Animalia > Chordata > Actinopterygii > Perciformes > Gempylidae > Thyrsites > Thyrsites atun

Thyrsites atun (snake mackerel; Snoek; Sea pike; Gemfish; Couta; Barracuda; Barracouta)

Synonyms: Leionura atun; Leionura atun dentatus; Scomber atun; Scomber dentatus; Scomber lanceolatus; Thyrsites altivelis; Thyrsites chilensis
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Wikipedia Abstract

Thyrsites atun (Euphrasén, 1791), the snoek, is a long, thin species of snake mackerel found in the seas of the Southern Hemisphere. This fish can reach a length of 200 centimetres (79 in) SL though most do not exceed 75 centimetres (30 in) SL. The maximum recorded weight for this species is 6 kilograms (13 lb). It is very important to commercial fisheries and is also a popular game fish. It is currently the only known member of its genus. It is also known in Australasia as barracouta though it is not related to the barracuda.
View Wikipedia Record: Thyrsites atun


Adult Weight [1]  7.28 lbs (3.30 kg)
Female Maturity [2]  2 years 9 months
Male Maturity [1]  2 years 9 months
Maximum Longevity [2]  10 years

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Tsitsikamma National Park II 34343 Southern Cape, South Africa  

Prey / Diet

Decapterus koheru (Scad)[3]
Diaphus splendidus (Lanternfish)[3]
Engraulis australis (Australian anchovy)[3]
Euphausia lucens[4]
Gobiopsis atrata (New Zealand black goby)[3]
Hyperlophus vittatus (Whitebait)[3]
Lampanyctodes hectoris (Lanternfish)[4]
Nyctiphanes australis[3]
Sardinops sagax (Australian pilchard)[3]
Sprattus antipodum (Sprat)[3]
Themisto gaudichaudii[4]
Thyrsites atun (snake mackerel)[3]
Trachurus capensis (Cape horse mackerel)[4]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Allothunnus fallai (Tuna)2
Apogonops anomalus (Flathead feed)1
Arctocephalus forsteri (Australasian Fur Seal)1
Brama australis (Southern ray's bream)1
Brama brama (Ray's bream)1
Centriscops humerosus (Trumpet fish)1
Chaenocephalus aceratus (Scotian icefish)1
Champsocephalus gunnari (Mackerel icefish)1
Cyttus traversi (horsehead)1
Deania calcea (Thompsons shark)1
Diaphus danae (Blue lantern-fish)2
Electrona antarctica (Lanternfish)1
Electrona carlsbergi (Electron subantarctic)1
Epigonus lenimen (Deepsea big-eye)1
Gymnoscopelus braueri (Lanternfish)1
Gymnoscopelus nicholsi (Nichol's lanternfish)1
Helicolenus percoides (Sea perch)1
Lampanyctodes hectoris (Lanternfish)1
Lepidopus caudatus (Southern frostfish)1
Lepidorhynchus denticulatus (Deepsea whiptail)1
Macruronus novaezelandiae (Whiptail hake)2
Metelectrona herwigi (Herwig lanternfish)1
Micromesistius australis (Southern poutassou)1
Nannobrachium achirus (Lantern fish)1
Neocyttus rhomboidalis (Deepwater dory)1
Notothenia microlepidota (Black cod)1
Oceanites oceanicus (Wilson's Storm-Petrel)1
Protomyctophum choriodon (Lanternfish)1
Scomber scombrus (Split)1
Thalassarche chrysostoma (Grey-headed Albatross)1
Thalassarche melanophris (Black-browed Albatross)1


