Globicefalo (Globicephala melas)
Escursioni nel Santuario dei Cetacei in Liguria | Whalewatching nel Mediterraneo | Birdwatching nel Golfo Ligure

Escursioni nel Santuario dei Cetacei in Liguria | Whalewatching nel Mediterraneo | Birdwatching nel Golfo Ligure Globicefalo (Globicephala melas)

Globicefalo (Globicephala melas)

In the male of Pilot whale the dimensions are around 6 m in length and 2 tons in weight, the female, on the other hand, on average does not reach the 5 m and is close to the ton.

The external appearance is unmistakable, with a prominently globular head and a very stretched body. The dorsal fin, located in the median position, is characteristically low with the base superior to the height, with the apex rounded and the posterior margin concave.

Pilot whales are often seen in tight, compact groups, slowly swimming on the surface. Like all Delphinids, they possess remarkable qualities of agility and speed, but they appear to make limited use of them. When they emerge they can exhale producing a low and messy blow. In their emergence profile the round shape of the head and the low dorsal fin stand out. The immersion generally does not last more than ten minutes.

Typical, of the pilot whale, is the vertical attitude with the head out of the water (spyhopping), certainly for inspecting the surroundings. Characteristic of the ecology of pilot whales is the presence of particularly numerous herds, from 10 to 40 individuals, formed by animals all related to each other by maternal line: the social group provides for the presence of a progenitor to whom the other members of the group refer ( pods).

The pilot whale is predominantly teutophagous. An adult specimen needs from 50 to 100 kg of squid per day, depending on the sex.


Sightings of pilot whales made by the boats of the Liguria Via Mare Consortium:

2022: No herd sighted in 77 outings

2021: No herd sighted in 55 outings

2020: No herd sighted in 35 outings

2019: No herd sighted in 33 outings

2018: No herd sighted in 50 outings

2017: 1 pack sighted in 39 outings

2016: No herd sighted in 53 outings

2015: No herd sighted in 43 outings

2014: 1 pod of pilot whales sighted in 48 outings

2013: 1 pod of 70 pilot whales sighted in 55 outings

2012: No herd sighted in 47 outings

2011 (data referring to the April-June period only): no herd sighted in 20 outings

2010: 1 pack sighted in 83 outings

To view the complete list of sightings click here.

See photos of pilot whales spotted on our outings.