Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Long-Snouted Spinner Dolphin
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order : CETARTIODACTYLA
Infraorder : Cetacea
Family : Delphinidae
Species :
Stenella longirostris

Total Length : up to 2.2m
Weight : up to 95 kg

The Long-snouted Spinner Dolphin, often  referred to simply as the Spinner Dolphin, is a widespread species of the world's tropical seas and oceans. 

This is a small marine mammal reaching up to just 2.2 metres. Its identifying feature is the long, dark, narrow snout which ends in a black tip. Playful in nature, it may be encountered riding the bow waves of powered motorboats.

Patterning is variable, but Southeast Asia's populations tend to have medium grey upperparts, pale grey flanks and white underparts. Some populations, however, may be all dark grey.

Spinner Dolphins are so called on account of their acrobatic agility - they are able to spin around on their axis as they leap above the sea's surface. They may be encountered in pods of around 10-20 to sometimes over 100 individuals. They feed mainly on small fish, squid and prawns. Dolphins are communicative mammals, which rely on echolocation to accurately locate their food prey.

Spinner Dolphins prefer deep, clear waters and in Southeast Asia are more likely to be found in oceanic waters away from the shallow Sunda Shelf e.g. Eastern Indonesia and the Philippines. The somewhat smaller Spinner Dolphins found in the shallow seas of Western Indonesia, South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand are considered a different subspecies - Stenella longirostris roseiventris.


Figs 1 and 2 : This pair of Long-snouted Spinner Dolphin were sighted off Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia.


References : M2