List of Species and Potential Sub-Species

The Society for Marine Mammalogy has created an extensive list of cetacean species (see below). Many of these listings are controversial and not universally accepted by researchers because they are based solely on DNA samples. There is great disagreement among taxonomists as to what criteria, if any, constitutes a separate species, sub-species, race or variation. Whaleopedia has listed only those species universally recognized.



Family Balaenidae
Balaena mysticetus Linnaeus, 1758. Bowhead whale, Greenland whale
Eubalaena glacialis (Müller, 1776). North Atlantic right whale
Eubalaena japonica (Lacépède, 1818). North Pacific right whale
Eubalaena australis (Desmoulins, 1822). Southern right whale

Family Neobalaenidae
Caperea marginata (Gray, 1846). Pygmy right whale

Family Eschrichtiidae
Eschrichtius robustus (Lilljeborg, 1861). Gray whale

Family Balaenopteridae
Balaenoptera acutorostrata Lacépède, 1804. Common minke whale
B. a. acutorostrata Lacépède, 1804. North Atlantic minke whale
B. a. scammoni Deméré, 1986. North Pacific minke whale
B. a. un-named subsp. Dwarf minke whale
Balaenoptera bonaerensis Burmeister, 1867. Antarctic minke whale
Balaenoptera borealis Lesson, 1828. Sei whale
B. b. borealis Lesson, 1828. Northern sei whale
B. b. schlegellii (Flower, 1865). Southern sei whale
Balaenoptera edeni Anderson, 1879. Bryde’s whale
B. e. brydei Olsen, 1913. Offshore Bryde’s whale
B. e. edeni Anderson, 1879. Eden’s whale
Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus, 1758). Blue whale
B. m. musculus (Linnaeus, 1758). Northern blue whale
B. m. intermedia Burmeister, 1871. Antarctic blue whale
B. m. indica Blyth, 1859. Northern Indian Ocean blue whale
B. m. brevicauda Ichihara, 1966. Pygmy blue whale
B. m. un-named subsp. Chilean blue whale.
Balaenoptera omurai Wada, Oishi and Yamada, 2003. Omura’s whale
Balaenoptera physalus (Linnaeus, 1758). Fin whale
B. p. patachonica Burmeister, 1865. Pygmy fin whale
B. p. physalus (Linnaeus, 1758). Northern fin whale
B. p. quoyi Fischer, 1829). Southern fin whale
Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781). Humpback whale
M. n. australis (Lesson, 1828). Southern humpback whale
M. n. kuzira (Gray, 1850). North Pacific Humpback whale
M. n. novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781). North Atlantic humpback whale


Family Physeteridae
Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758. Sperm whale, cachalot

Family Kogiidae
Kogia breviceps (Blainville, 1838). Pygmy sperm whale
Kogia sima (Owen, 1866). Dwarf sperm whale

Family Ziphiidae
Berardius arnuxii Duvernoy, 1851. Arnoux’ beaked whale
Berardius bairdii Stejneger, 1883. Baird’s beaked whale
Hyperoodon ampullatus (Forster, 1770). Northern bottlenose whale
Hyperoodon planifrons Flower, 1882. Southern bottlenose whale
Indopacetus pacificus (Longman, 1926). Longman’s beaked whale, tropical bottlenose whale,
Mesoplodon bidens (Sowerby, 1804). Sowerby’s beaked whale
Mesoplodon bowdoini Andrews, 1908. Andrews’ beaked whale
Mesoplodon carlhubbsi Moore, 1963. Hubbs’ beaked whale
Mesoplodon europaeus (Gervais, 1855). Gervais’ beaked whale
Mesoplodon ginkgodens Nishiwaki and Kamiya, 1958. Ginkgo-toothed beaked whale
Mesoplodon grayi von Haast, 876. Gray’s beaked whale
Mesoplodon hectori (Gray, 1871). Hector’s beaked whale
Mesoplodon hotaula Deraniyagala, 1963. Deraniyagala’s beaked whale.
Mesoplodon layardii (Gray, 1865). Strap-toothed beaked whale, Layard’s beaked whale
Mesoplodon mirus True, 1913. True’s beaked whale
Mesoplodon perrini Dalebout, Mead, Baker, Baker and van Helden, 2002. Perrin’s beaked whale
Mesoplodon peruvianus Reyes, Mead and Van Waerebeek, 1991. Pygmy beaked whale
Mesoplodon stejnegeri True, 1885. Stejneger’s beaked whale
Mesoplodon traversii (Gray, 1874). Spade-toothed whale
Mesoplodon densirostris (Blainville, 1817). Blainville’s beaked whale
Tasmacetus shepherdi Oliver, 1937. Shepherd’s beaked whale, Tasman beaked whale
Ziphius cavirostris G. Cuvier, 1823. Cuvier’s beaked whale, goose-beaked whale

