Fraser’s Dolphin – Lagenodelphis hosei

Fraser’s Dolphin, also known as the Bornean or Sarawak Dolphin, belongs to the family of the Dolphins (Delphinidae) and thus is part of the infraorder of the Whales (Cetacea). Lagenodelphis hosei was first described in 1956 by Fraser. This description was based only on a found skull. Due to the similarities to the Short-Beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis), as well as to the genus Lagenorhynchus, he named the new genus Lagenodelphis.

Sarawak Bornean Fraser's Dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei whales cetacea cetaceans species whale watching canary islands canaries atlantic
Juvenile Fraser’s Dolphin – Lagenodelphis hosei


Fraser’s Dolphin has a grey back and a white belly with pink shimmer. From the base of the melon is drawn a white stripe up to the tail root. This becomes broader and more obscure. Under the white strip is a black one, which is divided into two branches. The first passes to the flipper, while the second goes to the anus.

Like the beak, the fluke, flipper and dorsal fin are also very short.

Despite the short snout, they have between 34 and 44 teeth in each half of the jaw.

Lagenodelphis hosei reaches a length of 2,70 m, weighing up to 210 kg.

Habitat and Distribution

Cetacea range map Fraser'sDolphin.png
Von Alessio Marrucci en:User:Pcb21en:, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Fraser’s Dolphin prefers the life on the open sea, whereby it occurs mostly in regions with more than 1000m depth.

This is why it is extremely unlikely to be encountered when diving in the Canaries. Whale watching tours are also unlikely to see him.

The distribution area of ​​Lagenodelphis hosei forms a non-uniform band around the globe. Here, South Africa is the southernmost point and the southern part of Japan is the northernmost point. Although it has been seen around the British coast in 1984, they are usually not observed in these latitudes. However, generally is not much known about the actual distribution area, the migration routes or regional differences and subspecies


Lagenodelphis hosei is a social animal, which mostly lives in schools of 100 to 1000 individuals. In addition, it is possible to see them accompanied by other small whales, such as Risso’s Dolphin.

Its diet consists of small fish, cephalopods and crustaceans. The prey consists animals, which can be hunted at depths of 250 to 500m during night time.

The smallest detected individual to date was 85cm long and had an unrolled umbilical cord. According to this, Fraser’s Dolphin is assumed to be about 80cm long at birth. However, nothing is known about mating time, duration of pregnancy and lactation.