Illustrations by

© M.Würtz/

Short-Beaked Dolphin

Delphinus delphis

Short-Beaked Common Dolphin | Delfino comune

The common dolphin, once a very common species in the Mediterranean Sea, has suffered a strong decline in recent decades in the western basin. In the Ligurian Sea, today it is very rare, and it is mainly seen associated with groups of dolphins. It is more abundant in the eastern basin, with a resident population in the Ionian Sea.

Features: the body is tapered and slender, the grey back is characterized laterally by an hourglass-shaped spot of yellow-ochre colour from head to side and light grey towards the tail. The dorsal fin has a triangular shape and presents a pale spot at the base that can take different shapes at second of the individual and can be used in the recognition of the different specimens.

Lunghezza (massima): 2,5 metri

Weight: 100-130kg

Longevity: about 50 years

Dive time: average 8 minutes, maximum 30 minutes

Immersion depth: max -290 m

Speed: maximum 65 km / h

Food Diet: mainly cephalopods

Classification: DD ( Data Deficient )

Threats: noise pollution, intensive fishing.