Atlantic Spotted dolphins have arrived the first week of June this year around São Miguel! It is a migratory species which occurs in the waters of the Azores in the summer, when the water is warmer. We usually observe them from June to November around the archipelago.


Monthly percentage of trips in which Atlantic Spotted dolphins were seen for 2016, 2015 and 2014. For more years, check Monicet:


As the name suggests, they are only found in the Atlantic Ocean, and their are spotted! This mottled pattern is specific of this species. Calves are born dark gray above and white below, without spots. When they get older, roughly around weaning age, they start to develop spots on their body : juveniles show some dark ventral and light dorsal spots while adults present a mottled color pattern. A study suggests that spotting is correlated with the process of sexual maturation (Kasuya et al. 1974).

Young Atlantic spotted – notice the absence of spots


Atlantic Spotted dolphin mother and calf


Individual variation of colour between adult Atlantic Spotted dolphins


Adult Atlantic Spotted dolphins – notice the heavily spotted pattern


Atlantic Spotted dolphins are part of the Odontoceti group, they have teeth on both lower and upper jaw, useful to feed on fish, squids and benthic invertebrates. They can reach 2,3 meters in length and they are sexual mature between 8 and 15 years old.

Did you know that the most famous population of Atlantic Spotted dolphins is encountered in the Bahamas ? They are known to be very friendly and approach swimmers easily! So, as you can imagine, we are really happy when they are around the island for swimmers’s and the team to enjoy their presence 😀


Atlantic Spotted dolphin / Golfinho pintado


Join us to live a wonderful experience ON and IN the sea with dolphins and Terra Azul Team!


About Marine

Marine is Marine Biologist and was Marine Wildlife Guide at TERRA AZUL in 2017. She is now wondering the World and discovering new things! We hope soon she'll get back in touch to share, and to help update this profile.

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