Striped Dolphin

ORDER: CETACEA

SUBORDER: ODONTOCETI

FAMILY: DELPHINIDAE

GENDER: STENELLA

SPECIES: Stenella coeruleoalba (Meyen 1833)

Stenella striata, striped dolphin, delfin listado, dauphin bleu et blanc, Streifendelfin

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The adult  stripe dolphin reaches an average length of 2.2meters and a weight of 80-100 kg. The male is slightly bigger than the female and it has a long and tapered rostrum, small but pointed teeth, his body is slender and it has a torpedoes shape, the dorsal fin is small and  striated, the pectoral fins tapered. Even the livery of the striped dolphin, like that of common dolphin, is indicative for the recognition of the species. The coloration is variable, brown or dark blue-gray back, white belly. A narrow dark band runs along the sides from a spot around the eye and ending spreading around the anal opening; another thinner strip  depart from the eye and ends at the base of the pectoral fin; a third strip, "whisker", depart from the dorsal fin forward. The stripe dolphin is a very fast swimmer, often with huge jumps out of the water.

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The striped dolphin is a cosmopolitan species, distributed in temperate and tropical waters around the world. In the Mediterranean, the striped dolphin is a predominantly pelagic species, but it’s distributed within all the bathymetric area tending to be quite close to the coast, particularly where two islands are near to one another and where the sea is deep. The dolphin lives in herds that can range from twenty to a hundred individuals. In the Mediterranean, where it seems to reproduce during the summer, is the most common species. It feeds on blue fish and squid revealing a certain opportunism regarding food.  Generally, we understood, there are quite a lot stripe dolphins at sea, but some populations are in danger. In the  Mediterranean sea a morbillivirus epidemic caused the deaths of more than 1,000 animals between 1990 and 1992. The pollution and decreased availability of prey have been identified as factors triggering the infection.