Family Platanistidae
Platanista gangetica (Lebeck, 1801). South Asian river dolphin, Indian river dolphin
P. g. gangetica (Lebeck, 1801). Susu, Ganges river dolphin
P. g. minor Owen, 1853. Bhulan, Indus river dolphin

Family Iniidae
Inia geoffrensis (Blainville, 1817). Amazon river dolphin
I. g. geoffrensis (Blainville, 1817). Common boto
I. g. humboldtiana Pilleri and Gihr, 1977. Orinoco bufeo

Family Lipotidae
Lipotes vexillifer (Miller, 1918). Baiji, Yangtze river dolphin – possibly extinct

Family Pontoporiidae
Pontoporia blainvillei (Gervais and d’Orbigny, 1844). Franciscana, toninha.

Family Monodontidae
Delphinapterus leucas (Pallas, 1776). Beluga, white whale
Monodon monoceros Linnaeus, 1758. Narwhal

Family Delphinidae
Cephalorhynchus commersonii (Lacépède, 1804). Commerson’s dolphin
C. c. commersonii (Lacépède, 1804). Commerson’s dolphin
C. c. kerguelenensis Robineau, Goodall, Pichler and C. S. Baker, 2007. Kerguelen Islands Commerson’s dolphin
Cephalorhynchus eutropia (Gray, 1846). Chilean dolphin
Cephalorhynchus heavisidii (Gray, 1828). Heaviside’s dolphin, Haviside’s dolphin
Cephalorhynchus hectori (Van Beneden, 1881). Hector’s dolphin, New Zealand dolphin
C. h. hectori (Van Beneden, 1881). South Island Hector’s dolphin
C. h. maui A. Baker, Smith and Pichler, 2002. Maui’s dolphin, North Island Hector’s dolphin
Delphinus capensis Gray, 1828. Long-beaked common dolphin
D. c. capensis Gray, 1828. Long-beaked common dolphin
D. c. tropicalis van Bree, 1971. Indo-Pacific common dolphin
Delphinus delphis Linnaeus, 1758. Short-beaked common dolphin, saddleback dolphin
D. d. delphis Linnaeus, 1758. Short-beaked common dolphin
D. d. ponticus Barabash, 1935. Black Sea common dolphin
Feresa attenuata Gray, 1874. Pygmy killer whale
Globicephala macrorhynchus Gray, 1846. Short-finned pilot whale
Globicephala melas (Traill, 1809). Long-finned pilot whale
G. m. edwardii (A. Smith, 1834). Southern long-finned pilot whale
G. m. melas (Traill, 1809). North Atlantic long-finned pilot whale
G. m. un-named subsp. North Pacific long-finned pilot whale (extinct)
Grampus griseus (G. Cuvier, 1812). Risso’s dolphin, gray grampus
Lagenodelphis hosei Fraser, 1956. Fraser’s dolphin
Lagenorhynchus acutus (Gray, 1828). Atlantic white-sided dolphin
Lagenorhynchus albirostris (Gray, 1846). White-beaked dolphin
Lagenorhynchus australis (Peale, 1848). Peale’s dolphin
Lagenorhynchus cruciger (Quoy and Gaimard, 1824). Hourglass dolphin
Lagenorhynchus obliquidens Gill, 1865. Pacific white-sided dolphin
Lagenorhynchus obscurus (Gray, 1828). Dusky dolphin
L. o. fitzroyi (Waterhouse, 1838). Fitzroy’s dolphin
L. o. obscurus (Gray, 1828). African dusky dolphin
L. o. posidonia (Philippi, 1893). Peruvian/Chilean dusky dolphin
L. o. un-named subsp. New Zealand dusky dolphin
Lissodelphis borealis (Peale, 1848). Northern right-whale dolphin
Lissodelphis peronii (Lacépède, 1804). Southern right-whale dolphin
