Striped Dolphin – Stenella coeruleoalba
The Striped Dolphin, also known as the Blue-White Dolphin or Euphrosyne Dolphin, belongs to the family of the Dolphins (Delphinidae) and thus is part of the order of the Whales (Cetacea). Stenella coeruleoalba was first described in 1833 by Meyen.
Description & Anatomy
Due to its unique colouration, the Striped Dolphin is easily distinguishable from other species of dolphins. The back is dark blue, while the flanks are grey and the belly white. From the eyes runs a dark line to the flipper. In addition, there is a dark line on each side, beginning at the eyes and converging at the lower end of the tail. The Fluke is coloured completely dark.
Stenella coeruleoalba has a comparatively short snout that has 36 to 45 pairs of teeth in the upper and lower jaws.
Its maximum length is 2.50man it can weigh up to 165kg..
Habitat and Distribution
Stenella coeruleoalba prefers marine areas with a distance greater than 200m from the coast. Only rarely one can observe it closer to the shore.
The Striped Dolphin is found almost all over the world in all seas and oceans. Exceptions are e.g. The Pacific coast of South America, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. The northernmost sight was reported by the South coast of Greenland, which was probably a stray animal.
When diving in the Canary Islands it is rather unlikely to encounter Stenella coeruleoalba. However, you can watch it occasionally at Whale Watching Tours.
Since most of the stranding on the Spanish coast are reported in the spring and summer and in France rather in the winter, the animals are thought to migrate northwards. These walks are probably linked to the food supply.
Striped Dolphins are hunters who mainly feed on cephalopods. There are also small fish and crustaceans on their menu. When hunting, they dive down to 700m deep to go for their prey. However, they do not only hunt, but are also hunted. Their natural wrinkles are for example sharks and orcas.
A school of Stenella coeruleoalba usually consists of 25 to 1000 animals. It is very active species and rides in bow waves of ships or larger whales. They can communicate with each other by clicking and whistling.
Reproduction & Developement
Depending on the region, females reach their sexual maturity with 6 to 10 years. The males about a year earlier, although they begin mating with about 12 to 16 years, when they have attained the social sexual maturity.
On average, females wear a young animal every three years. The duration of the pregnancy is 13 months, the lactation is 16 months and the mating interval is 6 months. When Stenella coeruleoalba has reached the age of 30, the pregnancies decrease significantly.
A newborn Striped Dolphin is between 80 and 108cm long. It Has a life expectancy of more than 40 years, the oldest animal was estimated to be 57 years old.