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. They can be found in small and large groups 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: Found offshore in peninsular India and around the island systems of Lakshadweep and Andaman Nicobar.
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 and other small sized Stenella species
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.