - Marine Life
Yellow Tail Barracuda – Marine Life

Tornado Style Formations

They will often school in a tornado style formation in a bid to confuse nearby predators and if you find yourself engulfed in this silver tornado whilst scuba diving, it can be a memorable experience.

Yellow Tail Barracuda are nocturnal predators that prey on smaller reef fish and they are also scavenger hunters, which means they will feed off scraps left over from larger predators in the same hunting grounds.

Interesting Facts about the Yellow Tailed Barracuda

Barracuda hunt by sight with their large eyes and they are attracted to shiny or shimmering objects and on night dives around Koh Tao, it is common to have a Barracuda alongside you using your dive light to identify prey.

Yellow Tailed Barracuda prefer a safety in numbers approach for survival and their breeding habitats are similar as the females are known to release up to as many as 30,00 eggs at one time.