What kind of animal is the spotted dolphin? An explanation of its characteristics, ecology, and habitat


What kind of animal is the spotted dolphin? We will explain its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. The spotted dolphin is not well known because there are very few of them. Although the population is now very stable, bycatch was a problem in the past, and it was suggested that it may become extinct.

What is a Spotted Dolphin? Basic Stats

The Pantropical Spotted Dolphin is a dolphin that belongs to the Cetacean order, Odontoceti suborder, Delphinidae family, and Stenella genus. Its English name is Pantropical Spotted Dolphin, and its scientific name is Stenella attenuata. The kanji for Spotted Dolphin is Madaraumiton. The list of information is as follows.

English(英名)Pantropical Spotted Dolphin
scientific name(学名)Stenella attenuata
classification(分類)Mammalia、Cetartiodactyla、 Delphinidae、Stenella

About classification

There are three subspecies of spotted dolphins. They are classified according to the populations that live in the eastern Pacific, Hawaii, and Mexico. Two of the three subspecies (Stenella attenuata subspecies A and Stenella attenuata subspecies B) do not have official names.

  • Stenella attenuata subspecies A 
  • Stenella attenuata subspecies B 
  • Stenella attenuata graffmani 


Spotted dolphins live in temperate, subtropical and tropical waters around the world.

What are its characteristics? What kind of creature is it?

Spotted dolphins have a long, thin beak. They have a high, curved dorsal fin and pointed pectoral fins. Their back is dark gray and their underside is grayish white. Spotted dolphins are found in temperate, subtropical and tropical waters around the world, and their total population is said to be over 3 million. This makes them the second most common species after bottlenose dolphins. They prefer warm places, as they are most likely to live in warm waters above 25°C.

What is their personality like?

Spotted dolphins are very social animals that value discipline. They are usually seen in groups, but they often act alone. Spotted dolphins are very active and make large jumps out of the water. They are also known to “play” by jumping over the bow waves made by ships.

What is their ecology like?

Spotted dolphins live by eating fish, crustaceans, invertebrates, etc. Their lifespan is about 40 years, with females reaching sexual maturity at 10 and males at 12.

Do they have any natural predators?

The greatest threat to spotted dolphins is the killer whale.

Are spotted dolphins an endangered species?

Spotted dolphins are not an endangered species overall. However, in the 1900s, there were concerns that they might become extinct. This was because they were caught in large numbers as bycatch in fishing operations. In the 1980s, conservation efforts became more active and their population rapidly increased.

Can spotted dolphins be kept as pets?

Spotted dolphins are too large for ordinary people to keep as pets. If you want to find one, we recommend visiting an aquarium or other place to view them and getting a guide or escort at an event.


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