Common Name: Striped Dolphin
A Striped Dolphin in full flighty.
Size comparison against an average human
Striped Dolphin range.
General Description: The Striped Dolphin (or the Blue-white Dolphin) is a slender animal with a spindle-shaped body and a long beak. Its forehead is not prominent, and slopes smoothly from the beak to the blowhole; yet there is a distinct crease separating the forehead and the beak. The dorsal fin is tall and moderately sickle-shaped.
The colour pattern of the Striped Dolphin is distinctive. The beak is always dark. A black stripe runs from behind the eye to the anus. This line clearly separates the light grey colouring on the sides and the white of the belly. Above, the dolphin is light, dark or bluish grey. A light grey ‘shoulder blaze’ runs from the flanks to under the dorsal fin. A black stripe runs from the eye to the flipper. The broad-based, pointed flippers are dark.
Size: Adults, about 2.6 m long, weigh from 100 to 150 kg. Calves at birth, 1 m long.
Appearance At Sea: Striped Dolphins are found in small to large herds, which may be widely dispersed. They are known to move in large schools of up to several thousands. The large groups are usually broken up into age groups, with mothers and nursing young, immature animals, and adults all forming separate sub-sections. Dolphins of all ages school with yellowfin tuna.
Striped Dolphins are described as active and conspicuous creatures, often jumping out of the water, and bow-riding.
Found In: Deep offshore waters (more than 1000 m deep) are preferred, but where the water is deep, Striped Dolphins may sometimes be found close to the coast. They feed on shrimp, squid and fish (especially pelagic fish).
Records from India: Groups of Striped Dolphins were observed by crew members of the s/rv Tulip, a research vessel, when it carried out observations during 1981—1984. This vessel sailed from the Suez Canal in November 1981 and reached Sri Lanka in February 1982 after stops in Djibouti, Oman and India. For a month it followed Sperm Whales off the western Sri Lanka coast. During the next two years, for five months it was used to study cetaceans around the northeastern coast of Sri Lanka. Striped Dolphins were observed twelve times by the Tulip. 531 individuals were involved in these observations. No other records from India have been found in the literature.
World Distribution: Widely distributed in all seas, in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions.
Could Be Confused With: There is a possibility of confusion of with the Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis due to the similarity in appearance.
||More pointed flippers||Slightly rounded fin|
||Slightly rounded flippers||More pointed fin|
Diagnostic Features: At sea, Dark stripe on the lower flank may become visible when the dolphins rise out of the water to breathe. The most distinctive characteristic feature for identification is the dark streak extending forward on to the flank from a point behind the dorsal fin.
Stranded Specimens: Stranding of Striped Dolphins can be easily brought about by herding the animals into shallow water. This fact is used to kill large numbers of these animals each year. Striped Dolphins can be easily identified by their markings which remain visible for some time following death.
There may be 45 to 50 pairs of sharp teeth in each jaw.