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Glauert's Seadragon or Leafy Seadragon

Phycodurus eques


Leafy sea dragons, Phycodurus eques (Günther, 1865), aka leafy seadragons or Glauert's seadragon, get their common names from the leaf-like appendages on their bodies. Leafy sea dragons have more of the leaf-like appendages on their bodies than the closely-related weedy sea dragons . Both species resemble floating pieces of seaweed which makes them difficult for predators to find in their natural habitat. They reach a total length of 35 cm.


These superbly camouflaged fishes, in the same Family Syngnathidae as seahorses and pipefishes, are only found in Australia's temperate waters. This species has only been recorded from the southern coastline of Australia, from Kangaroo Island, South Australia to Rottnest Island, Western Australia. These fishes live over sand patches among kelp-covered rocks below the low tide line in depths from about 3-50 m


The leafy sea dragon, Phycodurus eques, has a long pipe-like snout with a small terminal mouth. It feeds on plankton, mysids and other small crustaceans. One of the most spectacular examples of camouflage: neither prey nor predators recognize it as a fish.

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Spotted by

Tampa, Florida, USA

Spotted on Sep 12, 2011
Submitted on Sep 21, 2011

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