Cite this paper:
WU Fuxing, WANG Xianyan, ZHANG Qiuxia, MIAO Xing, ZHANG Ting, ZHU Qian. First record of Pantropical spotted dolphins Stenella attenuata in the Yellow Sea, China[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2015, 33(4): 869-877

First record of Pantropical spotted dolphins Stenella attenuata in the Yellow Sea, China

WU Fuxing1,2, WANG Xianyan2, ZHANG Qiuxia1, MIAO Xing2, ZHANG Ting1, ZHU Qian1,2
1 Ocean College, Shandong University, Weihai 264209, China;
2 Third Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Xiamen 361005, China
On October 1, 2009, sixteen dolphins were obtained from fishermen by incidental catching in the Yellow Sea, China. As the dolphins' skin color was ambiguous, morphological parameters were measured, and mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b (Cyt b) gene sequence was studied to identify the species. Morphological characteristics were consistent with Pantropical spotted dolphins, Stenella attenuata. Furthermore, a partial mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b (Cyt b) gene sequence as long as 328-bp was studied by extracting genomic DNA from the skins, and six haplotypes were detected in the sixteen dolphins. By comparing homologous sequences available in GenBank (, all the six haplotypes had maximal genetic similarity with Pantropical spotted dolphin. Eight species of cetacean (whales and dolphins) are now recognised in the Yellow Sea. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first record of Pantropical spotted dolphins from this region. Despite this species being listed as a Grade II National Key Protected Animal since 1988, little is known of its biology in Chinese waters. We recommend remedial research be undertaken to ensure appropriate management.
Key words:    Pantropical spotted dolphin|Stenella attenuata|incidental capture|morphometrics|molecular taxonomy|Yellow Sea   
Received: 2014-06-06   Revised: 2014-11-12
PDF ( KB) Free
Print this page
Add to favorites
Email this article to others
Articles by WU Fuxing
Articles by WANG Xianyan
Articles by ZHANG Qiuxia
Articles by MIAO Xing
Articles by ZHANG Ting
Articles by ZHU Qian
Archer F I, Robertson K M. 2004. Age and length at weaning and development of diet of pantropical spotted dolphins, Stenella attenuata, from the eastern tropical Pacific. Marine Mammal Science, 20 (2): 232-245, http://dx.doi. org/10.1111/j.1748-7692.2004.tb01153.x.
Best P B. 2007. Whales and Dolphins of the Southern African Subregion. Cambridge University Press, New York. 338p. Chen W, Zhen C, Zhang Q. 1992. Marine Mammals. Qingdao Ocean University Press, Qingdao. 462p. (in Chinese)
CITES. 2013. 2013 CITES appendices. Accessed on 2014-4-25.
Edwards E F, Kellar N M, Perrin W F. 2013. Form, function and pathology in the pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata). NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-516.
Harlin -Cognato A D, Honeycutt R L. 2006. Multi-locus phylogeny of dolphins in the subfamily Lissodelphininae: character synergy improves phylogenetic resolution. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 6 : 87.
Irwin D M, Kocher T D, Wilson A C. 1991. Evolution of the cytochrome b gene of mammals. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 32 (2): 128-144.
IUCN. 2014. IUCN red list of threatened species. Version 2014.3. Accessed on 2014-4-25.
Jefferson T A, Leatherwood S, Webber M A. 1993. Marine Mammals of the World. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. 320p.
Kalmár T, Bachrati C Z, Marcsik A, Raskó I. 2000. A simple and efficient method for PCR amplifiable DNA extraction from ancient bones. Nucleic Acids Research, 28 (12): e67,
Leatherwood S, Reeves R R. 1983. The Sierra Club Handbook of Whales and Dolphins. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco. 302p.
LeDuc R G, Perrin W F, Dizon A E. 1999. Phylogenetic relationships among the delphinid cetaceans based on full cytochrome b sequences. Marine Mammal Science, 15 (3): 619-648, tb00833.x.
Liu L L, Chen S J, Chou L S, Dong C D, Chen C W. 2003. Accumulation of butyltin compounds in the pantropical spotted dolphin, Stenella attenuat e, from the coasts of Taiwan. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, 11 (4): 320- 323.
Li H Y, Zhang X F, Kato H, Iwasaki T. 2005. Age determination and growth of spotted dolphins Stenella attenuata of Pacific coast of Japan. Acta Zoologica Sinica, 51 (3): 476- 485, 014. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Ma M, Zhu Q, Li X, Sun Y M, Liu Y Y, Liu Y N, Tao C H. 2007. Identification of Balaenoptera omurai from an unknown whale vertebra based on Cyt b gene sequence. Acta Theriologica Sinica, 27 (3): 288-292, http://dx.doi. org/10. 3969/j.issn.1000-1050.2007.03.014. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Mignucci-Giannoni A A, Swartz S L, Martínez A, Burks C M, Watkins W A. 2003. First records of the pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) for the Puerto Rican Bank, with a review of the species in the Caribbean. Caribbean Journal of Science, 39 (3): 381-392.
Perrin W F, Warner R R, Fiscus C H, Holts D B. 1973. Stomach contents of porpoise, Stenella spp., and yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares, in mixed-species aggregations. Fishery Bulletin, 71 (4): 1 077-1 092.
