A1 pod - A36 matriline

Our knowledge of the A36 family goes back to 1970, when an adult female with a severely damaged dorsal fin was one of the first orcas identified in the Johnstone Strait area. Called "Tulip" for the look of her fin & later "Stubb", she was given the designation "A1", i.e. the first identified member of the first identified orca family. When A1 died in 1974 the matriarch of the family became her daughter Sophia, A36, and the family became known as "the A36s". Eventually, in 1997, Sophia died. The family consists of three brothers, A32 (Cracroft), A37 (Plumper) and A46 (Kaikash). Huge males with distinct dorsal fins and voices, they are an unmistakable presence in the "core area".
In 2010 Cracroft (A32) was missing en presumed dead. The two remaining brothers travels often with A12, Scimitar, the old matriarch of the A12 matriline.

A36s harassing a Dall's porpoise
The incident occured on November 8th 2004.
The three brothers appeared in front of Cracroft Point where a camera of Orca-Live recorded the whole event. They started porpoising through the water. They were chasing a small Dall's porpoise. This is very unusual, because the A36s are -just like all the Residents- fish eaters and they usually don't hunt marine mammals.

The video below shows a part of the harassing.

Distinctive calls

The call repertoire of the A36 matriline was characterized by a high proportion of N5 calls and the exclusive use of subtype N9iv. Compared to the A1-typical N9, N9iv is significantly shorter and, after the initial buzz, shows a steeper rise towards the end, which gives it a “squeaky” quality.

The repertoire of the A1 pod consists of the following 14 discrete calls:
N1i, N2, N3, N4, N5i, N7i, N7ii, N8i, N9i, N10, N11i, N12, N27 and N47

The calls N1i, N9i, N27 and N47 are exclusive for A1 pod. The other 10 calls are shared with at least the A4s and A5s.

The calls N2, N4, N7i and N10 are also made by the A4s and A5s.
The calls N3 and N12 are made by all the A clan groups.
The call N5i are also made by the A4s, A5s, Bs, Hs and I1s
The call N7ii are also made by the A4s, A5s and I1s
The cal N8i are also made by the A4s, A5s and Hs
The call N11i are also made by the A4s, A5s and Bs

A1 Stubbs

A01 Stubbs
The first known matriarch of this matriline was the female A1, known as “Stubbs” because of her lopped-off dorsal fin. Identified in 1971 she was the first whale named in the study. (Source: Killer Whales Second Edtion)

A1 was born in 1927 and died in 1974.
A36 Sophia

A36 Sophia

A36 was possible born to A1 in 1947. She died on the age of 50 in 1997.
A20 Hardy

A20 was probable born to A1 in 1953. A20 was also called Wavy because of the look of his dorsal fin. He died in 1992 at the age of 39.

A32 Cracroft

A32 cracroft A32 Cracroft right
A32 was born to A36 in 1964.
A32 is the father of I42, Skuna. Skuna was born 1983 to I11, of the I11 matriline.
A37 Plumper

A37 plumper


A37 was born to A36 in 1977
A46 Kaikash

A46 Kaikash
A46 was born to A36 in 1982

A46 with scar on his dorsal
Journal Cetacealab
Sunday 12 June 2005

Early in the morning we received a report of Orcas at the south end of Campania Island heading nortwest along the shoreline.It turned out to be the brothers but this time we noticed something different. As we idled parallel to them we noticed something on the right side of A46 dorsal fin but could not be sure because of the sun was shining straight on his fin from the side. But later we saw it again and this time it turned out to be for real. Looks like a big scar halfway down his dorsal with 3-4 streaks going up almost to the tip. Almost looks like he hit the rocks while chasing a salmon along the rocks. It must have happened some time between this morning and June 7th, because we did not notice it the last time.

A36 Movements