15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Northern Sennet For Kids

One of the interesting northern sennet facts is that it has an extended, pike-like body.

The northern sennet (Sphyraena borealis) is a fish from the barracuda family that is native to the continents of North America and South America. It is spread over a wide range of habitats in the western Atlantic ocean and occurs frequently along the shores in shallow waters. It is a slender, elongated fish that isn't very popular in the pet, food, or recreational fishing industries. This common fish is often seen in schools along soft bottoms. It reproduces by spawning and external fertilization and mainly feeds on squids, shrimps, and small fishes. It belongs to the genus Sphyraena, which are all collectively known as barracuda fish. Northern sennet is not as fierce a species as other common barracudas. Northern sennet is also known as the northern barracuda. Northern sennet fish is regarded as a Least Concern fish by the International Union for Conservation of Nature since no major threats are posed to their widespread and common populations.

For more relatable content, check out these blacktip reef shark facts and horn shark facts for kids.

Northern Sennet

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Squid, shrimps, small fishes

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

Possibly up to 1,000

How much do they weigh?

Up to 2.4 lb (1.1 kg)

How long are they?

1-1.6 ft (30-50 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Olive and silvery-white

Skin Type

Wet and slimy scales

What are their main threats?

Humans, possibly killer whales, dolphins, sharks, goliath grouper

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Subtropical ocean waters and reefs


North America and South America





Scientific Name

Sphyraena borealis





Northern Sennet Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a northern sennet?

The northern sennet (Sphyraena borealis) species is a fish.

What class of animal does a northern sennet belong to?

The northern sennet (Sphyraena borealis) belongs to the Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish) class of animals.

How many northern sennets are there in the world?

The exact number of northern sennet (Sphyraena borealis) fish in the world is unknown. This is because the species is spread over a really wide range of habitats in the Atlantic ocean. It is common along the shores where it occurs but does not have much recreational or commercial significance.

Where does a northern sennet live?

Northern sennets are native to the continents of North America and South America. These marine animals are found in the western Atlantic ocean i.e. along the eastern coasts of the two American coasts. Northern sennets exist from Panama's eastern coast to the Gulf of Mexico, to southern Florida, to Massachusettes, to Canada. It is also common in its southern range in the Caribbean except for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. The species is reported in good numbers along the coasts in Nova Scotia, Bermuda, and Florianopolis city in Brazil.

What is a northern sennet's habitat?

Northern sennets prefer subtropical waters from the latitude range 43°N - 18°N. They are reef-associated fish and are found along the coast. They also inhabit different kinds of bottoms but are found more at the site with soft bottoms. The northern sennet habitat is usually at depths of 32.8-213.3 ft (10-65 m).

Who does a northern sennet live with?

The northern sennet (Sphyraena borealis) species is a schooling fish and it is seen swimming with other fish of its own species.

How long does a northern sennet live?

Being a barracuda, the northern sennet (Sphyraena borealis) may live for 10-15 years.

How do they reproduce?

Northern sennet (Sphyraena borealis) fish reproduce by spawning and external fertilization. Clutch sizes of up to 1,000 are laid by the females which are then fertilized by males. There is not much data available on the parental care provided by the parents to juveniles.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the northern sennet (Sphyraena borealis) species according to the International Union of Conservation of Nature is Least Concern.

Northern Sennet Fun Facts

What does a northern sennet look like?

Northern sennets are olive-colored on their dorsal sides and slivery-white on their ventral sides. Their lateral lines also have dusky blotches among them. These marine animals have long, pike-like bodies and big jaws. The lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw slightly. Northern sennets have fang-like teeth. They also have two separated dorsal fins. The posterior dorsal fin has rays and the anterior dorsal fin has spines. The dorsal fins have a total of five to six spines and nine rays. The number of vertebrae on the bodies of northern sennets is 24.

Northern sennets are silvery-white on their ventral sides.

How cute are they?

Northern sennet fishes are rather plain-looking. They are a silver-white color and are very slender and thin. The fang-like teeth don't add much to their appearance. These fish just don't have much of an aesthetic appeal. They are not popular as food or game fish.

How do they communicate?

The northern sennet (Sphyraena borealis) is a schooling fish and it communicates with its group via body language, motion, and gesture.

How big is a northern sennet?

The northern sennet length is 1-1.6 ft (30-50 cm) which makes it about 15 times bigger than the glowlight danio, and three times smaller than the Pacific salmon.

How fast can a northern sennet swim?

There is not much data to confirm how fast a northern sennet (Sphyraena borealis) can swim, but since they are barracuda and they have streamlined bodies, they might be able to swim at speeds close to 25 mph (40 kph).

How much does a northern sennet weigh?

A northern sennet may weigh up to 2.4 lb (1.1 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males and females of the northern sennet species do not have specific names.

What would you call a baby northern sennet?

A baby northern sennet would be called a fry or a juvenile.

What do they eat?

Northern sennets feed on squid, shrimps, and small fishes.

Not much data is available on the predators of northern sennets, but they may get preyed upon by the common barracuda predators like killer whales, dolphins, sharks, and goliath groupers.

Are they poisonous?

No, northern sennets are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

The northern sennet is not really popular as a pet fish. This common fish is not a very aesthetically pleasing fish. It is known as a decent eating fish and is used for the purpose.

Did you know...

The world populations of northern sennet were last assessed in 2013 by the IUCN. The northern sennet populations of the Gulf of Mexico were last assessed on April 20, 2015, and they are considered Least Concern as well.

Is the northern sennet poisonous?

No, the northern sennet is not poisonous.

How is northern sennet different from other barracuda family fish?

The northern sennet species is not as fierce a predator as others in the common barracuda family. Barracudas are known as ferocious predators easily capable of overtaking various species of prey. Northern sennet species is smaller than a typical barracuda fish that grow up to 65 in (165 cm). Larger barracudas are dangerous to swimmers in general thinking they are large predators. There have been incidents where swimmers have been bitten by barracudas, whereas northern sennets are much too small to threaten swimmers. Barracudas regularly go after large prey and northern sennets do not. The northern sennet family is not common as eating or game fish, and other barracudas are popular as both.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these channel catfish facts and herring fun facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable blue angelfish coloring pages.



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