Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

CAVS: 1900

Species Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821)

Bottlenose Dolphin


Taxonomic Decision for Synonymy


Generic Combinations

  • Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821).




New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

Circumglobal in tropical and temperate waters; rarely seen in pelagic environments or shallower waters (see Van Dyck & Strahan 2008: 839).

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


Timor Transition (1), Tasmania Province (10), Southeast Transition (11), Central Eastern Province (12), Tasman Basin Province (13), Central Eastern Transition (15), Kenn Transition (16), Kenn Province (17), Northeast Province (18), Northeast Transition (19), Timor Province (2), Cape Province (20), Northern Shelf Province (25), Northwest Shelf Transition (26), Northwest Transition (3), Bass Strait Shelf Province (35), Northwest Province (4), Northeast Shelf Province (40), Northeast Shelf Transition (41), Central Western Transition (5), Central Western Province (6), Southwest Transition (7), Southern Province (8), West Tasmania Transition (9)

Ecological Descriptors

Continental shelf, gregarious, oceanic, pelagic, predator.

Extra Ecological Information

Diet mainly fish or squid.


General References

Aitken, P.F. 1971. Whales from the coast of South Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 95: 95-103

Anon. 1975. [Status of Tursiops spp.]. pp. 923-926 in International Whaling Commission. Review of biology and fisheries for smaller cetaceans. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 32: 889-983

Bannister, J.L., Kemper, C.M. & Warneke, R.M. 1996. The Action Plan for Australian Cetaceans. Canberra : Australian Nature Conservation Agency 242 pp.

Bryden, M.M. 1978. Whales and whaling in Queensland waters. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 89: v-xviii

Cheal, A.J. & Gales, N.J. 1991. Growth, sexual maturity and food intake of Australian Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in captivity. Australian Journal of Zoology 40: 215-223

Corkeron, P.J. 1990. Aspects of the behavioural ecology of inshore dolphins, Tursiops truncatus and Sousa chinensis in Moreton Bay, Australia. pp. 285-294 in Leatherwood, S. & Reeves, R.R. (eds). The bottlenose dolphin. San Diego : Academic Press.

Corkeron, P.J., Bryden, M.M. & Hedstrom, K. 1990. Feeding by bottlenose dolphins in association with trawling operations in Moreton Bay, Australia. pp. 329-336 in Leatherwood, S. & Reeves, R.R. (eds). The bottlenose dolphin. San Diego : Academic Press.

Corkerton, P.J., Morris, R.J. & Bryden, M.M. 1987. Interactions between bottlenose dolphins and sharks in Moreton Bay, Queensland. Aquatic Mammals 13: 109-113

Gales, N. & Waples, K. 1993. The rehabiltation and release of bottlenose dolphins from Atlantis Marine Park, Western Australia. Aquatic Mammals 19: 1993

Gales, R., Pemberton, D., Clarke, M. & Lu, C.C. 1992. Stomach contents of long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Tasmania. Marine Mammal Science 8(4): 405-413

Gaskin, D.E. 1972. Whales, Dolphins and Seals, with Special Reference to the New Zealand Region. London : Heinemann 200 pp.

Green, A. & Corkerton, P.J. 1991. An attempt to establish a feeding station for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus0 on Moreton Island, Queensland, Australia. Aquatic Mammals 17: 125-129

Guiler, E.R. 1978. Whale strandings in Tasmania since 1945 with notes on some seal reports. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 112: 189-213

Hale, P.T., Barreto, A.S. & Ross, G.J.B. 2000. Comparative morphology and distribution of the aduncus and truncatus forms of bottlenose dolphin Tursiops in the Indian and Western Pacific Ocans. Aquatic Mammals 26: 101-110

Janik, V.M. 1994. Signature whistle variation in a bottlenosed dolphin, Tursiops truncatus. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 35: 243-248

Janik, V.M. 1996. Changed in surfacing patterns of bottlenose dolphins in response to boat traffic. Marine Mammal Science 12: 597-602

Kemper, C., Gibbs, P., Obendorf, D., Marvanek, S. & Lenghaus, C. 1994. A review of heavy metal and organochlorine levels in marine mammals in Australia. Science and the Total Environment 154: 129-139

Lear, R.J. & Bryden, M.M. 1980. A study of the Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus in eastern Australian waters. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service Occasional Papers 4. 25 pp.

Leatherwood, S. & Reeves, R.R. 1983. The Sierra Club Handbook of Whales and Dolphins. San Francisco : Sierra Club Books xviii 302 pp.

Long, M., Reid, R.J. & Kemper, C.M. 1997. Cadmium accumulation and toxicity in the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus, the common dolphin Delphinus delphis and some dolphin prey species in South Australia. Australian Mammalogy 20: 25-34

Longman, H.A. 1926. New records of Cetacea, with a list of Queensland species. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 8: 266-278

Orams, M.B., Hill, G.J.E. & Baglioni, A.J. 1996. 'Pushy' behaviour in a wild dolphin feeding program at Tangalooma, Australia. Marine Mammal Science 12: 107-117

Pirzi, R. & Anderson, G.R.V. 1997. Australia. Progress report on cetacean research, May 1995 to May 1996. In, Anon. (ed.). Forty-seventh Report of the International Whaling Commission. Cambridge : International Whaling Commission 1032 pp.

Preen, A.R., Marsh, H., Lawler, I.R., Prince, R.I.T. & Shepherd, R. 1997. Distribution and abundance of dugongs, turtles, dolphins and other megafauna in Shark Bay, Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia. Wildlife Research 24: 185-208

Ross, G.J.B. 1977. The taxonomy of Bottlenosed Dolphins Tursiops species in South African waters, with notes on their biology. Annals of the Cape Provincial Museums (Natural History) Nat. Hist. 11(9): 135-194

Ross, G.J.B. & Cockcroft, V.G. 1990. Comments on Australian bottlenose dolphins and the taxonomic status of Tursiops aduncus (Ehrenberg, 1832). pp. 101-128 in Leatherwood, S. & Reeves, R.R. (eds). The bottlenose dolphin. San Diego : Academic Press.

Sayigh, L.S., Tyack, P.L., Wells, M.D. & Irvine, A.B. 1995. Sex differences in signature whistle production of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 36: 171-177

Schultz, K,W. & Corkeron, P.J. 1994. Interspecific differences in whistles produced by inshore dolphins in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Canadian Journal of Zoology 72: 1061-1068

Smolker, R.A., Richards, A.F., Connor, R.C. & Pepper, J.W. 1992. Sex diferences in patterns of association among Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins. Behaviour 123: 38-69

Urian, K.W., Duffield, D.A., Read, A.J., Wells, R.S. & Shell, E.D. 1996. Seasonality of reproduction in bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. Journal of Mammalogy 77: 394-403

Warneke, R.M. 1983. Whale stranding — accident or design. Australian Natural History 21: 43-47

Watson, L. 1981. Sea Guide to Whales of the World. London : Hutchinson 302 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
16-Dec-2010 16-Oct-2013 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)