Atlantic spotted dolphin

The Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) is a dolphin found in the Gulf Stream of the North Atlantic Ocean. Older members of the species have a very distinctive spotted coloration all over their bodies.

The coloring of the Atlantic spotted dolphin varies enormously as they grow. Calves are a fairly uniform grey colour. When the calves are weaned, they then begin to get their spots. Juveniles have some dark spots on their bellies, and white spots on their flanks. Their back and dorsal fins are a darker grey than the rest of the body. As the animal matures, the spots become denser and spread until the body appears black with white spots at full maturation.

The Atlantic spotted dolphin has a three-part coloration: dark gray back, lighter sides, and a white belly.

Atlantic spotted dolphin
  • Size

    Measurements at birth: length: about 35–43 in (89–109 cm). Maximum measurements: length: male 2.26 m (7 ft 5 in), female 2.29 m (7 ft 6 in); weight: male 140 kg (310 lb), female 130 kg (290 lb). This is a medium-sized dolphin in both length and weight. At full size, South American spotted dolphins are about 2.2-2.5 m in length.

  • Feeding

    Most delphinids primarily eat fish, along with a smaller number of squid and small crustaceans, but some species specialise in eating squid,
    or in the case of the killer whale, also eat marine mammals and birds. All, however, are purely carnivorous. They typically have between 100 and 200 teeth, although a few species have considerably fewer.

  • Life History

    Gestation lasts from 10 to 12 months, and results in the birth of a single calf.

  • Behavior

    Some Atlantic spotted dolphins, particularly some of those are around the Bahamas, have become habituated to human contact. In these areas, cruises to watch and even swim with the dolphins are common. This species lives in the mesopelagic layer of the ocean. These dolphins are not threatened by extinction, however, commercial trade may affect their evolution and sustainability.