Biodiversity #19 – Weedy seadragon

Biodiversity #19 – Weedy seadragon – a fish related to the seahorse, and like the seahorse, it is the male weedy who carries the eggs in a brood patch for about a month until the young fish – perfect miniature replicas of the parents, and perfectly independent – are born. (I know a few women who’d love that to be the case in humans).

Weedys have small leaf-like appendages that resemble kelp fronds providing camouflage as they spend most of their time drifting through kelp and seaweed and feeding on tiny crustaceans, sea lice and zooplankton which they suck in with their straw-like mouths.

Unlike the seahorse, they don’t have a prehensile tail, and propel themselves slowly with a small dorsal fin. They have small pectoral fins in the side of their neck to provide balance.

They are the marine faunal emblem of the State of Victoria and can be found all along the Victorian coast, and the southern coast from Geraldton to Port Stephens.

Major threats are habitat loss and pollution and they are classified Near Threatened, though at least five US aquariums have successful breeding programmes. The photo of one on the Wikipedia page comes from our very own Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve. The one above comes from our good friends at Goodviz Photography where you can explore more interesting facts about our marine life in photos and video.

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