Any of several voracious pikelike marine fishes allied to the gray mullets, constituting the genus Sphyræna
and family Sphyrænidæ
. The great barracuda (Sphyræna barracuda
) of the West Indies, Florida, etc., is often six feet or more long, and as dangerous as a shark. In Cuba its flesh is reputed to be poisonous. Sphyræna Argentea
of the Pacific coast and Sphyræna sphyræna
of Europe are smaller species, and are used as food. [Webster 1913 Suppl.
" That of Europe and our Atlantic coast is Sphyræna spet (or Sphyræna vulgaris); a southern species is Sphyræna picuda; the Californian is Sphyræna argentea."