Orcaella brevirostris (Owen in Gray, 1866). Irrawaddy dolphin, pesut
Orcaella heinsohni Beasley, Robertson and Arnold, 2005. Australian snubfin dolphin
Orcinus orca (Linnaeus, 1758). Killer whale, orca
O. o. un-named subsp. Resident killer whale
O. o. un-named subsp. Transient killer whale, Bigg’s killer whale
Peponocephala electra (Gray, 1846). Melon-headed whale, Electra dolphin
Pseudorca crassidens (Owen, 1846). False killer whale
Sousa teuszii (Kükenthal, 1892). Atlantic humpback dolphin
Sousa chinensis (Osbeck, 1765). Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin
Sousa plumbea (G. Cuvier, 1829). Indian Ocean humpback dolphin
Sousa sahulensis Jefferson and Rosenbaum 2014. Australian humpback dolphin, Sahul dolphin
Sotalia fluviatilis (Gervais and Deville in Gervais, 1853). Tucuxi
Sotalia guianensis (Van Bénedén, 1864). Guiana dolphin, costero
Stenella attenuata (Gray, 1846). Pantropical spotted dolphin
S. a. attenuata (Gray, 1846). Offshore pantropical spotted dolphin
S. a. graffmani (Lönnberg, 1934). Coastal pantropical spotted dolphin
Stenella clymene (Gray, 1850). Clymene dolphin
Stenella coeruleoalba (Meyen, 1833). Striped dolphin
Stenella frontalis (G. Cuvier, 1829). Atlantic spotted dolphin
Stenella longirostris (Gray, 1828). Spinner dolphin
S. l. centroamericana Perrin, 1990. Central American spinner dolphin
S. l. longirostris (Gray, 1828). Gray’s spinner dolphin
S. l. orientalis Perrin, 1990. Eastern spinner dolphin
S. l. roseiventris (Wagner, 1846). Dwarf spinner dolphin
Steno bredanensis (G. Cuvier in Lesson, 1828). Rough-toothed dolphin
Tursiops aduncus (Ehrenberg, 1833). Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin
Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821). Common bottlenose dolphin
T. t. ponticus Barabash-Nikiforov, 1940. Black Sea bottlenose dolphin
T. t. truncatus (Montagu, 1821). Common bottlenose dolphin

Family Phocoenidae
Neophocaena phocaenoides (G. Cuvier, 1829). Indo-Pacific finless porpoise
Neophocaena asiaeorientalis (Pilleri and Gihr, 1972). Narrow-ridged finless porpoise
N. a. asiaeorientalis (Pilleri and Gihr, 1972). Yangtze finless porpoise
N. a. sunameri Pilleri and Gihr, 1975. East Asian finless porpoise, sunameri
Phocoena dioptrica Lahille, 1912. Spectacled porpoise
Phocoena phocoena (Linnaeus, 1758). Harbor por-poise, common porpoise
P. p. phocoena (Linnaeus, 1758). Atlantic harbor porpoise
P. p. vomerina (Gill, 1865). Eastern Pacific harbor porpoise
P. p. relicta Abel, 1905. Black Sea harbor porpoise
P. p. un-named subsp. Western Pacific harbor porpoise
Phocoena sinus Norris and McFarland, 1958. Vaquita, Gulf of California harbor porpoise
Phocoena spinipinnis Burmeister, 1865. Burmeister’s porpoise
Phocoenoides dalli (True, 1885). Dall’s porpoise, Dall porpoise
P. d. dalli (True, 1885). Dalli-type Dall’s porpoise
P. d. truei Andrews, 1911. Truei-type Dall’s porpoise

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