Spectacled Porpoise
Australophocaena dioptrica


Other Names: Formerly Phocoena dioptrica

Habitat: Inshore and occasionally offshore

Status: Locally common

Population: Unknown

Threats: Hunting/whaling and entanglement in fishing nets

Group Size: 1-2

Fin Position: Slightly behind center

Newborns: c.28-32 in (70-80 cm), Unknown weight

Adults: 4 -7 ft (1.3-2.2 m), 130-185 lbs. (60-84 kg)

Diet: Fish and squid or octopus

Teeth: 36-46 on top row, 32-40 on bottom row


Description

Dorsal Fin:

- large, rounded dorsal fin
- wide base
- female:
- low, triangular shape
- smaller than male fin
- straight trailing edge

Flukes:

- distinct notch in middle
- small flukes with blue-black upper sides and white or pale gray undersides
- pointed tips

Flippers:

- flippers small and close to head
- brilliant white flippers, with gray line along leading edges

Head:

- 1 or 2 dark gray stripes leading from mouth to flippers
- black "lips"
- black patch around eye surrounded by fine white line (like spectacles)

Other characteristics:

- glossy blue-black back
- white stripe along upper side of tail stock
- brilliant white underside extends to midway up flanks; white area may extend with age
- sharp demarcation between black and white


Behavior

- known only from a handful of observations, and little information is available
- it is reported to be elusive and fast in the water
- the white sides are likely to be visible when swimming at or near the surface
- it appears to live mainly alone (most of the strandings and sightings are of solitary animals) but may also live in small groups


Distribution

- Southern Atlantic coast of South America and certain offshore islands
- distribution of this species is puzzling because there are records from widely separate locations; some of these may involve strays or cases of mistaken identity
- records from offshore islands (mostly of dead animals and skulls), hint at a circumpolar distribution and suggest that the range may also include large areas of open sea
- it is not known whether these represent isolated populations or whether they mix with mainland coastal animals by migrating across the open sea



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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet