Rough-toothed dolphins prefer warm oceans so we normally see them during the summer season.

Rough-toothed Dolphin

Steno bredanensis

Rough-toothed dolphins are a transient species that are rarely seen during Madeira whale watching tours. Sightings peak during the summer months when the ocean is warmest. They are a tropical ocean species typically associated with deep waters. They have a sloped melon, unlike most dolphin species and are often seen in the company of other species. We have observed groups of Rough-toothed dolphins mixed with groups of our resident species, the Pilot whales and Bottlenose dolphins in Madeira. Typically they are encountered in small pods of approximately 10 individuals.

Information on Rough-toothed dolphins, a seldomly seen species of tropical cetacean.

Species Information

Info about Rough-toothed dolphins, a tropical cetacean species rarely seen around Madeira.
  • Length: up to 2.9 meters

  • Weight: up to 155 kg

  • Lifespan: up to 40 years

  • Diet: small fish and squid

Sightings of Rough-toothed dolphins seen on our tours from Funchal on the island of Madeira.


It is always thrilling to see one of the rarer species of dolphin during our tours. Rough-toothed dolphins are considered a mainly tropical ocean species, which is why we see them mostly during the summer. They have an unusual appearance as their melon (forehead) is not very large and even their surfacing behavior is interesting as they group often swim in very close and synchronized formations.