Stenella attenuata - (Gray, 1846)
Pantropical Spotted Dolphin
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Stenella attenuata (Gray, 1846) (TSN 180430)
Spanish Common Names: Estenela Moteada
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101049
Element Code: AMAGE01010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Whales and Dolphins
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Cetacea Delphinidae Stenella
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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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: Stenella attenuata
Taxonomic Comments: Inshore and offshore stocks may warrant taxonomic separation (Douglas et al. 1984). See Perrin et al. (1987) for taxonomic revision and synonyms.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 15Nov1996
Global Status Last Changed: 15Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Worldwide range in warm oceans; population may be near 3 million in eastern tropical Pacific portion of the range; a decline has occurred in the eastern tropical Pacific as a result of mortality in the tuna fishery.
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), Hawaii (SNR), North Carolina (SNA), South Carolina (SNR)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
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: Worldwide in tropical and some subtropical waters (some extralimital records from cooler waters) (Perrin et al. 1987); mainly between 40 degrees north latitude and 40 degrees south latitude, though mainly at lower latitudes (Jefferson et al. 1993). Mundialmente en aguas tropicales, c lidas, templadas. Desde M¿xico hasta Per£ en el Atl ntico desde M¿xico hasta Venezuela.

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Northern offshore population in the eastern tropical Pacific may have averaged 2.5 million in 1981-1986; the southern offshore stock was estimated at 250,000-500,000 in the 1980s (IUCN 1991).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Some populations have declined as result of mortality associated with purse-seine tuna fishery in eastern tropical Pacific (Smith 1983, IUCN 1991); takes of 100,000s per year occurred in the 1960s and 1970s (Jefferson et al. 1993); estimated that 70,000 were killed in 1986 (IUCN 1991); annual mortality in the late 1980s was in the 10,000s (Jefferson et al. 1993). Taken also in drive fisheries in Japan and the Solomon Islands, in gillnet and harpoon fisheries in Sri Lanka, and in the Caribbean small cetacean fishery, among others (Jefferson et al. 1993).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Still widely distributed and abundant, but some populations have declined. Northern offshore population in the eastern tropical Pacific apparently declined by 40-60% from the early 1960s to the mid- to late 1970s; declined from about 4 million in 1975-1980 to an average of 2.5 million in 1981-1986, though fluctuations in oceanographic conditions may have confounded these results (IUCN 1991).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Worldwide in tropical and some subtropical waters (some extralimital records from cooler waters) (Perrin et al. 1987); mainly between 40 degrees north latitude and 40 degrees south latitude, though mainly at lower latitudes (Jefferson et al. 1993). Mundialmente en aguas tropicales, c lidas, templadas. Desde M¿xico hasta Per£ en el Atl ntico desde M¿xico hasta Venezuela.

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, HI, NC, SC

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small cetacean (dolphin).
Reproduction Comments: Two calving peaks occur in the eastern tropical Pacific, one in spring and one in fall (Jefferson et al. 1993). Calving interval averages 2-3 years in eastern Pacific, 4-6 years in western Pacific. Males are sexually mature at average age of 15 years, females at average of 10-12 years. Old females may not reproduce. Maximum longevity may exceed 45 years (see Perrin et al. 1987).
Ecology Comments: In eastern tropical Pacific, commonly associates with yellowfin tuna (as do spinner dolphins and sea birds). Pod size: a few individuals to several thousand. For oceanic populations, annual home range diameter may be several km or more. (Perrin et al. 1987).
Habitat Type: Marine
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Makes seasonal migrations within annual home range (Perrin et al. 1987); offshore in fall and winter, onshore in spring and summer (IUCN 1991).
Marine Habitat(s): Near shore, Pelagic
Habitat Comments: Primarily a high-seas pelagic species found in deep water far from land; a larger form inhabits the onshore waters of Mexico and Central America (Perrin, in Wilson and Ruff 1999).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Recorded stomach contents include various small epipelagic and mesopelagic fishes and squids and unidentified nemertean worms and crab larvae (Perrin et al. 1987). In eastern tropical Pacific, diet dominated by squid in pregnant females, by fishes in lactating females (Bernard and Horn 1989).
Length: 257 centimeters
Weight: 119000 grams
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Some (at least several hundred) are taken directly in fisheries in various parts of the range. One of the dolphin species blamed for interference in a hook-and-line fishery of Iki Island in Japan. See 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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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 26Dec1995
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 26Dec1995
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
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  • Bernard, H. J., and A. A. Horn. 1989. Differences in feeding habits between pregnant and lactating spotted dolphins (STENELLA ATTENUATA). J. Mamm. 70:211-215.

  • 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

  • Douglas, M. E., G. D. Schnell, and D. J. Hough. 1984. Differentiation between inshore and offshore spotted dolphins in the tropical Pacific Ocean. J. Mamm. 65:375-387.

  • 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.

  • Jefferson, T. A., S. Leatherwood, and M. A. Webber. 1993. FAO species identification guide: Marine mammals of the world. Rome, FAO. 320 pp. Online. Available: ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/t0725e/t0725e00.pdf.

  • Jones, J. K., Jr., R. S. Hoffman, D. W. Rice, C. Jones, R. J. Baker, and M. D. Engstrom. 1992a. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 1991. Occasional Papers, The Museum, Texas Tech University, 146:1-23.

  • 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.

  • Perrin, W. F., et al. 1987. Revision of the spotted dolphins, STENELLA spp. Marine Mamm. Sci. 3:99-170.

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

  • Smith, T. D. 1983. Changes in size of three dolphin (STENELLA spp.) populations in the eastern tropical Pacific.Fishery Bull. 81:1-13.

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

  • 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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