Stenella clymene 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Delphinidae

Scientific Name: Stenella clymene (Gray, 1846)
Common Name(s):
English Clymene Dolphin, Clymene Dolphin , Short-beaked Spinner Dolphin, Short-beaked Spinner Dolphin
French Dauphin De Clymène, Dauphin De Clymène
Spanish Delfín Clymene, Delfín Clymene
Taxonomic Notes: Recent genetic work suggests that the genus Stenella is paraphyletic, and it is likely that the Delphininae will be restructured in coming years (LeDuc et al. 1999). This species might move to a different genus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2008-07-01
Assessor(s): Hammond, P.S., Bearzi, G., Bjørge, A., Forney, K.A., Karkzmarski, 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.
The species is widespread, but abundance has not been estimated for the mid- and east Atlantic (and where abundance estimates do exist for other regions, these are low) and there are bycatches and directed takes in West Africa of unknown, but likely escalating, scale.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Clymene Dolphin is found only in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico (Jefferson et al. 1995). This species has a notable warm-water preference, although there are records as far north as New Jersey on the U.S. east coast and as far south as southern Brazil (Zerbini and Kotas 1998). The limits on the West African coast are not well known, but extend from at least the equator north to Mauritania. The Clymene Dolphin is not known to enter the Mediterranean Sea (Perrin and Mead 1994, Jefferson and Curry 2003, Fertl et al. 2003).

The map shows where the species may occur based on oceanography. The species has not been recorded for all the states within the hypothetical range as shown on the map. States for which confirmed records of the species exist are included in the list of native range states. States within the hypothetical range but for which no confirmed records exist are included in the Presence Uncertain list.
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Antigua and Barbuda; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Saba, Sint Eustatius); Brazil; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Cayman Islands; Congo; Côte d'Ivoire; Curaçao; Dominica; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Grenada; Guinea; Honduras; Jamaica; Mauritania; Mexico; Puerto Rico; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); United States; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – eastern central
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Abundance has only been estimated for the northern Gulf of Mexico and US east coast (6,575 (CV=36%) and 6,086 (CV=93%), respectively — Waring et al. 2008). However, considering the difficulty of distinguishing it from similarly marked species at sea, it may not be as rare as it would seem to be (Perrin and Mead 1994). Based on capture records, S. clymene appears to be the most common cetacean in Ghana's coastal waters (Van Waerebeek et al. 2000).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is a deep-water, oceanic species, not often seen near shore (unless deep water approaches the coast).

Very few stomachs have been examined, and there are even fewer observations of feeding behaviour reported in the literature. Clymene Dolphins apparently feed predominantly on small fish (including myctophids) and squid at moderate depths (Jefferson and Curry 2003).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is the subject of a directed fishery in St Vincent.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although they are known to be taken by harpoon occasionally in dolphin fisheries in the Caribbean (especially St. Vincent in the Lesser Antilles), and incidental captures in fishing nets do occur throughout much of the range, the Clymene Dolphin is not known to suffer any heavy exploitation at present (Jefferson and Curry 2003). The only possible exception may be off the coast of West Africa, where this species is possibly one of several taken in large numbers in tuna purse seines in the Gulf of Guinea (Van Waerebeek et al. 2000).

Clymene Dolphins are captured incidentally in gillnets in Venezuelan waters and utilized for longline shark bait and for human consumption (Perrin and Mead 1994).

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Further research should be conducted on subpopulation structure, abundance and takes in West African waters, where by-catch has evolved into directed take.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.1. Marine Neritic - Pelagic
10. Marine Oceanic -> 10.1. Marine Oceanic - Epipelagic (0-200m)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Fertl, D., Jefferson, T. A., Moreno, I. B., Zerbini, A. N. and Mullin, K. D. 2003. Distribution of the Clymene dolphin Stenella clymene. Mammal Review 33: 253-271.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.2). Available at: (Accessed: 17 October 2012).

Jefferson, T. A. and Curry, B. E. 2003. Stenella clymene. Mammalian Species 726: 1-5.

Jefferson, T. A., Odell, D. K. and Prunier,K. T. 1995. Notes on the biology of the Clymene dolphin (Stenella clymene) in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Mammal Science 11: 564-573.

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.

Perrin, W. F. and Mead, J. G. 1994. Clymene dolphin Stenella clymene (Gray, 1846). In: S. H. Ridgway and R. Harrison (eds), Handbook of marine mammals, Volume 5: The first book of dolphins, pp. 161-171. Academic Press.

Van Waerebeek, K., Ndiave, E., Djiba, A., Diallo, M., Murphy, P., Jallow, A., Camara, A., Ndiave, P. and Tous, P. 2000. A survey of the conservation status of cetaceans in Senegal, the Gambia and Guinea-Bissau. WAFCET - I Report.

Waring, G. T., Josephson, E., Fairfield, C. P. and Maze-Foley, K. 2008. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico marine mammal stock assessments - 2007. NOAA Technical Memorandum. NOAA.

Weir, C.R. 2006. First confirmed records of Clymene dolphin, Stenella clymene (Gray, 1850), from Angola and Congo, south-east Atlantic. African Zoology 41(2): 297-300.

Zerbini, A. N. and Kotas, J. E. 1998. A note on cetacean bycatch in pelagic driftnetting off southern Brazil. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 48: 519-524.

Citation: Hammond, P.S., Bearzi, G., Bjørge, A., Forney, K.A., Karkzmarski, L., Kasuya, T., Perrin, W.F., Scott, M.D., Wang, J.Y. , Wells, R.S. & Wilson, B. 2012. Stenella clymene. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T20730A17840531. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided