Black Dolphin
Cephalorhynchus eutropia

Other Names: White-bellied Dolphin, Chilean Dolphin, Chilean Black Dolphin

Habitat: Inshore

Status: Rare

Population: Unknown

Threats: Entanglement in fishing nets and hunting/whaling

Group Size: 2-3, larger temporary gatherings

Fin Position: Center

Newborns: Unknown length, Unknown weight

Adults: 4-5 ¾ ft (1.2-1.7 m), c.65-145 lbs. (30-65 kg)

Diet: Squid or octopus, krill or other crustaceans, and fish

Teeth: 56-68 on top row, 58-66 on bottom row


Dorsal fin:

- fairly large, rounded dorsal fin
- concave edge


- broad flukes
- concave trailing edges
- distinct notch in middle
- rounded tips
- upper sides and undersides of flukes are gray


- small, rounded flippers
- small white patch behind each flipper


- white throat
- white .lips., may be thicker on some individuals
- indistinct beak
- pale gray .cap. on forehead
- conical head with gently sloping forehead

Other characteristics:

- dark gray body may appear brown, tan, or gray at sea
- small, stocky body
- white belly


- little information is known, but it is generally thought to be unobtrusive
- rarely breaches
- reported to have slight undulating movement in the water, rather like a swimming sea lion
- often seen among breakers and swells very close to shore
- southern species tend to be more wary of boats and difficult to approach, where northern species have been know to swim over to boats and may bow-ride
- groups tend to be far larger along the open coast in the north, as many as 4,000 animals have been seen traveling together
- often found in association with flocks of feeding seabirds


- restricted to cold, shallow waters of coastal Chile
- range stretches from Valparaíso in the north to Navarino Island, near Cape Horn, in the extreme south
- occurs in the Straits of Magellan and the channels of Tierra del Fuego
- distribution seems to be continuous, though there seem to be areas of local abundance, such as off Playa Frailes, Valdivia, Golfo de Arauco, and near Isla de Chiloé
- known to enter Rio Valdivia and other rivers
- may also sometimes occur at the extreme southern tip of Argentina
- no seasonal movements have been recognized
- seems to prefer areas with significant tidal range
- frequently encountered at entrances to fjords and in bays and river mouths, but also occurs along fairly open cost
- there is no information on the distance ranged offshore

TMMSN Galveston

TMMSN Corpus Christi

Return To Gulf of Mexico Species
Return To Cetaceans of the World

e-mail suggestions or questions to

This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet