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Fraser's Dolphin

Fraser's Dolphin

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Lagenodelphis hosei
Lagenodelphis hosei

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MAMMALIANSPECIES
No.470,pp.1-5,4figs.
Lagenodelphishosei.
By
ThomasA.JeffersonandStephenLeatherwood
Published2June1994byTheAmericanSocietyofMammalogists
Lagenodelphis
Fraser,1956
Lagenodelphis
Fraser,1956:496.Typespecies
Lagenodelphishosei
Fraser,byoriginaldesignation.
CONTEXTANDCONTENT.
OrderCetacea,SuborderOdontoceti,FamilyDelphinidae.ManycetologistsalsorecognizethesubfamilyDelphininae,whichincludesthisspecies(BarnesetaI.,1985).Thegenus
Lagenodelphis
containsonlyonespecies,
L.hosei,
withnorecognizedsubspecies.
Lagenodelphishosei
Fraser,1956
Fraser'sDolphin
Lagenodelphishosei
Fraser,1956:496.Typelocality"mouthoftheLutongRiver,Baram,Borneo[Sarawak]."
CONTEXTANDCONTENT.
Seegenericaccountabove.
DIAGNOSIS.
TheskullofFraser'sdolphin(Fig.1)issimilarinsomewaystothatofcommon
(Delphinusdelphis),
spinner
(5tenellalongirostris),
clymene(5.
clymene),
andstriped(5.coe-
ruleoalba)
dolphins,buthasabroaderrostrumthananyofthesespecies.Condylobasallength(CBL)ofadultsmeasuredthusfarrangedfrom401-456mm(PerrinetaI.,1994).Thereare36-44slender,sharply-pointedteethineachuppertoothrow,and34-44ineachlowerrow(PerrinetaI.,1994).Thevertebralformulais7C,15-16T,20-24L,34-39Ca,withatotalof78-81(Perrinetal.,1994).Theatlasandaxisarefused(MiyazakiandWada,
1978a).
Thereare15ribs;4-5ofthesearetwo-headed(Fraser,1956;MiyazakiandWada,
1978a).
Thephalangealformulais12,II9,III6-7,IV3,V2(Fraser,1956;TobayamaetaI.,1973).
GENERALCHARACTERS.
Widthoftherostrum,mea-suredatitsbase,represents27-31%ofCBL(HershandOdell,1986;MiyazakiandWada,
1978a;
Perrinetal.,1994);rostrallengthis53-56%ofCBL(Perrinetal.,1994).Therostrumisflattened,withthepremaxillaeonlyslightlyraisedabovetheadjacentmaxillae(Fraser,1956).Thereisapairofdeeppalatalgrooves,similartothosein
Delphinus
(Fraser,1956).Thepremaxillaeareincontact,ornearlyso,alongthedorsalmidline(Fraser,1956;Perrinetal.,1973),andthereisdistalfusionofthemaxillaeandpremaxillaeinadults(Perrinetal.,1994).Thetemporalfossaearerelativelysmall(PerrinetaI.,1994).Theshortmandibularsymphysisrepresents<11%ofCBL.Fraser'sdolphinsaregenerallymorerobustthanothersmalldelphinids,withshortbeaksandsmallappendages(Fig.2).Theyreachamaximumlengthofatleast270cm(BrydenandBarry,1980)andamaximummassof209kg(PerrinetaI.,1973).Thebeakisextremelyshort,butwell-defined,asindolphinsofthegenus
Lagenorhynchus;
inadultsitrangesfrom3to6
ern
(Perrinetal.,1994),representing<3%ofthetotallength(Ross,1984).Thesubtriangulartoweaklyfalcatedorsalfin,pointedflippers,andcon-caveflukesareallrelativelysmall,comparedwiththoseofotherdolphins.Thedorsalfinreachesamaximumknownheightof22ern(Perrinetal.,1973),andrepresents<9%ofthetotallength.Flipperlengthandflukespanrepresentabout10-13%and20-24%ofthetotallength,respectively.Thereisadarkbluishtobrownish-graydorsalcape,apalegrayflank,andawhitetopinkishbelly(Fig.2).Thelowersidesmayappearcream-coloredingoodlighting.Themostconspicuousfeatureofthecolorpatternoftenisawidedarkgraytoblackstripeextendingfromtheeyetotheanus.Thisstripeissetofffromthesurroundingareasbythinpalecream-coloredborders.Therealsoisadarkchin-to-flipperstripe.Insomelargeanimalstheeye-to-anusstripemaybesobroadastoformadark"mask"inthefacialarea(seePerrinetal.,1973:Fig.
