Lagenorhynchus cruciger


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Lagenorhynchus cruciger
Species Authority: (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)
Common Name(s):
English Hourglass Dolphin
French Lagénorhynque Crucigère, Dauphin Crucigère
Spanish Delfín Cruzado
Taxonomic Notes: The genus Lagenorhynchus is likely an artificial genus (LeDuc et al. 1999), and this species may eventually be included in the genus Sagmatias.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Hammond, P.S., Bearzi, G., Bjørge, A., Forney, K., Karczmarski, L., Kasuya, T., Perrin, W.F., Scott, M.D., Wang, J.Y., Wells, R.S. & Wilson, B.
Reviewer(s): Rojas-Bracho, L. & Smith, B.D. (Cetacean Red List Authority)
The species is widespread and abundant and no threats have been identified.
1994 Insufficiently Known (Groombridge 1994)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Hourglass dolphins are distributed in a circumpolar pattern in the higher latitudes of the southern oceans (Goodall 1997; Goodall et al. 1997; Brownell and Donahue 1999). They range to the ice-edges in the south, but the northern limits are not well-known (they are found to at least 45°S, although some occasionally reach 33°S). The most southerly sightings are from near 68°S, in the South Pacific (Goodall 1997; Brownell and Donahue 1999). This is the only small delphinid species regularly found south of the Antarctic Convergence.
Antarctica; Argentina; Australia; Chile; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); French Southern Territories (Crozet Is., Kerguelen); New Zealand; South Africa (Marion-Prince Edward Is.); South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – Antarctic; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – southwest; Indian Ocean – Antarctic; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – Antarctic; Pacific – southeast; Pacific – southwest
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In the only abundance estimate for this species, Kasamatsu and Joyce (1995) combined data gathered in sighting surveys conducted from 1976/77 to 1987/88 to produce an abundance estimate of 144,300 (CV =17%) for waters south of the Antarctic convergence.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Normally seen far out to sea, L. cruciger has also been observed in fairly shallow water near the Antarctic Peninsula and off southern South America. It occurs within 160 km of the ice edge in some areas in southern part of the range (Jefferson et al. 1993). Most sightings of these dolphins are in an area around the Antarctic Convergence, between South America and Macquarie Island. The species seems to prefer surface water temperatures between 0.6° - 13°C (mean 4.8 °C; Goodall 1997) or even down to -0.3°C (Goodall 2002).

The stomach contents of the five specimens of hourglass dolphins that have been examined contained small fish (including myctophids), squids, and crustaceans. They often feed in aggregations of seabirds and in plankton swarms.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed in Appendix II of CITES.

Bibliography [top]

Brownell Jr., R. L. and Donahue, M. A. 1999. Hourglass dolphin Lagenorhynchus cruciger (Quoy and Gaimard, 1824). In: S. H. Ridgway and R. Harrison (eds), Handbook of marine mammals, Vol. 6: The second book of dolphins and the porpoises, pp. 121-135. Academic Press.

Goodall, R. N. P. 1997. Review of sightings of the hourglass dolphin, Lagenorhynchus cruciger, in the South American sector of the Antarctic and the sub-Antarctic. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 47: 1001-1014.

Goodall, R. N. P. 2002. Hourglass dolphin Lagenorhynchus cruciger. In: W. F. Perrin, B. Wursig and J. G. M. Thewissen (eds), Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, pp. 583-585. Academic Press, San Diego, California, USA.

Goodall, R. N. P., Baker, A. N., Best, P. B., Meyer, M. and Miyazaki, N. 1997. On the biology of the hourglass dolphin, Lagenorhynchus cruciger (Quoy and Gaimard, 1824). Reports of the International Whaling Commission 47: 985-999.

Jefferson, T. A., Leatherwood, S. and Webber, M. A. 1993. Marine Mammals of the World: FAO Species Identification Guide. United Nation Environment Programme and Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN.

Kasamatsu, F. and Joyce, G. G. 1995. Current status of odontocetes in the Antarctic. Antarctic Science 7: 365-379.

Leduc, R. G., Perrin, W. F. and Dizon, A. E. 1999. Phylogenetic relationships among the delphinid cetaceans based on full cytochrome b sequences. Marine Mammal Science 15: 619-648.

Citation: Hammond, P.S., Bearzi, G., Bjørge, A., Forney, K., Karczmarski, L., Kasuya, T., Perrin, W.F., Scott, M.D., Wang, J.Y., Wells, R.S. & Wilson, B. 2008. Lagenorhynchus cruciger. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 01 April 2015.
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