Animal Species:Leafy Seadragon, Phycodurus eques (Günther, 1865)
The Leafy seadgragon is one of only two seadragon species found in Australian waters. It's colouration and leafy appendages give it excellent camoflouge on kelp-covered rocky reefs.
Standard Common Name
The Leafy Seadragon can be recognised by the leafy appendages on its body. It has a long tubular snout, a pectoral fin on its "neck" and a dorsal fin on its "back".
Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus
This superbly camouflaged fish is endemic to Australian temperate waters. It is known from the southern coastline of Australia, from Kangaroo Island, South Australia to south-western Western Australia.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
Leafy seadgragons are usually seen on kelp-covered rocky reefs in depths from about 3 m to 50 m.
Mating and reproduction
The male of the species carries eggs attached to the underside of its tail.
- Dawson, C.E. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
- Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow