Stenella attenuata   (Gray,  1846) (Dolphin)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Mammalia

Size: 2 m

Weight: 110 kg

Color: Spotted Dolphins are grey overall, darker above and on the upper flanks, and lighter on the belly and lower flanks. The body is usually spotted, with white spots above and dark spots below. This spotting increases with age.
There is a distinct cape, a dark grey, from the head to the dorsal fin. A black circle around the eye extends to the junction of the beak and the melon, and a broad black stripe runs from the origin of the flipper to the corner of the mouth.

Whilst offshore animals are slender, Spotted Dolphins from the coastal populations are comparatively stout. The beak is moderately long, and the tall, falcate dorsal fin is centrally placed.

The size of Spotted Dolphins schools varies from a few individuals to thousands. Individuals will come to the bows of vessels regularly. Spotted Dolphins often throw themselves out of water, high into the air. They school with other species of dolphins like Spinner Dolphins Stenella longirostris. For unknown reasons, tuna will congregate below such schools.

Synonym (s)
Stenella dubia Cuvier, 1812
Stenella graffmani Lonnberg, 1934
Stenella malayan Lesson, 1826
Clymene punctata Gray, 1866
Clymenia attenuatus Flower, 1882
Clymenia capensis Flower, 1884
Delphinus albirostratus Peale, 1848
Delphinus brevimanus Wagner, 1846
Delphinus malayanus Schlegel, 1841
Delphinus microbrachium Gray, 1850
Delphinus pseudodelphis Wiegmann in Wagner, 1840
Delphinus punctatus Gray, 1866
Delphinus velox G. Cuvier, 1829
Lagenorhynchus albirostratus Peale, 1848
Lagenorhynchus coeruleoalbus Cassin, 1858
Prodelphinus alope Lutken, 1889
Prodelphinus attenuatus Flower, 1885
Prodelphinus brevimanus H. Gervais in Van Beneden & Gervais, 1880
Prodelphinus capensis Trouessart, 1898
Prodelphinus graffmani Lonnberg, 1934
Stenella graffmani Kellogg, 1940
Stenella pseudodelphis Oliver, 1922
Steno attenuatus Gray, 1846
Steno brevimanus Gray, 1866
Steno capensis Gray, 1865
Steno consimilis Malm, 1871

Common Name (s)
• Pantropical Spotted Dolphin (English)
• Narrow Snouted Dolphin (English)
• Bridled Dolphin (English)
• Malay Dolphin (English)
• Spotted Dolphin (English)
• Cape Dolphin (English)
• Graffman's Dolphin (English)
• Kiko (English)
• Slender Dolphin (English)
• Slender-Beaked Dolphin (English)
• Spotted Porpoise (English)
• Spotter (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(The Spotted Dolphins suffer incidental kills in purse-seine tuna nets.)

Habitat:  Open Sea, Coastal
Prey:  Fish, squid
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Bay of Bengal (Lat: 15) (Long: 90) INDIA
• Bay of Bengal INDIA (Record: 1846, 1900, 13/04/1983)
• West Bengal, Sundarban Islands INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin INDIA (Record: 06/08/1999)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA (Record: 12/10/2004)
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• INDIA (Record: 1800-2000)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Harbour (Lat: 13.08) (Long: 79.76) INDIA (Record: 10/2004)

Literature Source(s)
  • Agarwal, VC and Alfred, JRB (1999) Handbook: Whales, dolphins and dugong from Indian seas ZSI, Calcutta 150 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds) (1991) Animal resources of India (Protozoa to Mammalia) ZSI 1-694 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Kumaran, PL (2002) Marine mammal research in India: A review and critique of the methods Current Science Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore 83(10) 1210-1220 Available at -
  • Sathasivam K (2004) Marine mammals of India Universities Press(India) private limited, Hyderabad, India 180 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • MarineBio Available at -
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Yousuf, KSSM; Anoop, AK; Anoop, B; Afsal, VV; Vivekanandan, E; Kumarran, RP; Rajagopalan, M; Krishnakumar, PK and Jayasankar, P (2009) Observations on incidental catch of cetaceans in three landing centres along the Indian coast Marine Biodiversity Records Cambridge University Press 4 1-5 Available at -
  • Jayasankar, P; Anoop, B; Rajgopalan, M; Yousuf, KMM; Reynold, P; Krishnakumar, PK; Afsal, VV and Krishnan, AA (2009) Indian Efforts on the Inventorization of Marine Mammal Species for their Conservation and Management Asian Fisheries Science Asian Fisheries Society, Manila, Philippines 22 143-155 Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Padmanaban P and Dinesh K.P (2011) A checklist of Marine Mammals of India Marine Biology Reginal centre, Zoological Survey of India 4pp Available at -
  • Jefferson, TA; Leatherwood, S and Webber, MA (2006) Marine mammals of the world World biodiversity database Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-11-07

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