Our amazing and crowd-favorite weedy seadragons have returned to a refurbished tank in the Temperate Waters Gallery on Level 2.

Several weedy seadragons (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) were added this week to the tank, which underwent a thorough cleaning that included repolishing the window, upgrading the life-support system, and refabricating the habitat. These seadragons, which were born in December 2017, traveled in February 2018 from Australia, with a pitstop in California, and had been growing behind the scenes here in Boston until they were ready for their home on Central Wharf. But that is another story, which you can read about here and here

weedy seadragon
One of the weedy seadragons in the Temperate Waters Gallery on Level 2.

Weedy seadragon

Additional mature weedy seadragons–those that had been here at the Aquarium for several years–will be returned to their home in the coming days and weeks, once the newbies get acclimated to their new surroundings. And, our incredibly amazing leafy seadragon will also return in the coming weeks to its comfy home among the other seadragons in their Level 2 tank.

(UPDATE: The leafy seadragon is also back at Central Wharf!)

The seadragons are joined in their habitat by 23 southern hulafish (Trachinops caudimaculatus). These fish, along with the seadragons, are native to the temperate reefs along the southern coast of Australia, where the temperature of the water is comfortably in the mid-50s to mid-60s.         

There’s a lot more you can learn on our blog about seadragons, which belong to an order of fishes called “tubesnouts” for their remarkable tube-like jaws!

Click around these links to learn more about these fascinating marine fish.

Conservation Context

Australia is home to about 120 species of seadragons, seahorses, pipefishes, and pipehorses—more than anywhere else in the world. Australians are highly protective of these animals and their habitats. State and federal regulations control all trade in seadragons and their relatives. These governments are also investigating ways to protect their marine habitats from damaging fishing practices and from pollution from land.