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(barracuda), a family of marine fishes of the order Mugiloidea. Body length, up to 3 m. The large mouth contains powerful teeth set in deep alveoli. There is one genus, comprising several species. Barracuda are distributed primarily in tropical waters. Two species are encountered in the USSR: Sphyraena sphyraena is found in the Black Sea, and S. pinguis dwells in the Sea of Japan. S. Sphyraena is up to 1 m long and lives at depths to 100 m; it is a predator, feeding on small fishes. Barracuda roe are pelagic. Large species of Sphyraenidae may attack man. Barracuda are commercially valuable.
The Russian common name for the family Sphyraenidae, morskie shchuki, is also used to designate fishes of the genus Molva of the family Gadidae, as well as the fish Thylosurus anastomella of the family Belonidae.