Common name: Weedy seadragon. Scientific name: Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. Family: Syngnathidae.

Weedy seadragon: Now isn’t that a wonderful little specimen? AND it’s a dragon. AND it’s only found in Australia. What a winner.

We’re pleased to note that the seadragon is indeed a fish and is related to the seahorse, although the seadragon can grow to 45cm.

The adult is predominantly reddish in colour with some wonderful splashes of yellow and purple. As you can see above, their leaf-like appendages help provide camouflage in seaweed (although those brilliant colours probably don’t help too much with that).

They get to 50m depths all along Australia’s southern coastline. They are listed as a ‘near threatened’ species.

Quiz: Which Australian state or territory features the weedy seadragon as their marine emblem?


  1. Hi Ms Carol Saab. What makes this animal a seadragon and not a seahorse?

    1. Hi Marco,
      Both seahorses and seadragons belong to the same marine fish family, Syngnathidae, so they’re more like cousins. Seadragons grow to be larger than seahorses and they are also unique in having those leaf-like appendages to help with camouflage.

  2. Well, if it’s not SA, I’m guessing Victoria. They have some at the Melbourne Aquarium. Incredible looking creatures in person!

    1. You win Mark. Sadly, you don’t actually win anything tangible… well, how’s about fame and glory?


      1. It’s enough just to know that I can now tell people that my home state has a REAL DRAGON as its state emblem!

        1. You’ll be the coolest kid on the block.

  3. I just googled it and I am wrong. SA is the leafy seadragon. Not the weedy

    1. Soooooo close Ms Fabre. And I mean that in more than one way.


  4. Am I right?

  5. South Australia

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