Small Mediterranean Barracudas - Sphyraena viridensis
The video was made in Sardinia in the crystal clear waters of Masua and shows small herds of fry of Sphyraena viridensis, commonly known as barracuda boccagialla or Mediterranean barracuda. The fry seek quiet and food-rich environments such as river mouths or coastal inlets; once they reach 5 cm in length they reach the open sea.
Barracuda is a fish that is increasingly colonizing our seas: as a result of global warming, in fact, many fish species naturally present only in much warmer climates than ours have slowly globalized even seas, such as the Mediterranean or the Tyrrhenian, in which years ago were not present.
Sphyraena viridensis was once confined to a small area of the eastern Atlantic (Cape Verde, Canary Islands and Azores). In the last ten years there has been a growing number of reports of its presence in the Mediterranean basin. The increase in the temperature of the waters of the mare nostrum (southernization of the Mediterranean) has in fact created an ideal environment for the species, which has quickly spread to the point where it is now commonly referred to as Mediterranean barracuda, often confusing it with the only other sphirenide present in our waters, the sea pike (Sphyraena sphyraena), from which however the preoperculum devoid of scales, the characteristic vertical bands and the decidedly greater dimensions differentiate it.