The ornate decoration on this leafy seadragon may be beautiful, but it also helps the seadragon blend into the seaweeds where it lives.
Coloration varies from green to yellow-brown to light brown
Body is long, thin, and covered in plates with frond-like appendages and sharp spines
Snout is tube-like and toothless
The leafy seadragon is a species apart of the Syngnathidae family, meaning it is related to sea horses and pipefish. This species gets its name from its frond-like appendages that resemble seaweed and help this seadragon camouflage from would-be predators and unsuspecting prey.
Like others in its family, the male leafy seadragons carries the fertilized eggs beneath their tails until they hatch. Unlike others in the family though, leafy seadragon eggs are bright pink in color.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the leafy seadragon population as Least Concern due to threats from habitat degradation and loss and bycatch and aquarium collection not thought to be causing substantial decline. Least Concern populations are those that are unlikely to become extinct in the near future.
12 inches (30 centimeters)
Mysids and other small crustaceans