Meet the Clymene dolphin or Stenella clymene! This is a pretty cool looking dolphin, featuring many shades of gray from almost white on the bottom to dark gray on top, plus three shades of medium gray in the middle in a complimentary striped pattern. And if you look closely at the dolphin’s beak in the photo, you can see a black tip at the end. The Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals refers to this as a “mustache,” so let’s go with that. The mustache really stands out in the encyclopedia photos, it looks like a black clown nose.
And this is one of the rare encyclopedia articles where the dolphin’s name is actually explained: “The species was named after the Greek sea nymph, Clymene (daughter of Oceanus and Tethys), and therefore Clymene should always be capitalized in the common name.” A big thank you to author Thomas A. Jefferson for explaining the name and grammar rules, much appreciated!
Clymene dolphins grow to be about 6.5 feet and are only found in the Atlantic Ocean prefering “tropical and warm-temperate waters.” And of course I shuddered to read this sentence: “It is present year-round in at least the northern Gulf of Mexico and probably throughout much of its tropical range.” No not the Gulf! Stay away from there Clymene dolphins!
Thankfully that’s not the only place Clymene dolphins live, they also hang out near the Caribbean islands and the deep oceans closer to West Africa. Although dolphins near West Africa may be victims of the tuna purse seine fishery. The ocean just isn’t safe anymore.
Despite the dangers of their ocean home, Clymene dolphins like to have fun and often bowride and spin in the air, similar to spinner dolphins. Another interesting fact is that they tend to hang out in pods of the same sex based on evidence from mass strandings. Most often Clymene dolphins are seen in groups of about 50 traveling along. Swim safe Clymene dolphins, it’s a crazy ocean out there thanks to your land companions.