Phycodurus eques

Leafy seadragon
Phycodurus eques
Phycodurus eques, Rapid Bay, Sth Australia, Photo: Ian Shaw


Temperate Australasia


Numerous branched appendages arising from the edges of the body. The leaf-like outline of this species blends in so well with seaweed in its local environment that most divers, as well as predator and prey species, will pass within a metre of the animal without noticing it. This seadragon is common at a few locations in South Australia and is a fully protected species.


Max Size: 35 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 13.3-29.8°C

Depth: 4-30m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

Occurrence: Infrequent (3.3% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney