Weedy Sea Dragon
The Weedy Sea Dragon is the only species belonging to the Phyllopteryx genus. This fish species is a close relative of the seahorse and the Leafy Sea Dragon. It is found in different states of Australia. This Sea dragon is also known as the Common Sea Dragon.
Weedy Sea Dragon Scientific Name
The scientific name for this sea dragon is Phyllopteryx taeniolatus.
Weedy Sea Dragon Description
They have a very colorful appearance:
Size: Adults of this species are approximately 45 cm long.
Color: Their red bodies are with purple and yellow marks. The Males are darker in color than the females.
Body: The narrow bodies of these Sea dragons have numerous leaf-like appendages and short dorsal spines. The appendages give them a weed-like appearance. Male Weedy Sea Dragons are more slender than the females.
Snouts: They have long tube-like snouts.
Fins: A long dorsal fin runs along its back while there are two pectoral fins on both sides of the neck.
Tails: These Sea dragons have long tails. The males have a brooding pouch located under their tails.
Picture 1 – Weedy Sea Dragon
Weedy Sea Dragon Distribution
They are found in Australia, mainly throughout the southern coastline. Their distribution ranges from Port Stephens in New South Wales to Geraldton, Western Australia. This species is also found around Tasmania.free shipping
Weedy Sea Dragon Habitat
These fish inhabit coastal waters and are found at depths down to 50 meters. They are believed to prefer seaweed beds, rocky reefs and seagrass meadows.
Weedy Sea Dragon Diet
Their diet mainly consists of a variety of zooplanktons. They feed on different crustaceans, larval fishes, mysids and sea lice.
Weedy Sea Dragon Behavior
This species has an interesting behavior pattern:
- They like to swim alone or in pairs.
- The male Sea dragons take care of the developing eggs.
- They are most active during daytime.
- These fish are not great swimmers. They usually drift with the current in the water.
- Weedy Sea Dragons use their long snouts to feed.
Weedy Sea Dragon Predators
This Sea Dragon does not have any known predators.
Picture 2 – Weedy Sea Dragon Image
Weedy Sea Dragon Adaptations
There are many adaptive features that help them to survive in their natural habitat:
- The appendages growing from their bodies give them a weed-like appearance, thus making it impossible for the potential predators to find them.
- The rows of spines also protect them against predators.
- The pectoral fins located on both sides of their necks help them to maintain balance.
- They use their long dorsal fins to propel themselves forward in water.
- This species do not have teeth. Instead, they use their long snouts to suck preys in their mouths.
Weedy Sea Dragon Mating Season
The breeding season for this species starts in early summer.
Weedy Sea Dragon Reproduction
They attain sexual maturity when 2 years old. The females lay approximately 120 eggs in the “brood pouches” of the males, where the eggs get fertilized. Male Weedy Sea Dragons carry the eggs with them until they hatch.
Weedy Sea Dragon Life Cycle
Their eggs take around 2 months to hatch. The Weedy Sea Dragon babies start feeding shortly after their birth. Juveniles of this species are able to reproduce within the first year of their growth. But, they generally wait until they reach full maturity at 2 years of age.
Weedy Sea Dragon Lifespan
The lifespan of this species ranges between 6 and 10 years.
Weedy Sea Dragon Conservation Status
This species is included in the “Near Threatened” category by the IUCN. Habitat loss due to pollution and development is considered to be the main threat towards their existence.
Weedy Sea Dragon as Pet
Weedy Sea Dragons are one of the most expensive and difficult pets to keep. It is extremely hard to find a Sea dragon in pet stores. It is also important to check all the local and federal laws and obtain proper permits for keeping one of these fish as pet. Here is some basic information about housing and caring for them.Inflatables
Housing: A four feet tall tank should be used for housing one Sea dragon of this species.
Feeding: One needs to feed them only with live mysis shrimp, which means feeding them will cost about $100 a week. These Sea dragons cannot survive if they are fed with anything else.
Weedy Sea Dragon Interesting Facts
Here are some interesting facts about these marine fish east inflatables American warehouse:
- They are among the most ornately camouflaged species in the world.
- This is one of the three species where the males take care of the eggs.
- Capturing these Sea dragons for any purpose is illegal in most of the places where they are found.
- The baby Weedy Sea Dragons are completely independent from the moment they are born.
- They feed slowly and frequently as they do not have digestive systems.
Weedy Sea Dragon Pictures
Here are some images of this Sea dragon species.
Picture 3 – Weedy Sea Dragon Picture
Picture 4 – Weedy Sea Dragon Photo