By Leslee Matsushige, aquarium co-curator
I’m happy to report that our second trip to Flinder’s Jetty was a success!
If you recall, we were greeted with murky water during our first attempt to dive at the Jetty, a well known site for weedy seadragons. Strong northernly winds didn’t make us feel optimistic about our second try, but we were happy to find decent diving conditions when we arrived.
We were not disappointed; we saw 25-30 seadragons here! It was incredibly exciting to see so many of them. There were little clouds of mysids shrimp (a main seadragon food source) over the sand patches in between sea grass and algae beds. I even got to see a few weedy seadragons feeding.
Check out the video of a seadragon swimming!
Other interesting species spotted:
- Toothbrush leatherjackets (Acanthaluteres spilomelanurus)
- Ornate Cowfish (Aracana ornata)
- Grass Flathead (Platycephalus laevigatus)
- Morwong, called a Magpie Perch (Cheilodactylus nigripes)
After our dive we drove to the Melbourne Aquarium and met exhibit manager Alison Edmunds, who has successfully raised baby weedy seadragons for several years. I was eager to see how she has achieved this remarkable accomplishment. The aquarium has raised more than 60 weedy seadragons juveniles this year.
Next up, we fly to Adelaide in search of the amazing leafy seadragons!
Update: December 2012
Part 8: Google+ Hangout
Part 7: The Great Barrier Reef
Part 6: Leafy seadragons
Part 4: The Importance of this Trip
Part 2: Diving in Sydney