Stenella coeruleoalba - Dauphin bleu et blanc - Stenella striata - Striped dolphin
Illustration © M. Würtz. Musée océanographique de Monaco, Fondation Albert Ier

Striped dolphins in the Mediterranean can reach 2.2 m in size and weigh around 100 kilos. Their life expectancy is around forty years. Not including coastal areas, they are the most common dolphins in the Sanctuary (between 20,000 and 45,000 individuals recorded). It is estimated that the striped dolphin population of the entire Mediterranean is 250,000 individuals. Highly sociable, they are often seen in groups of several dozen individuals (even as many as a hundred). Inquisitive, playful and acrobatic, they are happy to play alongside the bows of boats. Their feeding habits change depending on location and season, which may explain their particularly wide distribution, but in the Ligurian Sea they feed mainly on fish (sardines and anchovies). Frequently seen in offshore areas all year round.

Threats to the species

The biggest threats to these marine mammals are drift nets and, more generally, man-made pollution, as well as overfishing of their prey.