This small, slender species is akin in size and shape to most dolphins. However its all black coloration and lack of a prominent beak distinguish it. Confusion is most likely with the Pygmy Killer Whale which is extremely similar. Close views in good light are required but there are several subtle differences. Perhaps most diagnostic is head shape which is slightly pointed or 'melon-shaped'. Other differences include slimmer and more sharply pointed flippers, lack of a dark cape, and a short but distinct beak, often present on females and juveniles.