Here are Davy Jones’ Locker located on the tropical island of Koh Tao we are
fortunate enough to have a vast array of dive sites to meet each
individual’s level of diving experience, allowing every diver (beginner or
not) to enjoy the wide variety of marine life here in the gulf of Thailand.
One of my favourites being the barracuda…
The barracuda is a ray finned fish known for its size and fearsome
appearance. Its body is long, compressed and covered with small, smooth
scales. They are mainly found near the top of the water and near coral
reefs. Their bodies are elongated and slender, perfect for sneaking through
the reefs when hunting. They have large mouths and a pair of powerful jaws.
The lower jaw juts out slightly and they have unequally sized fang-like
teeth. Other distinguishing features are the 2 separated dorsal fins and a
forked tail fin which makes them fast swimmers. Barracuda do not have
eyelids so if you see one moving very slowly, it is possible that it is
In terms of coloration, barracudas are normally grey or silver on top fading
into white on the belly with whitish tips on their dark violet caudal fins.
Their size varies depending on species.
Generally, adult barracudas are considered to be solitary when it comes to
hunting. Most young barracudas tend to gather in large schools, sometimes in
numbers up to hundreds or even thousands. Schooling offers the young fish
protection from predators on the basis of safety in number. Often, when a
predator attacks a school, the school will form a confusing tornado,
preventing any one barracuda being fixed upon as prey in the eyes of the
Barracudas are ferocious, opportunistic predators, relying on surprise and
short bursts of speed (over 40 km/h) to overtake their prey and they
primarily feed on fish (which may include some as large as themselves). They
can kill and consume larger prey by tearing chunks of flesh from them.
Worldwide, there are 26 species of barracuda. It is normal for scuba divers
to come across more than 1 species at certain dive sites. Two of the species
you may come across when you dive here on Koh Tao is the chevron and the
At some of our premier dive sites you have a very good chance of being in
the middle of a swirling vortex of barracuda, definitely a highlight of your
dive. This is for some, one of their most memorable diving experiences.
During the breeding season (April to September) the females spawn a few
times, releasing about 5,000 – 300,000 eggs each time. Like most fish,
barracudas leave fertilised eggs floating in the open waters until they
hatch. Soon after hatching, barracuda larvae settle in shallow estuaries
where vegetation offers both protection and food to the larvae for around 1
year until they grow into juveniles. Upon entering adulthood, they move to
deeper waters in areas with reefs and remain there for the rest of their
Unlike males that mature sexually within the first 3 years of their lives,
females take about 4 years. It is not possible to visually differentiate
between the genders of this fish.
So there we have one of the many interesting fish that we are lucky to share
the waters with here on Koh Tao. Hopefully you all get to enjoy the
mesmerising experience of the swirling vortex of barracuda when you come
dive with us at Davy Jones’ Locker.