28×22 watercolor; 34.5 x 38.5 framed
The Leafy Sea Dragon, Phycodurus eques, is a relative of the Seahorse, as you might suspect. This marvelous sea creature is found off Australia’s south and western coasts, where it is beautifully camouflaged in seaweed. All those lovely, leafy bits of the animal help him to blend in perfectly with the swaying fronds. They do nothing for propulsion, however. Instead, only the nearly invisible small fins on the back of his neck and tail move him through the water. It was only after completing this painting that I saw Leafy Sea Dragons in person at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.