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Leafy Sea Dragon (Phycodurus eques)

The Leafy Sea Dragon or Phycodurus eques is one unusual looking seahorse. Leafy Sea Dragons have leaf like projections that come out of nearly its entire body. These not only serve as camouflage, but are also used to help the Leafy Sea Dragon maneuver around. In the water these creatures can be almost impossible to see and are often thought to be a drifting piece of seaweed to the untrained eye. Leafy Sea Dragons normally grows to no more than 35cm in overall length. They feeds on crustaceans including plankton and mysids. Even though it doesn't have any teeth, it still manages to eat shrimp and other smaller fish as well. The Leafy Sea Dragon is normally found off the Southern and Western coast of Australia. There is even a festival called the Leafy Sea Dragon Festival that is celebrated in Southern Australia. During reproduction the male of this species carries the eggs fixed to the underside of his tail. This brood patch, consisting of cups of blood-rich tissue each holding one egg. The bright pink eggs become embedded in the cups of this brood patch. They receiving oxygen via the cups blood vessels. To check out the Leafy Sea Dragon in action have a look at the video below...

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