Creature Feature – Atlantic Spotted Dolphin
This week’s featured creature is the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin. This species of dolphin is fast-swimming and found in warmer waters. It is famous for it’s older individuals having a very distinctive spotted colouration. The degree of spottiness and their colouration pattern varies with age and location.
Scientific Name: Stenella frontalis
© National Geographic
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Fact File
Size: Individuals can grow up to 2.3m long and weigh up to 143kg
Distribution: This species is only found in the Atlantic Ocean where they prefer warm or very warm (tropical) offshore locations
Diet: They have a varied diet; they eat small fish, invertebrates, and squid/octopus
Behaviour: Fast-swimmers, like many dolphin species, they are acrobatic, and curious – they have been observed approach boats from a distance to bowride. Different populations of spotted dolphins around the world have different social structures and habits. They usually form groups of five to 50 individuals but sometimes travel in groups of up to 200.
IUCN Status: Least Concern. Last assessed in 2018, this species is not endangered. However, like many marine species, they are threatened by bycatch