Clymene Dolphin

Clymene Dolphin

name = Clymene DolphinMSW3 Cetacea|id=14300088]
status = DD
status_system = iucn3.1
status_ref =IUCN2008|assessors=HammondHammond, P.S., Bearzi, G., Bjørge, A., Forney, K., Karczmarski, L., Kasuya, T., Perrin, W.F., Scott, M.D., Wang, J.Y., Wells, R.S. & Wilson, B.|year=2008|id=20730|title=Stenella clymene|downloaded=7 October 2008]

image2_width = 250px
image_caption=Clymene dolphins

image2_width = 250px
image2_caption = Size comparison against an average human
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Cetacea
familia = Delphinidae
genus = "Stenella"
species = "S. clymene"
binomial = "Stenella clymene"
binomial_authority = Gray, 1846

range_map_width = 250px
range_map_caption = Clymene Dolphin range

The Clymene Dolphin ("Stenella clymene"), in some texts known as the Short-snouted Spinner Dolphin, is a dolphin endemic to the Atlantic Ocean.


From its discovery by John Gray in 1850 until a re-assessment in 1981, the Clymene Dolphin was regarded as sub-species of the Spinner Dolphin. In 1981 Perrin et al ref_1 asserted the Clymene's existence as separate species. Up until this time, because Clymenes are relatively remote and regarded as "the same" as more accessible Spinners they were never heavily studied. Mead and Perrin ref_2 went some way to redress this balance but the Clymene Dolphin is still one of the least understood of all cetaceans.

Physical description

The Clymene Dolphin looks very similar to the Spinner Dolphin and at sea, where the two species may intermingle in large groups, they may be indistinguishable. At close quarters it is possible to observe that the beak of the Clymene is slightly shorter that its relative. The dorsal fin is also less erect and triangular.

The basic color of the Clymene Dolphin is "Cetacean Neapolitan" - it comes in three shaded layers - the underside being a white-pink color. Next comes a strip of light grey that runs from just above the beak, round either side of the eye all the way back to the tail stock where the band thickens. The top layer, from the forehead, along the back to the dorsal fin and down to the top of the tail stock is a dark grey. The beak, lips and flippers are also dark grey in color.

Clymene Dolphins grow to about 2 meters in length and 75-80 kg in weight. No figures are available for the size of animals at birth. Gestation, lactation, maturation and longevity periods are all unknown but are unlikely to vary greatly from others in the "Stenella" genus.

Clymenes are fairly active dolphins. They do spin longitudinally when jumping clear of the water, but not with as much regularity and complexity as the Spinner Dolphin. They will also approach boats and bow-ride. Diet is likely to consist of small fish and squid. Group sizes vary from just a few individuals to great schools numbering up to 500.

Population and distribution

The Clymene Dolphin is endemic to the Atlantic Ocean. Its full range is still poorly understood, particular at its southern end. The species certainly prefers temperate and tropical waters. The northern end of the range runs approximately from New Jersey east-south-east to southern Morocco. The southern tips runs from somewhere around Angola to Rio de Janeiro. They appear to prefer deep water. Plenty of sightings have been recorded in the Gulf of Mexico. The species has not been sighted however in the Mediterranean Sea.

Total population is unknown. The only population estimate available is for the north part of the Gulf of Mexico, where a count of 5,500 individuals was reported. The species may be naturally rare in comparison with others in the "Stenella" genus.

Human interaction

The species has not had much interaction with humans. Some individuals have been killed from directed fisheries in the Caribbean and others in nets off West Africa.


* Carwardine, Mark. "Whales Dolphins and Porpoises", Dorling Kindersley Handbooks, ISBN 0-7513-2781-6.
* Jefferson, Thomas A. "Clymene Dolphin" in "Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals", 234–236. ISBN 0-12-551340-2
* Perrin and Mead. "Clymene Dolphin" in "Handbook of Marine Mammals". 5: 161–171.
* Perrin, Mitchell, Mead, Caldwell and van Bree. (1981) "Stenella clymene, a rediscovered tropical dolphin of the Atlantic", "Journal of Mammalogy". 62: 583–589.
* Reeves, Stewart, Clapham and Powell. "National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World", ISBN 0-375-41141-0.

External links

* [ The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)]
* [ Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society]

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