Male weedy seadragons carry the eggs externally below their tail and incubate them for up to 2 months before 120-250 offspring hatch.
When a male is ready to receive the eggs, which he indicates by wrinkling the lower half of his tail, the female deposits about 120-250 ruby-colored eggs onto his brood patch. These eggs look like small, red grapes.
The skin of the brood patch is made of blood-rich tissue and will form a cup around each egg during deposition. Each cup holds and nourishes one egg.
After the eggs are deposited, they are fertilized by the male. After an incubation time of about eight weeks, the eggs hatch over a period of a couple days.
• Image | © Klaus Stiefel, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0)
• Sources | (The Associated Press, 2008; Dawson, 1985; Dragon Search, 2000; Forsgren & Lowe, 2006; Frostic, 2000; Pollom, 2017; Sanchez-Camara, Booth, & Turon, 2005; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)