Scientific name: Stenella coeruleoalba.
Striped dolphins are a small and sleek species of dolphin, with the males growing to lengths of up to 2.6 meters and the females growing to lengths of up to 2.4 meters. They are dark grey, with blue-grey flanks and thin dark stripe between the flank that runs from the break to the eye, and a white underbelly. Their dorsal fin is dark in colour, sickle shaped and is in the middle of the body. Striped dolphins have a pronounced slender beak.
Habitat and distribution
Striped dolphins are frequently seen in the summer in large pods but will migrate in the winter to warmer waters. They live throughout the world's tropical to temperate waters, preferring deeper waters and are often seen over continental shelves. Sightings of striped dolphins have been recorded in the Bay of Biscay. It is estimated that there are 2,000,000 in the ocean.
Striped dolphins are very sociable, seen in pods of between 10 to 1,000 animals. They are very energetic, capable of swimming very fast, often seen leaping out of the waters, performing somersaults, and enjoy bow riding in the wakes of boats. Striped dolphins have been observed socialising with common dolphins.
Confusion with other species
Common dolphin: Have warmer tones of colour on their skin and a classic hourglass shape.
White-beaked dolphin: more robust in appearance, with darker flanks and a stubbier beak.
Striped dolphins are threatened by entanglement in fishing gear, pollution and collisions with ships. In some parts of Japan, the striped dolphin is still hunted.
Striped dolphins can leap up to 9 meters into the air.