Ij).
A"delphinidbridle"(terminologyofMitchell,1970),consistingofaneyepatch,eyestripe,blowholestripe,andlippatch,ispresent(Perrinetal.,1973).Theflippers,dorsalfin,andflukesarealldarkgray,althoughinsomeindividualstheremaybeapalepatchinthecenterofthedorsalfin(Perrinetal.,1973).Sexualdimorphismintotallengthandmasshasnotbeendemonstrated.Adultmalesappeartohavelarger,moreerect,dorsalfinsthandootherageandgenderclasses(Perrinetal.,1994).Someindividualswithprominentpost-analhumpshavebeenobserved;FIG.1.Dorsal,ventral,andlateralviewsofthecranium,andlateralviewofthemandibleofa206-cmadultfemaleFraser'sdolphinfromtheeasterntropicalPacific(SouthwestFisheriesScienceCenterLGP179).Condylobasallengthis401mm.PhotoscourtesyofW.F.Perrin.
 
2
FIG.2.AdultfemaleFraser'sdolphin(236em)fromSouthAfrica(PBB7113,SAM36322),showingbodyshapeandcolorpattern.PhotobyP.B.Best.basedonwhatisknownofotherspecieswiththisfeature,theseareprobablyadultmales(seePerrinetaI.,1973:Fig.
19;
TobayamaetaI.,1973:Plate1).Inyounganimals,asistrueinmanyspeciesofsmallcetaceans,thecolorpatternismuted.Inparticular,thedarkeye·to-anusstripeisbarelyvisibleinyoungandsmalljuveniles.Thedevelopmentofthisstripeishighlyvariable;insomeadult-sizedanimalsitisveryfaintorthin.Theremaybesexualdimorphisminthecolorpatternoftheurogenitalarea(MiyazakiandWada,
1978a).
DISTRIBUTION.
Fraser'sdolphinisfoundprimarilyintrop-icalandsubtropicaloceanicwatersoftheworld(Fig.3).Themajorityofrecordsarefrom30
0
Nto30"5.Strandingsintemperateregionsareconsideredextralimitalandareusuallyassociatedwithanoma-louslywarmwatertemperatures(vanBreeetaI.,1986;PerrinetaI.,1994;PraderietaI.,1992).Therangeofthisspeciesiswell-documentedonlyintheeasternandcentraltropicalPacific(PerrinetaI.,1994)andaroundthecentralVisayas,Philippines(Leath-erwoodetaI.,1992);inallotherareasthereareonlysporadicrecords.Thereisnofossilrecordforthisgenus.
FORMANDFUNCTION.
Therehasbeenverylittlere-searchontheanatomyandphysiologyofFraser'sdolphins.Widthoftherostrumandskullareapparentlybroaderinmalesthaninfemales(MiyazakiandWada,
1978a),
andthesternumhasthreepieces(Tobayamaetal.,1973).Theteethresemblethoseof
Del-phinus
and
Stenella
(Ross,1984).Thetympanoperioticbones(Fig.4)showsomeaffinitytothoseof
Stenella,
butaremostsimilartothoseof
Lagenorhynchus
(Fraser,1956).Inadultsthereissomesexualdimorphisminthestructureofthepelvicbones(vanBreeetal.,1986).Thefacialanatomyofthisspeciesissimilartothatofotherdelphinids(Mead,1975).Thelowerlobeofthelungmaybemoresquared-offthanthatofotherspecies,butthisobservationisbasedononlyonespecimen(Tobayamaetal.,1973).MAMMALIANSPECIES470FIG.4.TympanoperioticbonesofFraser'sdolphinfromacraniallyadultfemale(SWFSCLGP179):righttympanicbullawithperioticattached(left)andleftperiotic(right).
ONTOGENYANDREPRODUCTION.
