The following species of dolphins are known to visit the Hawaiian Islands:
- Spotted Dolphin (Stenella attenuata)
- Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
- Short-beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis)
- Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis)
- Risso’s Dolphin (Grampus griseus)
Spotted Dolphin (Stenella attenuata)
Spotted Dolphins are one of the most common dolphins seen in Hawaii. They are a small species of dolphins, typically around 6 feet in length and weigh between 140-200 pounds. Spotted Dolphins have a distinctive appearance, with a black and white coloration pattern, and a long, slender snout. They are social animals and often travel in large pods of hundreds of individuals. Spotted Dolphins are known for their acrobatics and playful behavior, making them a popular sight for tourists and locals alike. They are typically found in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean and can be seen around the Hawaiian Islands throughout the year.
Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
Bottlenose Dolphins are another species of dolphins commonly seen in Hawaii. They are larger than Spotted Dolphins, with adults growing up to 12 feet in length and weighing between 400-600 pounds. Bottlenose Dolphins are gray in color, with a distinctive snout that gives them their name. They are known for their intelligence and playfulness, and are often trained in captive settings for various shows and programs. Bottlenose Dolphins can be found in many different habitats, from shallow coastal waters to the open ocean, and are known to travel long distances in search of food and social interaction. They are often seen in Hawaii during the summer months, when the waters are warmer and there is an abundance of food.
Short-beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis)
Short-beaked Common Dolphins are a widespread species of dolphins found in the Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii. They are known for their energetic and playful behavior, and are often seen riding the waves created by boats or jumping in the air. Common Dolphins have a gray-blue coloration and a distinctive hourglass pattern on their sides. They grow up to 7 feet in length and weigh between 150-200 pounds. Common Dolphins are highly social animals and are typically found in large groups of 100 or more individuals. They are known to travel long distances in search of food, and are found in Hawaiian waters year-round.
Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis)
Rough-toothed Dolphins are a less commonly seen species of dolphins in Hawaii, but are still occasionally spotted in the waters around the islands. They are a medium-sized species, growing up to 9 feet in length and weighing between 200-300 pounds. Rough-toothed Dolphins have a gray coloration, with a long, slender snout and unique, rough-looking teeth. They are known for their shy and elusive behavior, and are typically found in deeper waters than the other species of dolphins that visit Hawaii. Rough-toothed Dolphins are found in the Pacific Ocean and are known to travel long distances in search of food and social interaction. They are typically seen in Hawaiian waters during the cooler months, when the waters are more productive.
Risso’s Dolphin (Grampus griseus)
Risso’s dolphins are occasionally sighted in Hawaiian waters, especially in deeper offshore areas. They have a robust body, with a bulbous head and a tall dorsal fin. Risso’s dolphins are known for their scarred and scratched skin, which they acquire through social interactions.