Striped Dolphin
Stenella coeruleoalba
Amila Tennakoon

The striped Dolphin has a slim and fusiform body with prominent beak and a high and sickle dorsal fin. The back is dark in contrast with the clear flanks and belly. It has two thin stripes that start on the eye, one extending to the pectoral fin and the longest one goes until the anal region.

The Striped Dolphin is mainly pelagic, preferring the open sea, where it feeds on cephalopods, mesopelagic fish and shrimp; it can dive up to 200-700 m deep while foraging. Thus in Portugal this species is more common in the proximity of the continental shelf slope or in areas with around 1000 m deep and therefore less common near shore. However, the deep rich waters of Nazaré Canyon make it possible to observe this dolphin in the surroundings of Berlengas archipelago.

Striped Dolphins rarely follow vessels; however they are very active in aerial behaviours and can jump up to 7 meters high!