music by Lucas Thanos
photographs by various artists
Weedy and Leafy Seadragons
Weedy seadragon or common seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) is a marine fish related to the seahorse. Adult weedy seadragons are a reddish colour, with yellow and purple markings; they have small leaf-like appendages that resemble kelp fronds providing camouflage and a number of short spines for protection. Males have narrower bodies and are darker than females. Seadragons have a long dorsal fin along the back and small pectoral fins on either side of the neck, which provide balance. Weedy seadragons can reach 45 cm in length.
The weedy seadragon is the marine emblem of the Australian State of Victoria.
The weedy seadragon is endemic to Australian waters of the Eastern Indian Ocean and the South Western Pacific Ocean. It can be found approximately between Port Stephens, New South Wales and Geraldton, Western Australia, as well as Tasmania.
The leafy seadragon or Glauert's seadragon, Phycodurus eques, is a marine fish in the family Syngnathidae, which includes seadragons, pipefish, and seahorses. It is the only member of the genus Phycodurus.
It is found along the southern and western coasts of Australia. The name is derived from the appearance, with long leaf-like protrusions coming from all over the body. These protrusions are not used for propulsion; they serve only as camouflage. The leafy seadragon propels itself by means of a pectoral fin on the ridge of its neck and a dorsal fin on its back closer to the tail end. These small fins are almost completely transparent and difficult to see as they undulate minutely to move the creature sedately through the water, completing the illusion of floating seaweed.
Popularly known as "leafies", it is the marine emblem of the state of South Australia and a focus for local marine conservation.