Pseudorca crassidens - (Owen, 1846)
False Killer Whale
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Pseudorca crassidens (Owen, 1846) (TSN 180463)
French Common Names: pseudorque
Spanish Common Names: Orca Falsa, Falsa Ballena Asesina
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100838
Element Code: AMAGE09010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Whales and Dolphins
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Cetacea Delphinidae Pseudorca
Genus Size: A - Monotypic genus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Pseudorca crassidens
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr1997
Global Status Last Changed: 09Apr1997
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Widespread in oceans, not significantly threatened.
Nation: United States
National Status: NU (19Feb1997)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Florida (SNR), Georgia (SNRN), Hawaii (SNR), North Carolina (SNA), Oregon (SNA), South Carolina (SNR), Texas (S1)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): PS:LE
Comments on USESA: NMFS issued a final determination to list the Main Hawaiian Islands insular false killer whale distinct population segment (DPS) as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (Federal Register, 28 Nov. 2012).
IUCN Red List Category: DD - Data deficient
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix II

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Widely distributed, though apparently nowhere abundant, in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate waters throughout the world. In the U.S. they occur in Hawaii, along the entire West Coast, and from the Mid-Atlantic coastal states south.

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: Nowhere abundant.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: No known major threats, though some mortality occurs as a result of direct and indirect taking associated with various fisheries (IUCN 1991). Culls have occurred in Japan in efforts to reduce perceived damage to fisheries (IUCN 1991).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Widely distributed, though apparently nowhere abundant, in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate waters throughout the world. In the U.S. they occur in Hawaii, along the entire West Coast, and from the Mid-Atlantic coastal states south.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States FL, GA, HI, NC, OR, SC, TX

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
GA Chatham (13051)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Lower Savannah (03060109)+*, Ogeechee Coastal (03060204)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Protracted breeding season, reportedly with no fixed breeding or calving season, though a peak in calving in March was found off Japan. Gestation lasts about 15-16 months. Lactation lasts apparently about 18 months. Sexually mature at about 3.2-3.8 m (Leatherwood and Reeves 1983), probably at a minimum age of 8 years (IUCN 1991, Stacey et al. 1994). Off Japan, the average interval between births has been estimated at about 7 years, with females over 45 years old post-reproductive (see Stacey et al. 1994). May live several decades.
Ecology Comments: Gregarious, often in herds of >100 individuals; mean group size off Japan was 55; group size from 14 mass strandings (not uncommon) averaged 180 (50-835). Herds usually include both sexes and all age classes (or minus males in the late maturing stage) and appear to be socially cohesive. Often associates with other cetaceans (Leatherwood and Reeves 1983).
Habitat Type: Marine
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: May make seasonal migrations into northern Pacific waters during spring-summer warming (Leatherwood and Reeves 1983).
Marine Habitat(s): Pelagic
Habitat Comments: Primarily pelagic; usually not near land except around oceanic islands and coast with deep water nearby (Leatherwood and Reeves 1983).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Diet mainly squid and large fishes (Stacey et al. 1994), including some obtained from fishing lines. May attack dolphins released from purse seines in eastern tropical Pacific (Leatherwood and Reeves 1983).
Length: 550 centimeters
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Has been successfully maintained in several marine aquaria. Sometimes taken for human food and oil in mass shore drives in Japan and in small cetacean fisheries in Taiwan and the Caribbean (Leatherwood and Reeves 1983, Stacy et al. 1994). Sometimes regarded as pest by fishermen who perceive these whales as a competitor for fishes. Sometimes takes fishes hooked on fishing lines; sometimes causes significant impact on tuna long-line fishery in the tropical Pacific (IUCN 1991).
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Dolphins and Porpoises

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A marine area that is or has been occupied consistently or recurrently. Occurrences not based on the entire range of particular populations or subpopulations, but rather on distinct areas that are important to the survival of these populations. Minimally, at least two and preferably several years of observation should be used to reliably identify significant, recurrent occurrences.
Separation Barriers: Upland areas.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 20 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 20 km
Separation Justification: Separation Distance arbitrary. In most cases, occurrences should not be extensive areas but rather portions of such areas that stand out as strongly meeting the occurrence criteria.
Available information on genetics, dispersion, and movement patterns of most populations generally is insufficient to determine biologically meaningful separation distances for occurrences. The separation distance used here does not attempt to identify biologically distinct populations but rather is an arbitrary value that attempts to identify relatively distinct geographic areas that have frequent or concentrated activity and that are of practical size.
Bottlenose Dolphins (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS) that were resident in a South Carolina estuary had relatively small home ranges (mean 51.3 square kilometers, 95% adaptive kernel method; Gubbins 2002).

