Seadragons (or Sea Dragons) belong to the family Syngnathidae and are characterised by:
There are two different species of Seadragon - Leafy Seadragons (Phycodurus eques) and Weedy Seadragons (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus)
- having leaf-like appendages
- and having a tail that cannot coil up.
Leafy Seadragons can grow to a maximum length of up to 35 cm long and they are green to yellow - brown with dark pink rib bands and green - brown leaves.
They have a long, thin, pipe-like snout, a wavy - shaped body and a thin uncoiled tail. The leafy seadragon's eyes are located slightly above the snout.
Leafy Seadragons have numerous, branching leafy appendages that looks like the fronds of brown seaweed. They also have small fins and plated body armour. Leafy Seadragons have several long, sharp spines along the sides of the body that are thought to be a defence mechanism.
Weedy Seadragons grow to about 30 to 45 cm long and they are reddish - orange with yellow spots and purplish - blue bars.
They have a long, thin, pipe-like snout, small head, strong neck, rounded body and a tail that is over half the length of the Seadragon. The Weedy Seadragon's eyes are located just behind and in line with the snout.
Weedy Seadragons have small leaf-like appendages which protrude from the head, body and tail either singularly or in pairs. The Weedy Seadragon's body is covered in hard bony plates and the small fins are so fine that they are translucent. These Seadragons have only a few, short spines which are used in self defence.