The Striped Dolphin

Striped Dolphin

Image: by Thomas O’Brien

By Tom O’Brien

In memory of the pod lost in Taiji on 10/25/2012

The striped dolphin (aka the blue-white dolphin) can be found swimming throughout all of the worlds warm to tropical oceans. They are a very social species often traveling in large pods of 25 – 100 or more and can easily number in the thousands. These dolphins are also very acrobatic and may perform high jumps and frequently breach the water.

Currently this species is considered highly stable as they are estimated to be over 2 million striped dolphins in existence.

Physical Characteristics:

  • In terms of size these dolphins can grow to lengths of around 8 1/2 ft and weigh over 350 pounds.
  • They have a very distinct color pattern which appears very different from most species of dolphin.
  • The belly and rest of the lower portion of the dolphin is either white, pink or blue.
  • There are one or two black stripes that run from the eyes to the back and flippers and two more stripes that start from the back of the ears.
  • One stripe runs to the flipper and the other dips down to the belly.
  • All of their appendages are black.
  • They also have a large dorsal fin and prominent beak.

Social Structure

  • Striped dolphins have a very complex social structure which can be organized by age, sex and breeding status.
  • These dolphins communicate using a series of clicks and whistles, and by using body language such as breaching, jumping, roto tailing and spyhopping.
  • They rarely socialize or associate themselves with other species including other species of dolphin.
  • Large pods of 25 – 100 are common and at time these pods can congregate into larger groups of several thousand dolphins.