Higher Classification: > Kingdom Animalia > Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > Superclass Gnathostomata > Superclass Tetrapoda > Class Mammalia > Subclass Theria > Order Cetartiodactyla > Suborder Cetancodonta > Infraorder Cetacea > Superfamily Odontoceti > Family Physeteridae > Genus Physeter

Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758

Rank: Species
Taxon Status: accepted

Relationships towards this taxon

Genus group names

PhyseterLinnaeus, 1758accepted genus name

Species group names

Physeter catodon Linnaeus, 1758 synonym

Vernaculars (+) (-)

 Albanian: kashalot
 Aleutian: adagig; aggadakhgik
 Arabic: anbar
 Croatian: ulješura
 Czech: vorvaň obrovský; vorvaň tuponosý
 Danish: kaskelot; spermacethval
 Dutch: kaizilot; potvis; potvisch sources: Oosterbaan, A. (2003). Strandgids: veldgids voor het Noordzeestrand [Beach guide: field guide for the North Sea coast]. EcoMare, centrum voor wadden en Noordzee: Texel, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-75318-15-4. 65 pp.
 English: sperm whale; spermacet whale; trumpo sources: Shirihai, H. 2002 A complete guide to Antarctic Wildlife: the Birds and Marine Mammals of the Antarctic Continent and the Southern Ocean Alula Press FI 510 pp
 English-United States: Sperm Whale sources: Charles Hussey
 French: cachalot; cachalot à dents en faucille; cachalot à dents pointues
 Georgian: chigat
 German: Pottfisch; Pottwal
 Greek: fysitiras; Φυσητήρας sources: PESI (A Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure) focal points
 Greenlandic: kegutilik; kigitulik
 Icelandic: búrhvalur
 Israel (Hebrew): roshtan
 Italian: capodoglio; cascialotto; fisetere; organante
 Japanese: makko kujira
 Koryak: koiapchak
 Maltese: gabdoll
 Norwegian: bardhvalur; burdhvalur; burr-hval; huns-hval; kascelot; kaskelot; knobbe-herre; potfisk; storhufd; sue-hval
 Polish: olbrotowick; potwal olbrotowiec sources: PESI (A Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure) focal points
 Portuguese: cachalote
 Russian: bolshoi plavun; kashalot; spermatsetovyi kit; wolkmorskoi
 Slovenian: kit glavač sources: PESI (A Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure) focal points
 Spanish, Castillian: ballena esperma; cachalote
 Swedish: pottfisk
 Turkish: ispermeçet; íspermeçet; İspermeçet; ispermecet balinasi; ispermecet balinası; İspermecet balinası; kasalot; kaşalot sources: Turkish PESI focal point;PESI (A Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure) focal points
 Ukrainian: Кашалот sources: PESI (A Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure) focal points
 Welsh: morfil sberm


original description

Linnaeus, C. (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentius Salvius: Holmiae. ii, 824 pp.

basis of record

van der Land, J. (2001). Tetrapoda, in: Costello, M.J. et al. (Ed.) (2001). European register of marine species: a check-list of the marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification. Collection Patrimoines Naturels, 50: pp. 375-376

additional source

Jefferson, T. A., M. A. Webber and R. L. Pitman. (2008). Marine mammals of the world. Academic Press, Amsterdam.

additional source

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008.

additional source

Perrin, W. F., B. Würsig and J. G. M. Thewissen. (2009). Encyclopedia of marine mammals. Academic Press, Amsterdam.

additional source

King, C. (2009). Terrestrial mammals (Chordata). In: Gordon, D. (Ed.) (2009). New Zealand Inventory of Biodiversity. Volume One: Kingdom Animalia. 584 pp

additional source

Schmidly, D. J. and B. Würsig. 2009. Mammals (Vertebrata: Mammalia) of the Gulf of Mexico, Pp. 1343–1352 in Felder, D.L. and D.K. Camp (eds.), Gulf of Mexico–Origins, Waters, and Biota. Biodiversity. Texas A&M Press, College Station, Texas.

additional source

Mead, J. G. and R. L. Brownell, Jr. (2005). Cetacea. Pages 723--743 in Wilson, D.E. & D.M. Reeder (eds). Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed), Johns Hopkins University Press, 2,142 pp.

additional source

ITIS database

additional source

Rice, D. W. 1998. Marine mammals of the world. Systematics and distribution. Society for Marine Mammalogy Special Publication 4.

additional source

Hershkovitz, P. (1966). Catalog of living whales. U.S. National Museum Bulletin 246:1--259.



External Links

Link To GBIF


Perrin, W. (2012). Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758. In: Perrin, W.F. World Cetacea Database. In: Costello, M.J.; Bouchet, P.; Boxshall, G.; Arvantidis, C.; Appeltans, W. (2012) European Register of Marine Species, accessed through PESI at http://www.eu-nomen.eu/portal/taxon.php?GUID=urn:lsid:marinespecies.org:taxname:137119




 Present  Absent  Doubtful  Native  Introduced  Naturalised  Invasive  Managed  No data




appendix 1 This species is listed on the CITES Appendix I which means it is threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for instance for scientific research.
EU Habitat Directive:
annex IV EU Habitat Directive Annex IV: Species of community interest in need of strict protection.
Red List status VU 2008This species is vulnerable and is considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild according to the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

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Last modified

2009-01-07 by William Perrin

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