Barramundi

Barramundi

Lates calcarifer

DID YOU KNOW?

This fish starts off life as a male and then changes into a female.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes

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Barramundi Barramundi Barramundi

Barramundi

The Australian barramundi is a silver fish that thrives in the coastal and fresh waters of northern and western Australia. As such a large fish, it is an extremely popular game fish, and humans are the barramundi’s main predator.

This giant perch changes sex as it grows. It starts life as a male, but upon reaching about 20 inches in length, it becomes a female.

Their life cycle takes them from estuaries, where they are born, to the temporary swamps associated with these estuaries, where they begin to grow, to the mouths and upper regions of rivers, where they reach their adult size, through rivers where they spend their lives, and finally back to their birthplace in the estuaries, where they spawn.

Many fish never reach this stage, however, as they are caught and sold for human consumption, making up an important part of the Thai, Indonesian, and Australian economies.

Diet

Barramundi eat fish, crustaceans, and plants.

Size

The northern barramundi can grow to a maximum length of about 6 feet.

Range

The northern barramundi lives in the tropical coastal and fresh waters throughout northern and western Australia, as well as from the eastern edge of the Persian Gulf through China, and as far north as southern Papua New Guinea.

Population Status

Although abundant, the barramundi faces the risk of diminishing populations due to the low resilience of the population, as the population takes between 4–14 years to double in size, and the high and rising numbers of fish caught by recreational and commercial fisherman.

Predators

Other large finfish have been known to prey upon juvenile barramundi. As adults, saltwater crocodiles and humans hunt these large fish.

Larger barramundi may also eat smaller or juvenile barramundi.

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A Note From the Caretaker

The barramundis in the exhibit are all in the range of 9–10 years of age. When they arrived at the Aquarium, they were less than 12 inches long! We’ve given each one a name based on a distinguishing physical characteristic; for example, “Loose Lips” because of an old lip injury.

John Seyjagat
Curator of Australian Exhibits

pressroom striped fish

As Curator of the Australian Exhibits, John's daily tasks include managing the exhibit staff and making sure all of our animals are healthy and happy! Learn More