On our daily trips we are happy to meet the energetic and often playfull Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis). Most of the times they come close, surf in the bow waves of the boats, performing their powerful jumps and other stunts. As they did today.
Atlantic spotted dolphins belongs within the familly of dolphins to the genus of Stenella, which has a cosmopolitan disrtibution. They recieved their scientific name from the zoologist J. E. Grey, 1866, which described several dolphin species. Stenella species show varied body colorations. According to the single species, they have different striped and spotted patterns. In the waters around Madeira we can see -besides the Altantic spotted dolphins- a second species of Stenella: the blue-white dolphin, also called striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba).
Further down in the southern Atlantic (south of southern Maroc), lives the Clymene spotted dolphin (Stenella clymene), which stays in the tropic and subtropic waters of the Atlantic. Also in the (East) Pacific there are Spotted dolphins. For example the Eastpacific dolphin, better known as Spinnerdolphin (Stenella longirostris). On a worldwide scale you can also find the Pantropical dolphin (Stenella attenuata), which remains in tropical and subtropical waters.
by Astrid Haas
Sightings of the day:
09.00: Atlantic spotted dolphins and Bottlenose dolphins
10.00: Atlantic spotted dolphins and Bottlenose dolphins, Sea turtle
15.00: Atlantic spotted dolphins