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Weedy Sea Dragon

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A weedy sea dragon photographed at Dallas World Aquarium in Texas

About the Weedy Sea Dragon

The weedy sea dragon, also called the common sea dragon, inhabits the waters off south and east Australia. Compared to the leafy sea dragon, weedies have less flamboyant projections and are usually reddish in color with yellow spots.

Characteristics

Weedy sea dragons have very long, thin snouts; slender trunks covered in bony rings; and thin tails which, unlike their seahorse cousins, cannot be used for gripping. They have small, transparent dorsal and pectoral fins that propel and steer them awkwardly through the water, but they seem quite content to tumble and drift in the current like seaweed.

Reproduction

As with sea horses, sea dragon males are responsible for childbearing. But instead of a pouch, like sea horses have, male sea dragons have a spongy brood patch on the underside of the tail where females deposit their bright-pink eggs during mating. The eggs are fertilized during the transfer from the female to the male. The males incubate the eggs and carry them to term, releasing miniature sea dragons into the water after about four to six weeks.