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.
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".
Leafy seadgragons are usually seen on kelp-covered rocky reefs in depths from about 3 m to 50 m.
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.Ozcam map of Leafy Seadragon specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=Phycodurus%20eques&zoom=off#mapView
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.