Breeding leafy sea dragons at SeaWorld

Breeding leafy sea dragons at SeaWorld

I decided to check out the latest news with SeaWorld today. Seems like they are having a bit of success breeding a rare type of Seahorse called the leafy sea dragon.

What’s interesting is that the hatchlings, about 40 of them now, are floating in the big aquarium right in the Manta roller coaster ride. SeaWorld is only the sixth aquarium in the world to successfully breed leafy sea dragons.

These funny looking creatures look like twigs and leaves, great for camouflage in the ocean. They are found only off the southern and eastern coasts of Australia.

Related to sea horses but bigger, they will grow to about 18 inches in length. They are very hard to breed and sensitive to light. SeaWorld feeds them tiny mysid shrimp three times a day.

SeaWorld use to keep their leafy sea dragons in a short tank at the shark encounter exhibit. But they never were able to breed them. Now that they are in a bigger, 11 foot tall aquarium at the Manta ride they are breeding.

They actually have several specially designed aquariums made for breeding, the pregnant males (yes you read that right) and the hatchlings. It’s a very complex system designed to be gentle on these fragile creatures.

So the next time your at SeaWorld Orlando, check out the aquarium in the Que line at the Manta roller coaster and see the new baby leafy sea dragons! 🙂