Perrin W F, Mitchell E D, Mead J G, Caldwell D K, Caldwell M C, van Bree P J H, Dawbin W H. 1987. Revision of the spotted dolphins, Stenella spp. Marine Mammal Science, 3 (2): 99-170, tb00158.x.
Perrin W F, Hohn A A. 1994. Pantropical spotted dolphin Stenella attenuata. In : Ridgway S H, Harrison R eds. Handbook of Marine Mammals. 1 st edn. California: Academic Press, San Diego. p.173-179.
Perrin W F. 2001. Stenella attenuata. Mammalia Species, 683 : 1-8,< 0001:sa>;2.
Perrin W F. 2009. Pantropical spotted dolphin Stenella attenuata. In : Perrin W F, Würsig B, Thewissen J G M eds. Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals. 2 nd edn. Academic Press, New York. p.819-821.
Qin C Y, Fang Z Q, Zhou H Y, An D. 2009. Contents and evaluation of heavy metals in Pantropical spotted dolphin from Beibu Bay in South China Sea. Journal of Oceanography in Taiwan Strait, 28 (2): 192-198, (in Chinese with English abstract)
Rastogi T, Brown M W, McLeod B A, Frasier T R, Grenier R, Cumbaa S L, Nadarajah J, White B N. 2004. Genetic analysis of 16th-century whale bones prompts a revision of the impact of Basque whaling on right and bowhead whales in the western North Atlantic. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 82 (10): 1 647-1 654,
Reeves R R, Leatherwood S. 1987. The Sea World Book of Dolphins. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, San Diego. 96p. Robertson K M, Chivers S J. 1997. Prey occurrence in pantropical spotted dolphins, Stenella attenuata from the eastern tropical Pacific. Fishery Bulletin, 95 (2): 334-348.
Sambrook J, Russell D W. 2001. Molecular Cloning, A Laboratory Manual. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, New York. 2 344p.
Smith T D. 1983. Changes in size of three dolphin (Stenella spp.) populations in the eastern tropical Pacific. Fishery Bulletin, 81 (1): 1-13.
Tebbutt S J, Stewart R E, Hill D F. 2000. Isolation and characterisation of DNA from whale bone. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 30 (4): 365-371,
Thompson J D, Gibson T J, Plewniak F, Jeanmougin F, Higgins D G. 1997. The clustal_x windows interface: flexible strategies for multiple sequence alignment aided by quality analysis tools. Nucleic Acids Research, 25 (24): 4 876-4 882,
Wang J L, Yang G, Liu H, Zhou K Y, Wei F W. 2003b. Application of mitochondrial DNA sequences in the species identification of common dolphins (genus Delphinus) in Chinese waters. A cta Theriologica Sinica, 23 (2): 120-126, 1050.2003.02.006. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Wang M C, Walker W A, Shao K T, Chou L S. 2003a. Feeding habits of the Pantropical spotted dolphin, Stenella attenuata, off the eastern coast of Taiwan. Zoological Studies, 42 (2): 368-378.
Wang P L. 1979. A study on small toothed whales from Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea. Chinese Journal of Zoology, (2): 31- 34, 65. (in Chinese)
Wang P L. 1999. Chinese Cetaceans. Ocean Enterprises Limited, Hong Kong. 325p. (in Chinese)
Wang P L, Xiang F C, Liu X S. 1989. A study on finless porpoise from Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea. Fisheries Science, 8 (4): 17-22. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Wang X Y, Wu F X, Miao X, Mou J F, Tong S H, Zhu Q. 2013. Partial morphological records of a gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) incidentally caught at Pingtan, Fujian Province, China. Acta Theriologica Sinica, 33 (1): 18-27. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Worthy G, Casper D, RHinehart H, Moser M. 1993. First record of a live-stranded pan-tropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata graffmani) in central California, USA. Marine Mammal Science, 9 (3): 316-319, http://dx.doi. org/10.1111/j.1748-7692.1993.tb00459.x.
Xiong Y, Brandley M C, Xu S X, Zhou K Y, Yang G. 2009. Seven new dolphin mitochondrial genomes and a timecalibrated phylogeny of whales. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 9 : 20,
Yeh C C. 2000. Fauna, distribution and habitat features of cetaceans in coastal waters of southeastern Taiwan. National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. 101p.
Yao C J, Yamada T K, Chen Y J, Chou L S. 2008. Cranial variation in the Pantropical spotted dolphin, Stenella attenuata, in the Pacific Ocean. Zoological Science, 25 (12): 1 234-1 246,
Zhu Q, Li X, Ma M, Guo J D, Meng F X. 2004. Some biological of the False Killer Whale Pseudorca crassidens. Marine Sciences, 28 (11): 3-5, 1000-3096.2004.11.002. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Zhu Q, Ma M, Li X, Lai P X. 2006. Some measurements of the minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata. Marine Sciences, 30 (2): 94-97, 1000-3096.2006.02.021. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Zhu Q, Li X, Ma M, Jiang B. 2007. Some measurements of the Spinner dolphin Stenella longirostris. Marine Sciences, 31 (8): 15-17, 2007.08.004. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Zhu Q, Li X, Ma M, Sun Y M. 2008. Some measurements of the rare false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens). Acta Theriologica Sinica, 28 (1): 105-108, 3969/j.issn.1000-1050.2008.01.018. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Copyright © Haiyang Xuebao