Southern sennet

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Southern sennet
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Sphyraenidae
Genus: Sphyraena
Species: S. picudilla
Binomial name
Sphyraena picudilla
Poey, 1860

The southern sennet, Sphyraena picudilla, is an ocean-going species of game fish in the barracuda family, or Sphyraenidae. It was described by the Cuban zoologist Felipe Poey. The description was part of a two-volume work, which Poey published in 1860, entitled Historia Natural de la Isla de Cuba or Natural History of the Island of Cuba. Southern sennet are sometimes used as a food fish, and marketed either fresh or frozen.[1] Although they are generally harmless, Southern sennet have been linked to ciguatera poisoning.[2]


Southern sennet, like other members of the Sphyraenidae family, possess elongated bodies, pike-like heads, and large jaws.[3] The lower jaw protrudes slightly from the upper jaw, both of which contain fang-like teeth.[3] They have two dorsal fins, which are widely separated on their backs. The anterior dorsal fin usually possesses spines, while the posterior only has rays.[3] Southern sennet have six spines, and 9 rays on their dorsal fins. they have only two spines and 9 rays on their anal fins.[1] The longest recorded southern sennet was 2 ft long;[4] the greatest recorded weight was 2 lbs 8 oz.[4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Southern sennet are known only from the western Atlantic Ocean from Bermuda, Florida, and the Bahamas south to Uruguay.[1] They are found in tropical climates from 32°N to 38°S. Southern sennet live in coastal waters near reefs, although they are more common over muddy bottoms,[5] at depths from 1–65 m,[6] where they often occur in large schools near the surface.[6] Juveniles are commonly found over beds of seagrasses.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2009). "Sphyraena picudilla" in FishBase. 07 2009 version.
  2. ^ Dammann, A.E. 1969 Study of the fisheries potential of the Virgin Islands. Special Report. Contribution No. 1. Virgin Islands Ecological Research Station.
  3. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Sphyraenidae" in FishBase. January 2006 version.
  4. ^ a b IGFA 2001 Database of IGFA angling records until 2001. IGFA, Fort Lauderdale, USA.
  5. ^ Lieske, E. and R. Myers 1994 Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific & Caribbean including the Red Sea. Haper Collins Publishers, 400 p.
  6. ^ a b c Cervigón, F. 1993 Los peces marinos de Venezuela. Volume 2. Fundación Científica Los Roques, Caracas,Venezuela. 497 p

External links[edit]