Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
Search the Archive

  Cetacea · Delphinidae · Stenella frontalis
   Smithsonian Institution
   Copyright Notice
   Privacy Notice
Stenella frontalis

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin

Order: Cetacea
Family: Delphinidae

Click to see a 3-D view.
Image of Stenella frontalis
Stenella frontalis - Carolinas variant, top; Gulf Stream and New England variant, center; unspotted calf, below
Click to enlarge. (64 kb)

Conservation Status: Data Deficient.

The Atlantic spotted dolphin is seen in coastal waters from the Carolinas south to Brazil, usually staying within about 350 km of the coast. Another population in known from the Gulf Stream near New England. Calves have no spots at birth, and begin to be spotted about the time that they are weaned. Adults have a white belly with dark spots, and a darker back with pale spots. They feed on a great variety of fish, squids, and invertebrates that live at the bottom of the sea. Newborns measure 0.88 - 1.2 m in length, and the length of adults is 1.7 - 2.3 m.

Also known as:
Gulf Stream Spotted Dolphin, Bridled Dolphin, Spotted Porpoise, Delfín Moteado del Atlántico

Range: 1.7-2.3 m

Range: up to 143 kg


Cuvier, G. [Baron], 1829.  "Le règne animal distribue d'après son organisation, pour servir de base a l'histoire naturelle des animaux et d'introduction a l'anatomie comparée". Les mammifères. Nouvelle édition, revue et augmentée. Deterville, Paris. 1, p. 288.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Stenella frontalis

Skull of Stenella frontalis
Click to enlarge. (28kb)

Image of Stenella frontalis
Click to enlarge. (228kb)