Almostnothingisknownofthereproductivebiologyofthisspecies.Availableinfor-mationsuggestsalengthatbirthofabout1m(PerrinetaI.,1994).Asexpected,thistropicaldolphindoesnotshowstrongevidenceofseasonalityincalving.AlthoughasummerbreedingpeakhasbeensuggestedforoffSouthAfrica,basedonsightingsofyoung(Ross,1984),thisconclusionshouldbeviewedwithcautionbecausetherewerenorecordsfromotherseasons.Sexualmaturityinbothgenderswasfoundtooccuratabout230ernlengthand7yearsofageintheeasternNorthAtlanticOcean(vanBreeetal.,1986).Sparsedatafromotherareasseemtosupportthisassessment(MiyazakiandWada,
1978a;
PerrinandReilly,1984;PraderietaI.,1992;RobisonandCraddock,1983;Ross,1984),althoughadultfemalesasshortas206eminlengthhavebeenrecorded(Perrinetal.,1994).Thegestationperiodisunknown,butbasedonwhatisknownofotherdelphinidspecies,itisprobably10-12months(PerrinandReilly,1984).Thelengthoflactationalsoisunknown.
ECOLOGY.
Thereisnoknownpredation,butkillerwhales
(Orcinusorca),
falsekillerwhales
(Pseudorcacrassidens),
andlargesharksareprobablyatleastoccasionalpredators.Circularwounds,thoughttobecausedbycookie-cuttersharks
(lsistiusbrasiliensis),
havebeenfoundondolphinsofthisspecies(PerrinetaI.,1973).Fraser'sdolphinsoftenarefoundwithotherspeciesofceta-ceans,particularlymelon-headedwhales
(Peponocephalaelectra),
withwhichtheyhavebeenseenintheeasternandwesterntropicalPacific,Philippines,andGulfofMexico(AuandPerryman,1985;HammondandLeatherwood,1984;LeatherwoodetaI.,1992,1993;MiyazakiandWada,
1978b;
Perrinetal.,1994).Theyhavealsobeenobservedwithspermwhales
(Physetercatodon),
short-finnedpilotwhales
(Globicephalamacrorhynchus),
falsekillerwhales,Risso'sdolphins
(Grampusgriseus),
pantropicalspotteddolphinsFIG.3.DistributionofFraser'sdolphin,modifiedfromPerrinetal.(1994)toincludeadditionalrecordsfromSouthAfrica(FindlayetaI.,1992),andtheGulfofMexico(LeatherwoodetaI.,1993).TherangeintheeasterntropicalPacificisshadedbecauseitiswell-known.
 
MAMMALIANSPECIES
470
(Stenellaattenuata),
spinnerdolphins,andstripeddolphins(Leath-erwoodetal.,
1992;
Perrinetal.,
1994)_
Theonlyrecordofectoparasitesfromthisspeciesisof
Xe-
nobalanus
sp_onalive-strandedFraser'sdolphinfromFlorida(Leatherwoodetal.,
1993)_
InternalparasitesrecordedfromFraser'sdolphinsinclude:
Phyllobothriumdelphini
andunidentifiedcestodesintheblubber(TestaandDailey,
1977;
Tobayamaetal.,
1973;
vanBreeetal.,
1986);
Monorygmagrimaldi
intheurogenitalmusculatureandcolonmesenteries(McCollandObendorf,
1982;
vanBreeetal.,
1986);
Anisakissimplex
andunidentifiednematodesinthestomach(McCollandObendorf,
1982;
Tobayamaetal.,
1973;
vanBreeetal.,
1986);
Tetrabothrius
sp_inthestomach,pylorus,andduodenum(McCollandObendorf,
1982;
Tobayamaetal.,
1973);Bolbosoma
sp.intheintestines(Tobayamaetal.,
1973);
Strobicephalustriangularis
andunidentifiedTetrabothriidaeinthedigestivetract(Raga,
1985;
vanBreeetal.,
1986);
unidentifiedtrematodesintheliver(McCollandObendorf,
1982);
Campula
sp.inthepancreas(McCollandObendorf,
1982);
Stenurusovatus
inthelungs(McCollandObendorf,
1982);
ovaofunidentifiedtrem-atodeintheblowholesinuses(McCollandObendorf,
1982);
andunidentifiednematodesintheearcavities(MiyazakiandWada,
1978a).
TherearemanyrecordsofsightingsofFraser'sdolphinsintheeasterntropicalPacific,duelargelytotheintensiveresearcheffortassociatedwiththetunaldolphinfisheryinthatarea.Fraser'sdolphinsaremuchlesscommonthanthemaindolphintargetsofthetunafishery;pantropicalspotteddolphinsareabout
50
timesmorecommon,andspinnerdolphinsabout
23
timesmorecommon(BarlowandHolt,
1986).
Basedonlinetransectanalysisofsightingsduringaseriesofresearchcruises,thereareestimatedtobeabout
289,000
Fraser'sdolphinsintheeasterntropicalPacific(WadeandGerrodette,
1993).
