Tursiops aduncus

Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin | Indo-pacific Bottlenose Dolphin
Tursiops aduncus
Tursiops aduncus, NT, Australia, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith


Temperate Africa, Temperate Australasia, Tropical Indo-Pacific


Large inquisitive dolphin with a relatively short beak, hooked dorsal fin, curved mouth permanently shaped into a grin, grey back that grades to white belly; similar to closely-related Tursiops truncatus (Bottlenose Dolphin) but can be distinguished by spotting on belly of mature individuals, proportionately longer snout, and smaller skull. Moves into estuaries more often than other dolphins, often in groups of 5-20 animals.


Max Size: 400 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 16.4-22.6°C

Depth: 0-100m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Data Deficient

Occurrence: Common (25.0% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Many (12 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney