The Leafy Sea Dragon is a rare fish characterized by its distinctive colors and peculiar appearance.
This rare animal comes from the family Syngnathidae, which includes the seahorses, and is therefore slightly similar in appearance.
However, the leaf sea dragon has characteristics that allow it to distinguish itself from its marine relatives.
Characteristics of the Sea Dragon
The appearance of the sea dragon is very similar to that of a seaweed, in fact, when nothing can look like a floating seaweed.
This weird animal can grow up to 20 to 24 cm, with the female being slightly smaller than the male.
In addition, the sea dragon has two dorsal and pectoral fins, which although small and difficult to see because of their transparent appearance, are very useful for moving.
Another characteristic that distinguishes the sea dragon is that unlike the seahorses, it has very little tail, which prevents it from holding on to plants and staying firm in the face of the turbulence of the sea.
The sea dragon has a great sense of orientation that allows it to move long distances with the ease of getting its way back home no matter how many times and how many kilometers it moves from its home.
However, although this animal moves to get its food, it is not very fast, in fact it moves at approximately 150 m per hour.
Because this peculiar animal does not move very fast, it is vulnerable to predators, yet it has several faculties that make it easier to survive.
For example, the sea dragon can adapt its colour in order to camouflage itself and go unnoticed by its predators.
An interesting detail is that this ability to change color depends on the level of stress that the fish has, but it also depends on its diet and age.
Behavior of this Rare Fish
As for its behavior we have that this rare animal is not characterized by having much energy, therefore it gets tired easily.
In fact, most of its time it is in a state of rest, practically immobile.
However, when it comes to getting its food it can move several meters away from its habitat. Also, something that is really interesting is that it always gets its way back home.
Sea Dragon Habitat
The habitat of this rare fish is not limited as it inhabits a large part of the Australian seas.
They are usually seen in tropical or coastal areas because they need warm temperatures to live.
However, they are difficult to find because they reside in rocky areas or sandbanks about 50 meters deep. The sea dragon can only be found in salt water.
What does the Sea Dragon feed on?
Because the sea dragon has no teeth, it must eat foods that are small enough to be digested whole.
However, the sea dragon’s diet is varied, as it will depend greatly on the environment in which it is found.
In general, sea dragons feed on plankton, shrimp and crustaceans.
An important detail is that this animal has a mouth in the shape of a long tube which allows it to search for its food among rocks or grooves.
How does this Rare and Exotic Fish reproduce?
Although the sea dragon is a solitary and peaceful animal, when the time comes to breed it changes its behavior into an aggressive and violent animal, willing to fight in order to mate.
These specimens can lay approximately 200 to 250 eggs.
The male is responsible for carrying the eggs in his abdomen until the day they are born. This usually takes place over a period of 9 weeks.
When this time comes, the father helps them out by waving his tail against rocks or algae. This is a relatively slow process as it takes one to two days to finish taking out all of their young.
Although they are all born, only a small number will reach adulthood as they are independent and will not have the protection of their parents so they often end up as food for some lurking fish.
What are the Leafy Sea Dragon’s predators?
This striking species has several predators in its habitat but because they are good at camouflaging themselves they can get away with it.
However, they are very vulnerable at birth so many of the young have little chance of surviving.
Another threat to this rare fish is its own anatomy, because as we explained before, the sea dragon does not have a tail that allows it to hold on when the sea is rough, which makes it easy to be dragged by the ocean currents and end up losing its life.
But this animal not only has predators inside the sea, because the human being and his fishing activities become his main enemy. Without forgetting those who capture it to market it and put it in fish tanks.