Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Cetacea > Iniidae > Pontoporia > Pontoporia blainvillei

Pontoporia blainvillei (Franciscana; La Plata dolphin)

Synonyms: Delphinus blainvillei; Pontoporia tenuirostris; Stenodelphis blainvillei

Wikipedia Abstract

The La Plata dolphin or Franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei) is found in coastal Atlantic waters of southeastern South America. It is a member of the river dolphin group and the only one that actually lives in the ocean and saltwater estuaries, rather than inhabiting exclusively freshwater systems.
View Wikipedia Record: Pontoporia blainvillei

EDGE Analysis

The franciscana is a shy dolphin. Small groups feed cooperatively, using echolocation to herd bottom-dwelling fish in the cloudy waters they inhabit. The species is generally grouped together with the other, superficially similar ‘river dolphins’, despite the fact that these species are not closely related – their shared characteristics have arisen as a result of having evolved in similar riverine habitats. The franciscana is regularly caught in the gillnets of fishermen who are primarily hunting sharks. The morality rate is suggested to be excessive and unsustainable.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 35.79
EDGE Score: 4.99
View EDGE Record: Pontoporia blainvillei


Adult Weight [2]  89.29 lbs (40.50 kg)
Birth Weight [2]  17.42 lbs (7.90 kg)
Female Maturity [2]  2 years 6 months
Male Maturity [2]  2 years 6 months
Diet [1]  Carnivore
Gestation [2]  10 months 19 days
Litter Size [2]  1
Litters / Year [2]  1
Water Biome [1]  Coastal
Weaning [2]  10 months 19 days

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Bañados del Este Wetland Reserve 986054 Uruguay  

Prey / Diet

Cynoscion guatucupa (Stripped weakfish)[3]
Doryteuthis pleii (arrow squid)[4]
Doryteuthis sanpaulensis[4]
Eledone gaucha[4]
Lolliguncula brevis (Atlantic brief squid)[4]
Macrodon ancylodon (Yellow mouth salmon)[3]
Micropogonias furnieri (Whitemouth drummer)[3]
Octopus tehuelchus (Tehuelche octopus)[4]
Porichthys porosissimus (atlantic midshipman)[5]
Semirossia tenera (lesser shining bobtail)[4]
Stromateus brasiliensis (Butterfish)[5]
Trichiurus lepturus (Atlantic Cutlassfish)[5]
Urophycis brasiliensis (Hake)[3]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Arctocephalus australis (South American Fur Seal)1
Callinectes ornatus (shelligs)1
Cephalorhynchus commersonii (Commerson's Dolphin)1
Feresa attenuata (Pygmy Killer Whale)1
Fulmarus glacialoides (Southern Fulmar)1
Kogia sima (Dwarf Sperm Whale)1
Lagenodelphis hosei (Fraser's Dolphin)3
Lagenorhynchus obscurus (Dusky Dolphin)1
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)2
Phalacrocorax brasilianus (Neotropic Cormorant)2
Pleoticus muelleri (Argentine red shrimp)1
Podiceps major major (Great Grebe)1
Sotalia fluviatilis (Tucuxi)4
Sotalia guianensis (costero)2
Stenella frontalis (Atlantic Spotted Dolphin)1
Steno bredanensis (Rough-toothed Dolphin)1
Tursiops truncatus (Bottlenosed Dolphin)1
Xiphopenaeus kroyeri (seabob)1


Notorynchus cepedianus (Tiger shark)[6]


Parasitized by 
Anisakis simplex[7]
Anisakis typica[7]
Corynosoma cetaceum[7]
Hadwenius pontoporiae <Unverified Name>[7]
Pholeter gastrophilus[7]
Polymorphus cetaceus <Unverified Name>[7]

Range Map

South America; Western Atlantic Ocean;



Attributes / relations provided by 1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at 2de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774 3FEEDING ECOLOGY OF THE FRANCISCANA (PONTOPORIA BLAINVILLEI) IN MARINE AND ESTUARINE WATERS OF ARGENTINA, Diego Rodríguez, Laura Rivero and Ricardo Bastida, LAJAM 1(1): 77-94, Special Issue 1, 2002 4CephBase - Cephalopod (Octopus, Squid, Cuttlefish and Nautilus) Database 5Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics. 6Reproduction, abundance and feeding habits of the broadnose sevengill shark Notorynchus cepedianus in north Patagonia, Argentina, Luis O. Lucifora, Roberto C. Menni, Alicia H. Escalante, Mar Ecol Prog Ser 289: 237–244, 2005 7Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access