Common Name: Striped Dolphin
General Description: The striped dolphin is slender with a spindle-shaped slightly robust body and a beak of moderate length. The forehead is not prominent and slopes smoothly from the beak to the blowhole, there is however a distinct crease separating the forehead and beak. The Dorsal fin is tall and moderately sickle-shaped.
Colouration is distinct; the beak is always of a dark shade. A black stripe runs from behind the eye to the anus. This line clearly separates the light grey colouration on the sides and the pink-white of the belly. A light grey ‘shoulder blaze’ extends from flanks to the underside of the dorsal fin and a black stripe runs from the eye to the flipper. Flippers are broad-based, pointy and dark.
Size: Adults, are around 2.56 m in length; males are slightly larger than females. Maximum weight is around 156 kg. . Calves at birth, Size at birth is approximately 93-100cm.
Appearance At Sea: Striped dolphins are described as active and conspicuous creatures, often jumping out of the water, and bow-riding. Striped dolphins are described as active and conspicuous creatures, often jumping out of the water, and bow riding.They can be found in large herds of a dozen to 500 individuals, they are also known to form groups of upto several thousand individuals. These groups are often segregated by age or sex; with mothers and nursing young, immature adults and adults all forming separate sub-sections. Dolphins of all ages are known to be associated with yellowfin tuna.
Found In: Usually prefer deep offshore areas where water depth can reach around a 1000 m. They can occasionally be found close to the coast. They are known to feed on shrimp, squid and pelagic fish.
Records from India: Striped dolphins have been reported from the Andaman Nicobar, Lakshadweep and along peninsular India. They were reported in large numbers as bycatch in purse seine and gill net fisheries in southwest and south east India.
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 dolphins due to the similarity in appearance.
Diagnostic Features: At sea, the dark streak extending forward on to the flank from a point behind the dorsal fin visible while porpoising.
Stranded Specimens: Striped dolphins can be easily identified by their markings which remain visible for some time following death. Teeth-count ranges from 45-50 sharp teeth in each jaw.