A spectacular new Australian seadragon has been found hiding in a museum

The leafy sea dragon, Phyllopteryx.

A new species of leafy seadragon has been discovered in Western Australia by looking through existing specimens, some around 100 years old.

The new dragon, called Phyllopteryx dewysea, lives in deeper water than the other two known species.

A biodiversity survey in 2007 found a male sea dragon carrying a brood of offspring off the coast of Western Australia.

The specimen went to the Western Australian Museum, incorrectly labelled as a common sea dragon.

Phyllopteryx was discovered through DNA sequencing of museum specimens and would have otherwise remained unknown.

On closer examination, the dragon displayed skeletal differences from the other two species.

Searches of collections then revealed three additional specimens. One of these was collected in 1919.

The find was announced in an article published by the Royal Society.

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