Therearenoestimatesofabundanceavailableforotherareas;however,Fraser'sdolphinshavebeenreportedtobecommonaroundthecentralVisayas,Philippines(HammondandLeatherwood,
1984;
Leatherwoodetal.,
1992),
andappeartobeatleastmoderatelycommonoffSouthAfrica(Gambelletal.,
1975;
Findlayetal.,
1992).
Thisspeciesisdistributedmainlyinupwelling-modifiedwaterwithvariableconditionsintheoffshoreeasterntropicalPacific(AuandPerryman,
1985).
InthecentralVisayas,Philippines,Fraser'sdolphinsareseennearshore,alongtheoutercontinentalshelforslope,andindeepoceanicwaters(Leatherwoodetal.,
1992).
MostSouthAfricanrecordsarefromthesummermonths,andFraser'sdolphinshavealocalizedoccurrenceassociatedwiththeAgulhasCurrent(Ross,
1984;
Findlayetal.,
1992).
Habitatstudieshavenotbeenreportedelsewhere.SingleandmassstrandingsofFraser'sdolphinshavebeendocumented,andseverallivestrandingshavebeenrecorded(Anon-ymous,
1972;
Tobayamaetal.,
1973).
Lungwormsandtrematodeova(possibly
Nasitrema
sp.,aknownmortalityfactorthatparasitizesthepterygoidsinusesandmiddleears)intheblowholemayhavebeenafactorinthestrandingoftwospecimensfromAustralia(McCollandObendorf,
1982).
Fraser'sdolphinsarethoughttofeedprimarilyonmesopelagicfishandsquid,buttheyalsotakeshrimps,cuttlefish,isopods,andsomebenthicfish(Caldwelletal.,
1976;
RobisonandCraddock,
1983;
vanBreeetal.,
1986).
Thereappearstobelittleevidenceofsurfacefeeding,whichcorrelateswellwiththescarcityofreportedassociationswithbirdsandtunaintheeasterntropicalPacific(AuandPitman,
1986,1988),
butFraser'sdolphinshavebeenseenfeedingnearthesurfaceinassociationwithbirdsoffsoutheasternAfrica(Ross,
1984).
MostofthefishfromthestomachsofthreeindividualstakenintheeasterntropicalPacificindicatedthatthedolphinshadbeenfeedingatdepthsof
250-500
mandpreyeduponcertainspeciesselectively(RobisonandCraddock,
1983).
Fraser'sdolphinsmayfeedatnightonverticallymigratingorganisms(To-bayamaetal.,
1973).
ThepreyitemsdocumentedincludefishesofthefamiliesMalacosteidae,Serrivomeridae,Argentinidae,Bathy-lagidae,Opisthoproctidae,Gonostomatidae,Sternoptypchidae,Photichthyidae,Chauliodontidae,Stomaitidae,Alepocephalidae,Par-alepididae,Evermannellidae,Scopelarchidae,Scopelosauridae,Myc-tophidae,Neoscopelidae,Bregmacerotidae,Melanonidae,Melam-phaidae,Diretmidae,Anoplogasteridae,Chiasmodontidae,Nomeidae,Coryphaenoididae,Moridae,Gadidae,Brotulidae,andMacrouridae(Perrinetal.,
1994;
RobisonandCraddock,
1983;
Sekiguchietal.,
1992;
Tobayamaetal.,
1973;
vanBreeetal.,
1986).
Squidfamilies
3
representedinstomachcontentsincludeChiroteuthidae,Histioteu-thidae,Octopoteuthidae,Gonatidae,Loliginidae,Ommastrephidae,andOnychoteuthidae(Sekiguchietal.,
1992;
Tobayamaetal.,
1973).
Fraser'sdolphinsareatleastoccasionalvictimsofdirectfishing.TheyarekilledindrivefisheriesinJapan(InternationalWhalingCommission,inpress)andTaiwan(HammondandLeatherwood,
1984),
althoughpartofaschoolofdolphinscapturedin
1991
inJapanwasreleased,partlyduetopublicoutcry.Fraser'sdolphinsaretakenbyharpoonandspearinSriLanka(LeatherwoodandReeves,
1989),
theLesserAntilles(Caldwelletal.,
1976),
Fiji(Baker,
1990),
andthePhilippines(InternationalWhalingCommission,inpress).SpecimenshavebeenobservedforsaleinfishmarketsinTaiwan(Tobayamaetal.,
1973)
andthePhilippines(Dolar,inpress).SomedirectfishingalsooccursinIndonesia(Barnes,
1991;
Perrinetal.,
1994),
andafewhavebeentakenforscientificresearchinthewesternPacific(MiyazakiandWada,
1978a)
andoffSouthAfrica(Ross,
1984).
