National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources, 1315 East–West Highway (SSMC3), Suite 13758, SilverSpring, MD 20910-3282, USA; email@example.com (BEB)Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, 6295 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32821-8043, USA (DKO)
(de Blainville, 1838) is a cetacean commonly called the pygmy sperm whale. A diminutive relative of the sperm whale and difficult to identify in the field, it is 1 of only 2 members of the genus
. It is endemic to offshorewaters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans in temperate and tropical regions. It is considered solitary and deep-divingin pursuit of cephalopod prey. Abundance is poorly known, although it is protected under U.S. federal and international law.No specimens have ever been maintained permanently in captivity, and, temporary holding of stranded individuals has rarelybeen nonlethal. DOI: 10.1644/819.1.
asymmetrical skull, cetacean, marine mammal, Odontoceti, pygmysperm whale, whale biologyPublished 9 October 2008 by the American Society of MammalogistsSynonymy completed 20 March 2008w w w . m a m m a l o g y . o r g
(de Blainville, 1838)
Pygmy Sperm Whale
de Blainville, 1838:337. Type locality ‘‘capde Bonne-Espe´rance,’’ Cape Province, South Africa.
Gray, 1846:22. First use of current namecombination.
Wall, 1851:46. Type locality ‘‘MaroobrahBeach, half way between Coojee and Botany,’’ NewSouth Wales, Australia; see ‘‘Remarks.’’
Krefft, 1866:713. Type locality ‘‘ManlyBeach,’’ New South Wales, Australia.
Gray, 1866:218. Name combination.
Gray, 1866:391. Name combination andincorrect subsequent spelling of
Gill, 1871:737, 739. Incorrect subsequentspelling of
Gill, 1871:738. Type locality ‘‘a short distancefrom Mazatlan,’’ Sinaloa, Mexico.
Gill, 1871:738. Incorrect subsequent spelling of
Gill, 1871:737. Name combination.
Haast, 1873:100. Type locality ‘‘GovernorBay,’’ New Zealand.
True, 1884:641. Type locality ‘‘Monmouth,’’New Jersey.C
. Order Cetacea, suborder Odonto-ceti, superfamily Physeteroidea, family Kogiidae, subfamilyKogiinae, genus
(Rice 1998). Two species constitutethe genus,
(Handley 1966; Rice1998).
is readily identifiedfrom
by the distance between the snout and anteriorinsertion of the dorsal fin, which is greater than 50% of totalbody length. In addition, dorsal fin height is less than 5% of total body length (Handley 1966; Ross 1979).
grows to a larger size than
, with adults reaching
(SWF-KB-8614-B) calf duringrehabilitation after stranding in Indian River County, Florida.Photo courtesy SeaWorld of Florida.
819:1–12, 1 video ( ), 1 audio ( )