Dwarf Minke Whale (species: Balaenoptera acutorostrata) in taxonomy (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Balaenoptera acutorostrata
Dwarf Minke Whale

©Lyle Vail: Dwarf Minke Whale near Lizard Island

©Mark Norman / Museum Victoria
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Cetacea
Family Balaenopteridae
Genus Balaenoptera
Species Balaenoptera acutorostrata
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

A small baleen whale, dark blue/grey above grading to white on the belly with a large, strongly reflective white patch at the base of the pectoral fins. A small dorsal fin is located well back on the body.


  • Up to 800 cm (Length of specimen)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island area: Dwarf Minke Whales are frequently seen during winter between Lizard Island and the outer reefs.

Web resources


  • Baker, A.N. (1983). Whales and Dolphins of New Zealand and Australia: An identification guide Victoria University Press, Wellington, NZ.
  • Gedamke, J. (2004). Minke whale song, spacing, and acoustic communication on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Ph.D. thesis, University of California at Santa Cruz. LIRS catalog number 893.