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Stenella attenuata

Pantropical Spotted Dolphin

Order: Cetacea
Family: Delphinidae

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Image of Stenella attenuata
Stenella attenuata - adult, above; calf, below, showing that belly is first area showing spots
Click to enlarge. (48 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

As its common name suggests, the pantropical spotted dolphin is a spotted dolphin that occurs in tropical waters around the world. It is one of the species that fisherman tend to follow as a means of finding yellowfin tuna, which swim with them. Consequently, millions of these dolphins have been killed after becoming entangled in fishing nets. An international effort has reduced the danger in recent years by introducing dolphin-rescue techniques, limiting the accidental kill to a few thousand each year. Why the dolphins and tuna associate is unknown.

Also known as:
Spotter, Spotted Porpoise, Delfin Manchado

Range: 1.6-2.6 m males; 1.7-2.5 m females

Range: up to 119 Kg


Gray, J. E., 1846.  On the cetaceous animals. Pp. 13-53, in The zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Erebus and Terror, under the command of Capt. Sir J. C. Ross, R. N., F. R. S., during the years 1839 to 1843 (Sir J. Richardson and J. E. Gray, eds.) [1844-1875], 1:44.  E. W. Janson, London, 2 vols.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Stenella attenuata

Skull of Stenella attenuata
Click to enlarge. (31kb)

Image of Stenella attenuata
Click to enlarge. (81kb)