Animals

Did You Know? Incredible Sea Dragon Facts

Sea dragon facts are worthy of their own blog.
Share
Tweet

The sea dragon is an extremely interesting creature to learn about. There are three species of the sea dragon - leafy sea dragon, common sea dragon or weedy sea dragon, and ruby sea dragon. The scientific name of the leafy sea dragon is Phycodurus eques, which originates from two Latin words, namely, 'phyko' and 'oura', which mean 'seaweed' and 'tail' respectively. The latter part of the scientific name of the leafy sea dragon is 'eques' which means horse in Latin. Apart from the leafy sea dragon, there are two other species of sea dragon. The scientific name of the common sea dragon or weedy sea dragon is Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. The word Phyllopteryx has been derived from the words 'phyhllon' and 'pteryx' which means fin or wing. The Latin word 'taeniolar' is the origin of the word taeniolatus in the name of the weedy sea dragon. It means ribbons. Similarly, the scientific name of the ruby sea dragon is Phyllopteryx dewysea. This name is kept after the researcher Mary Dewy as a tribute to her love for the sea. The leafy sea dragon can change color to camouflage, however, all leafy sea dragons do not possess this ability. The ability to camouflage by changing colors depends a whole lot on the diet, habitat, age (generally above two years), stress, and other factors. Keep reading to learn more interesting facts about the subnautica sea dragon, blue sea dragon, weedy sea dragon, and the sea dragon rocket.

You can also learn fun facts about the fangtooth and codfish.

Sea Dragon

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Zooplankton, sea lice, shrimp, worms, fish

What do they eat?

Carnivore

Average litter size?

250

How much do they weigh?

N/A

How long are they?

18 in (45 cm)

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Brown, yellow, black, tan, orange, grey, red, white, green

Skin Type

Scales

What are their main threats?

Humans, habitat loss, global warming

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Coastal ocean in tropical regions

Locations

South Australia and Western Australia

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Actinopterygii

Scientific Name

Common sea dragon - Phyllopteryx taeniolatus Leafy sea dragon - Phycodurus eques Ruby sea dragon - Phyllopteryx dewysea

Family

Syngnathidae

Genus

Phycodurus

Sea Dragon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Sea Dragon?

The sea dragon is a type of marine fish.

What class of animal does a Sea Dragon belong to?

The sea dragon belongs to the class Actinopterygii.

How many Sea Dragon are there in the world?

There is a scarcity of data regarding the exact population of sea dragons. It is not known exactly how many sea dragons reside in the world at present. However, due to their limited habitat, they can be at risk of a heavy decline in population in the future. Although, at present, there is no such risk to the global count of sea dragons.

Where does a Sea Dragon live?

A sea dragon lives in the ocean. They are native to the coastal waters of Australia.

What is a Sea Dragon's habitat?

The sea dragon has a very restricted habitat. They can be seen only in tropical marine waters. They are native to Western Australia and South Australia. At times they can also be located in the waters of Tasmania. Sea dragons are not usually residents of deep waters however, they can travel as deep as 150 ft (46 m). They prefer to live in close vicinity to rocky reefs which are covered with kelps and seaweed. They can also be seen wandering near the grass-covered seabed or other phytoplankton and underwater plants. Their habitat consists of clear water. The temperature of the water should range somewhere between 54-73°F (12-23°C). The depth of said water is generally 16.5-164 ft (5-50 m) deep.  Among the three species of the sea dragon, the ruby sea dragon dwells in the deepest part of the ocean.

Who do Sea Dragons live with?

Sea dragons, belonging to the order Syngnathiformes, are a particularly shy creature. They spend most part of their lives in solitude due to this nature of theirs. On certain occasions, two sea dragons can be seen living as a pair which may mostly be for mating purposes.

How long does a Sea Dragon live?

The average lifespan of sea dragons ranges from two to ten years.  

How do they reproduce?

Sea dragons attain maturity within the first two years of their lives. It is after attaining sexual maturity that a male sea dragon approaches females for mating. Although the exact mating ritual remains unknown, it is believed that the male sea dragon and female sea dragon form a pair, and they mate. At times males may fight each other over mating opportunities with a female sea dragon. During the process of reproduction, the females lay a clutch of on average 250 eggs. These pink eggs get fertilized once the females lay the eggs off on the tail of the males. The part of the tail where the eggs are attached is called the brood patch. The brood patch supplies oxygen so that the pink eggs can survive. Thus, the brood patch plays an important role in the reproduction process. It takes approximately nine weeks for the fertilized pink eggs to hatch. Until then it is the male who takes care of these eggs. For better care of the eggs, the male often pumps and may even shake his tail. Once the eggs hatch, independent baby sea dragons make their way into the world.

