Biologists discover ruby sea dragon in the wild

Biologists discover ruby sea dragon in the wild

Marine biologists had been of the view that only two types of sea dragons existed, the leafy and weedy, until they discovered a third type in 2015. The third type of the enchanting fish, the ruby sea dragon, was first found among museum specimens; and now biologists have spotted a ruby sea dragon swimming in the wild too.

Spotted for the first time in the wild, the ruby sea dragon has deep red color and appears like a stretched-out sea horse and hump like a camel. It can curl its tail.

It is notable different from the leafy and weedy types of the marine creature. It lacks the appendages that allow leafy and weedy sea dragons camouflage among sea grass and the ocean floor’s kelp.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography biologist Greg Rouse, who led the discovery, said, “It really was a needle in a haystack, and we saw not one but two. There is hidden biodiversity in the sea. A big, charismatic fish like the ruby seadragon represents that.”

Rouse and his team start a search for the ruby sea dragon in the waters adjacent to the Recherche Archipelago in Western Australia. The used a remotely operated underwater vehicle, which captured the new species nearly 175 feet below the surface on the last day of their mission.

The discovery of the ruby sea dragon was detailed in the latest edition of the journal Marine Biodiversity Records.