Spectacled Porpoise  |  

Phocoena dioptrica

The Spectacled Porpoise has a typical porpoise-like body shape, but with a large rounded dorsal fin. A two-tone colouration divides the dark blue-black dorsal (bottom) half from the white ventral (top) surface at eye level and along the flank midline, with the white colour extending upwards at the tail stock. The flippers are white, as is the underside of the tail flukes. The upper surface of the flukes and the dorsal fin are black. The lips are black, and there is a dark gape-to-flipper stripe. A line of tubercles, as in other Phocoenidae, are present on the leading (front) edge of the dorsal fin. The Spectacled Porpoise is one of the smallest and least known cetaceans of the Southern Ocean. Physical maturity is attained at around 2.0 m in males. The maximum weight is about 80 kg, while maximum lengths for males and females are 2.24 m and 2.04 m respectively. Spectacled Porpoise are seen singly and in groups of two to three, the latter generally comprising male, female and calf aggregations. This species is not known to school in larger numbers.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Species Profile and Threats Database, Phocoena dioptrica

    However; increasing ocean temperatures predicted by climate change scenarios could potentially decrease the extent of occurrence; with warmer water extending southwards.