Monday, December 04, 2006

Weedy Sea Dragon

The Weedy Sea Dragon or Common Sea Dragon is a marine fish related to the seahorse. It is the only member of the genus Phyllopteryx. They occur in water 3 to 50 meters deep round the southern coastline of Australia, approximately between Port Stephens, New South Wales and Geraldton, Western Australia, as well as around Tasmania. Weedy sea dragons are named for the weed-like projections on their bodies that camouflage them as they move among the seaweed beds where they are usually found.
Weedy sea dragons reach up to 45 cm in length. They feed on tiny crustacea and other zooplankton, which are sucked into the end of their tube-like snout.A more cryptic relative of the weedy sea dragon is the leafy sea dragon. However, according to the November 2006 issue of National Geographic magazine, marine biologist Greg Rouse believes leafy and weedy sea dragons may be the same species residing in a wide territory.
The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California and Melbourne Aquarium in Australia are the only facilities in the world to have successfully bred Weedy Sea Dragons in captivity.The Weedy Sea Dragon is an aquatic emblem of the State of Victoria.The Leafy Sea Dragon Festival is held biennially in the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide.


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