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Hawaiian Striped Dolphins

Striped dolphins prefer to stay in the deeper offshore waters, so your best chance of seeing them is on our Niihau + Napali Super Tour. They’re gorgeous creatures!

Striped dolphins are relatively easy to distinguish, with their light white/pink undersides and, as the name implies, one or two dark stripes that run from the bottom of the eye all the way to the tail. They have a couple more stripes underneath the eyes, which are ringed with a dark blue patch.

They’re fast swimmers, and when motivated (such as when chasing fish) can travel at more than 17 miles per hour! Striped dolphins are highly acrobatic and quite the leapers–we’ve observed them jumping over an estimated 20 feet out of the water!

Striped dolphins have been encountered in groups ranging from two to more than one hundred and (like other dolphins in its genus—Stenella–from the Greek for narrow)—they sometimes mix with other dolphin species.

They love to eat small fish and squid and, like humans, get dark spots as they get older.

Life expectancy is about 55-60 years and while attempts have been made to keep striped dolphins in captivity, they have all failed. Striped dolphins are too wild and they’re just not having it. They’ll starve themselves to death and die within weeks.

Striped dolphins hunt at night and rest during the day. They typically avoid boats (they’re trying to sleep!) but you never know—sometimes we get lucky out there.