What is their conservation status?

The overall conservation status of sea dragons is listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Both the leafy sea dragons and the common sea dragons or weedy sea dragons are listed by the IUCN Red List as Least Concern. Meanwhile, the conservation status of the ruby sea dragons is Data Deficient.

Sea Dragon Fun Facts

What do Sea Dragons look like?

A sea dragon resides near seaweeds.

All three species of sea dragon, belonging to the family Syngnathidae, have a similar body structure. It is a pipe-like, elongated, and bony structure. Their tails are long and their bodies are narrow and small. They also have a long, thin snout. The leafy sea dragons have a unique appearance with leafy appendages on their backs.

How cute are they?

Sea dragons are not extremely cute to look at, but they do not have a repulsive appearance either. Their small size can add to their adorable look. However, the bony structure of these animals from South Australia and Western Australia can deduct points from the flattering factor.

How do they communicate?

Little is known about the communication techniques of sea dragons. Sea dragons are known to have great camouflaging abilities, especially the leafy sea dragons (Phycodurus eques) with their leaf-like appendages. These leaf-like appendages look exactly like the leaves of surrounding plants which helps them to hide. By blending in with their environment, the sea dragons can escape their predators. They also float around freely in the water which makes them look like tiny bits of plants. This is also another way for them to not get preyed on.

How big is a Sea Dragon?

Sea dragons measure about 18 in (45 cm) in length. They are about five times the size of a goldfish kept in the aquarium.

How fast can a Sea Dragon swim?

Although the exact speed at which sea dragons move is not known, these animals are known to be swimmers of a moderate speed.

How much does a Sea Dragon weigh?

Sea dragons are so small that their weight is almost negligible. Leafy sea dragons (Phycodurus eques) are known to weigh about 0.2 lb (0.1 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the male and females. They are simply called male sea dragons and female seadragons.

What would you call a baby Sea Dragon?

A baby sea dragon is called a fry.

What do they eat?

Quite interestingly, sea dragons are carnivorous animals in spite of not possessing any teeth. Their diet includes zooplankton, sea lice, shrimp, worms, fish, and other small aquatic creatures. They also prey on larvae of other aquatic animals such as small fishes, mysid shrimp, and other crustaceans as part of their diet.

Are they dangerous?

No, these animals do not pose any danger. They do not have sharp, pointy features which can cause any physical harm. Neither do they possess any venom inside their body.

Would they make a good pet?

Sea dragons would not ideally make good pets since they are extremely difficult to look after and maintain in an aquarium.

Did you know...

The ruby sea dragon was discovered very recently in 2015.

The tail of a male leafy sea dragon changes its color to yellow when it is time for reproduction.

The sea dragons do not have any natural predators. The threats to their lives are mainly caused by humans. Human activities have led to the decline of their natural habitat. Human activities have also led rise to global warming which has changed the environment of the marine water bodies where they live. Apart from humans, sharks may also consume them at times making the sharks their occasional predators, and not natural predators.

The leafy seadragon is a tad bit larger than the other species. The leafy seadragon measures about 8-14 in (20-35 cm).

The color of the leafy appendages of a leafy seadragon can be either light brown or yellowish-brown.

These creatures have a rocket named after them called the Sea Dragon Rocket, designed in 1962 during the 'Space Race'.

Are sea dragons dangerous?

Although sea dragons are not dangerous, they are in danger of getting killed or preyed on. This is because of their tiny bodies and lack of defensive measures. What makes these animals so special is their marvelous camouflaging abilities. They blend in well with their surroundings. This is seen mostly in the leafy sea dragons (Phycodurus eques). The leafy sea dragons (Phycodurus eques) have leaf-like appendages on their back that make it difficult to spot them in their natural habitat.

Can sea dragons be kept as pets?

Yes, all three species of sea dragons can be kept as pets. However, these species are extremely difficult to maintain. These species are expensive as well. The leafy sea dragon species can cost approximately $10,000-$15000 USD. It can be difficult for collectors to keep these species alive since their feeding requires a lot of care. This species is not like any other marine fish that can be fed pellets or packaged fish food. The requirement of these species is often live food. However, in recent times it has been noticed that they are being harvested to be kept as pets in the aquarium.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including candiru and fluke fish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Sea Dragon coloring pages.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.
No items found.