Beluga Whale

  • Irish name: An Míol mór bán
  • Latin name: Delphinapterus leucas
  • Size: 3.5 – 5.5 m
  • Diet: Arctic cod and invertebrates

Adults are the only pure white species of cetacean but calves may be a light grey colour. They are a bulky species with a pronounced bulbous head, broad flippers, without a dorsal fin.


This species is extremely inquisitive and sociable. They rarely breach but are able to move through shallow water easily due to the flexibility of their head’s movements because their cervical vertebrae are not fused in place.


Sightings of this Arctic vagrant are extremely rare in Irish waters, which are well south of their known range. The first Irish record was off Clare Island, Co. Mayo in July 1948 which was validated by the Irish Naturalists’ Journal. The only record validated by the IWDG to date was from Dunseverick Harbour, Co. Antrim in July 2015.

Downloadable Detailed Species Information


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