Incidentalcatchesareknowninsomeareasaswell.RelativelysmallnumbersaretakenintunapurseseinesintheeasterntropicalPacific(Perrinetal.,
1973).
Atotalof
773
wasestimatedtohavebeenkilledbetween
1971
and
1977
(Horwood,
1981;
T.D.Smith,inlitt.),and
125
wereobservedtakenbetween
1986
and
1989
(HallandBoyer,
1989,1990,1991;
Whalenetal.,
1988).
SomealsoaretakeninpurseseinesinthePhilippines,andintrapnetsinJapan(Dolar,inpress;InternationalWhalingCommission,inpress).Catch-esingillnetsoccurinSouthAfrica(Cockcroft,
1990),
SriLanka(LeatherwoodandReeves,
1989;
Prematungaetal.,
1986),
Japan(InternationalWhalingCommission,inpress;Uchida,
1985),
thePhilippines(Dolar,inpress;InternationalWhalingCommission,inpress;Leatherwoodetal.,
1992),
andprobablyelsewhere.SixteenFraser'sdolphinswerelive-captured(intendedfordis-playinHongKong)inthePhilippinesbetween
1974
and
1975
(HammondandLeatherwood,
1984),
andonespecimencaughtinagillnetinJapanwastakentoanoceanarium,whereitsurvivedfor
20
days(Uchida,
1985).
Fraser'sdolphins,likemostoceanicspecies,donotsurvivewellincaptivity.VerylittleworkhasbeendoneonpollutantlevelsintissuesofFraser'sdolphin.Levelsoforganochlorines(PCBsandDDT)intheblubberandmuscleofasinglespecimenfromtheeasterntropicalPacifichavebeenreported.Overall,thelevelswerenearthelowerendsoftherangesreportedforotherdolphinsfromthesameregion(O'Sheaetal.,
1980).
TherehavebeenfewstudiesinwhichworkershaveestimatedagesofFraser'sdolphins.Basedondentinalgrowthlayergroups(GLGs),themaximumknownageof
10
specimensfromthenortheastAtlanticwas
16
years(vanBreeetal.,
1986).
BEHAVIOR_
MostsightingsofFraser'sdolphinshavebeenofgroupsofbetween
100
and
1,000
individuals(Perrinetal.,
1994).
GroupsassmallasthreehavebeenobservedoffMexico(AguayoandSanchez,
1987),
butthesewerelikelypartofalargerherd.Herdsestimatedat
2,500
individualshavebeenobservedintheeasterntropicalPacific(Donovan,
1984).
Theselargeherdsoftenincludemelon-headedwhales.SocialbondsamongFraser'sdolphinsappeartighterthanthoseofdolphinsofthegenus
Stenella
(Perrinetal.,
1994).
Mostgroupscontainmixedageclasses,andseveralmassstrandingsincludedbothmatureandimmatureindividualsofeachgender(Praderietal.,
1992;
vanBreeetal.,
1986).
Thelargestknownmassstrandingconsistedofatleast
17
individuals(HershandOdell,
1986).
Fraser'sdolphinsareoftenseeninlarge,fast-movingherds,withindividualsporpoisinginlow-angle,splashyleaps.Theyalways"run"fromapproachingshipsintheeasterntropicalPacific(asdomostotherdolphinsthathavebeenharassedbytunaseiners-Perrinetal.,
1994),
andtheyfrequentlyevadevesselsinthePhilippines(Leatherwoodetal.,
1992).
Thisbehaviormaybeadirectresultofchasesinvolvedinharpooningandpurseseinefishing,andmaynotbetheirnormalresponsetovessels.Whenescaping,theymayreachspeedsof
28
kmlh
ormore,andcanbeelusive.Atothertimes,theymaymoveslowly
(4-7
km/h),
withlittleaerialactivity(Alling,
1986).
AlthoughtheyneverbowrideintheeasterntropicalPacific,inotherareastheymaydoso,oratleastsomeindividualsmayapproachthebowbriefly(HammondandLeatherwood,
1984;
Leath-erwoodetal.,
1993;
MiyazakiandWada,
1978b).
Theyhavebeen

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