Common Name: Striped Dolphin
General Description: The striped dolphin is a slender animal 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. 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: 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. Striped Dolphins were observed twelve times by the Tulip. 531 individuals were involved in these observations. A few isolated records from Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
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. They can be distinguished based on the following characteristics:
Species : Striped Dolphin
- Pale side with dark point reaching forward from behind fin
- Dark stripe from flipper to eye
Flippers : Flippers are more pointy
Fin : Slightly rounded fin
Species :Common Dolphin
- Hourglass pattern of yellow on side
- Dark stripe from flipper to chin
Flippers : Slightly rounded flippers
Fin : More pointed fin
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: 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. Teeth-count ranges from 45-50 sharp teeth in each jaw.