The weedy seadragon, also known as the leafy seadragon or common seadragon, is a species of fish that is closely related to the seahorse. This fish can be found on the southern and western coasts of Australia.
Scientific & Common Names
Kindgom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Actinopterygii
Order - Sygnathiformes
Family - Sygnathidae
Subfamily - Sygnathinae
Genus - Phyllopteryx
Species - P. taeniolatus.
Common Names - Weedy Seadragon, Common Seadragon, Leafy Seadragon (not to be confused with its relative, Phycodurus eques, which shares this name), "Leafy" (Australian native term)
The weedy seadragon propels itself with the use of a long dorsal fin and a smaller pectoral fin. It is covered in protrusions that appear weedy or leafy. These protrusions are not used in swimming; they simply help him hide from predators. The weedy seadragon travels alone or in pairs. The adult weedy seadragon is reddish in appearance, with yellow and purple markings across his body.
The weedy seadragon reaches the age of sexual maturity at about 28 months. Just like its seahorse cousin, the male weedy seadragon cares for eggs until they hatch. The female will lay up to 250 eggs at a time. The male will care for the eggs for the nine weeks until they hatch. Only about 5% of all eggs hatch into baby weedy seadragons. Once hatched, the baby weedy seadragon is completely independent.
The weedy seadragon is a fairly independent fish, typically traveling alone or in pairs. It travels fairly slowly. This fish is not a poisonous species of fish and poses no real danger to humans. It subsists on small crustaceans.
The first written record of the weedy seadragon was made in 1896 by ocean explorers. This fish lives in the salty ocean waters off the southern and western coasts of Australia.
The weedy seadragon has been placed on the list of near-threatened species. This fish is highly desirable in the aquarium trade but is not used in medicine. As a result, strict bans have been placed on the export of these fish from Australia to other countries.