Arctocephalus forsteri (Australasian Fur Seal)[3]
Arctocephalus pusillus (Brown Fur Seal)[3]
Diomedea sanfordi (Northern Royal Albatross)[5]
Galeorhinus galeus (Vitamin shark)[3]
Hydroprogne caspia (Caspian Tern)[3]
Leucoraja wallacei (Yellowspotted skate)[3]
Mustelus antarcticus (Australian smooth hound)[3]
Nototodarus gouldi (Gould's squid)[6]
Polyprion oxygeneios (Whapuku)[3]
Prionace glauca (Tribon blou)[7]
Raja clavata (Roker)[3]
Rostroraja alba (White skate)[3]
Sterna acuticauda (Black-bellied Tern)[3]
Thalasseus bergii (Swift Tern)[3]
Thunnus maccoyii (Tunny)[7]
Thyrsites atun (snake mackerel)[3]
Xiphias gladius (Swordfish)[3]


Parasitized by 
Anisakis pegreffii <Unverified Name>[8]
Anisakis simplex[8]
Contracaecum aduncum[3]
Copiatestes thyrsitae[8]
Hepatoxylon trichiuri[8]
Hysterothylacium marinum[3]
Kudoa thyrsites[9]
Lacistorhynchus tenuis[8]
Lecithochirium australe[3]
Lecithochirium australis <Unverified Name>[8]
Molicola uncinatus[9]
Neoparamoeba pemaquidensis <Unverified Name>[9]
Nybelinia thyrsites[8]
Stomachus marinus <Unverified Name>[8]
Tentacularia coryphaenae[8]
Udonella caligorum[8]
Winkenthughesia australis[8]
Winkenthughesia thyrsitis <Unverified Name>[8]


Amsterdam Island; Angola; Argentina; Atlantic Ocean; Atlantic, Southeast; Atlantic, Southwest; Australia; Benguela Current; Chile; East Central Australian Shelf; Falkland Is. (Malvinas); Great Australian Bight; Humboldt Current; Indian Ocean; Indian Ocean, Eastern; Indian Ocean, Western; Juan Fernández Islands; Mozambique; Namibia; New Zealand; New Zealand Shelf; Pacific Ocean; Pacific, Southeast; Pacific, Southwest; Patagonian Shelf; Peru; Peru-Galapagos Waters; Saint Paul Islands; South Africa; Southwest Atlantic: Uruguay, Argentina and Tierra del Fuego. Eastern Atlantic: Tristan da Cunha and South Africa. Western Indian Ocean: South Africa and the St. Paul and Amsterdam islands. Eastern Indian Ocean: Tasmania and southern coast of Austra; Southwest Atlantic: Uruguay, Argentina and Tierra del Fuego. Eastern Atlantic: Tristan da Cunha and South Africa. Western Indian Ocean: South Africa and the St. Paul and Amsterdam islands. Eastern Indian Ocean: Tasmania and southern coast of Australia. Southwest Pacific: New Zealand and southern coast of Australia. Southeast Pacific: southern Peru, Chile, and Tierra del Fuego.; Southwest Australian Shelf; Southwest Chilean Waters; Tasman Sea; Tristan da Cunha Islands; Uruguay; West Central Australian Shelf;



Attributes / relations provided by
1de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
2Frimpong, E.A., and P. L. Angermeier. 2009. FishTraits: a database of ecological and life-history traits of freshwater fishes of the United States. Fisheries 34:487-495.
3Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
4Life history of South African snoek, Thyrsites atun (Pisces: Gempylidae): a pelagic predator of the Benguela ecosystem, Griffiths, Marc H., Fishery Bulletin, Oct 2002, Volume: 100 Issue: 4
5Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi), Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels –
6Ecology of the Arrow Squid (Nototodarus gouldi) in Southeastern Australian Waters - A Multi-Scale Investigation of Spatial and Temporal Variability, Kathryn Emily Stark, Submitted for Doctor of Philosophy, University of Tasmania, 2008
7Feeding ecology and niche segregation in oceanic top predators off eastern Australia, Jock W. Young, Matt J. Lansdell, Robert A. Campbell, Scott P. Cooper, Francis Juanes, Michaela A. Guest, Mar Biol (2010) 157:2347–2368
8Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
9Species Interactions of Australia Database, Atlas of Living Australia, Version ala-csv-2012-11-19
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