Date: 06Mar2002
Author: Cannings, S.
Notes: Contains all members of the families Delphinidae and Phocoenidae, except ORCINUS ORCA.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 20Sep1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Allen, C. R., S. Demarais, and R. S. Lutz. 1994. Red imported fire ant impact on wildlife: an overview. The Texas Journal of Science 46(1):51-59.

  • Bradley, R.D., L.K. Ammerman, R.J. Baker, L.C. Bradley, J.A. Cook. R.C. Dowler, C. Jones, D.J. Schmidly, F.B. Stangl Jr., R.A. Van den Bussche and B. Würsig. 2014. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 2014. Museum of Texas Tech University Occasional Papers 327:1-28. Available at: http://www.nsrl.ttu.edu/publications/opapers/ops/OP327.pdf

  • CALDWELL, D. K. AND G. B. GOLLEY. 1965. MARINE MAMMALS FROM THE COAST OF GEORGIA TO CAPE HATTERAS. J. ELISHA MITCHELL SCI. SOC. 81(1):24-32.

  • Gubbins, C. 2002. Use of home ranges by resident bottlenose dolphins (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS) in a South Carolina estuary. Journal of Mammalogy 83:178-187.

  • IUCN (World Conservation Union). 1991. Dolphins, Porpoises and Whales of the World: the IUCN Red Data Book. M. Klinowska (compiler). IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, United Kingdom. viii + 429 pp.

  • Jones, J. K., S. Demarais, and C. T. McAllister. 1995. Contribution to a bibliography of recent Texas mammals 1981-1990. Special Publications, The Museum Texas Tech University 38:1-64.

  • Leatherwood, S., and R. R. Reeves. 1983. The Sierra Club handbook of whales and dolphins. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco. 302 pp.

  • MINASIAN, S. M., K. C. BALCOMB III, AND L. FOSTER. 1984. SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION PRESS, WASHINGTON. 224 PP

  • OWEN, JAMES G. 1990. AN ANALYSIS OF THE SPATIAL STRUCTURE OF MAMMALIAN DISTRIBUTION PATTERNS IN TEXAS. ECOLOGY 71(5):1823-1832.

  • OWEN, JAMES G. 1990. PATTERNS OF MAMMALIAN SPECIES RICHNESS IN RELATION TO TEMPERATURE, PRODUCTIVITY, AND VARIANCE IN ELEVATION. J. MAMM. 71(1):1-13.

  • Pacheco, V., H. de Macedo, E. Vivar, C. Ascorra, R. Arana-Cardó, and S. Solari. 1995. Lista anotada de los mamíferos peruanos. Conservation International, Washington, DC.

  • Rice, D. W. 1998. Marine mammals of the world: systematics and distribution. Society for Marine Mammalogy, Special Publication Number 4. ix + 231 pp.

  • Ridgway, S. H., and R. J. Harrison. 1989. Handbook of marine mammals. Vol. 4. River dolphins and the larger toothed whales. Academic Press, New York. 442 pp.

  • Stacey, P. J., S. Leatherwood, and R. W. Baird. 1994. Pseudorca crassidens. Am. Soc. Mamm., Mammalian Species No. 456:1-6.

  • Stacey, P. J., and R. W. Baird. 1991. Status of the false killer whale, PSEUDORCA CRASSIDENS, in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 105:189-197.

  • Tirira, D. 1999. Mamíferos del Ecuador. Museo de Zoología, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito.

  • WATSON, LYALL. 1981. SEA GUIDE TO WHALES OF THE WORLD. E. P. DUTTON. NEW YORK. 302 PP.

  • Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.

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