Gravid seadragon

Another Seadragon Post!

Seadragons are pipefish, cousins of seahorses. In the animal kingdom, pipefish and seahorses stand out as reproductive oddities because the males rather than the females of the species are the ones that “become pregnant” and carry the eggs to term.

Or do they? It seems that what actually happens is the eggs are carried by the males in a special pouch and after the eggs have been fertilized externally.

Male pipefishes have a specially developed area to carry eggs, which are deposited by the female. In some species this is just a patch of spongy skin that the eggs adhere to until hatching. Other species have a partial or even fully developed pouch to carry the eggs. The location of the brood patch or pouch can be along the entire underside of the pipefish or just at the base of the tail, as with seahorses.


Click here to view a recent post about a seadragon hunter.

"Gravid pipefish. Note the eggs clumped along the belly." retirednoway

Gravid pipefish. Note the eggs clumped along the belly.

Last week, I was showing a pair of pipefish to several travelers from Cavite when we noticed that one of them was carrying eggs.

"Two pipefish" retirednoway

Two pipefish

"Another view of the gravid pipefish" retirednoway

Another view of the gravid pipefish

"Visitors from Cavite and me" retirednoway

Visitors from Cavite and me. Behind us is the mouth of Puerto Princesa Bay.

The seadragons were released safe and unharmed after these photos were taken.



2 responses to “Gravid seadragon

  1. Wow! Nice photos & reporting


  2. Pingback: The Female of the Species | The Nahmias Cipher Report

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