Rapid Bay, South Australia / by Alastair Pollock

The leafy seadragon has to be one of the strangest and most beautiful fish in the ocean.

Leafy seadragons can be found year-round at Rapid Bay, only 90 minutes drive from the city of Adelaide in South Australia. Covered in leafy appendages (used only for camouflage), it grows to ~25cm (~10 inches) and is only found at a handful of locations along the southern side of Australia (WA, VIC and SA). 

It was my second trip to South Australia to find the leafy seadragons, after a failed trip in 2012 where we didn't managed to find any. After the disappointment of my last trip, it was a great relief to find the first dragon 2 minutes into the first dive! On this trip (April 2017) we saw many leafy seadragons under the old derelict jetty at Rapid Bay.

 Leafy Seadragon at Rapid Bay, South Australia.

Leafy Seadragon at Rapid Bay, South Australia.

 Old wife fish, under the old Rapid Bay jetty, South Australia.

Old wife fish, under the old Rapid Bay jetty, South Australia.