Native ancestor of the Greyling, this small dragon was once as common in Britain as the Yellow Reaper, but has been nearly hunted to extinction due to its terrible temper and habit of preying on livestock.
This common grey-purple breed of lightweight dragon is known especially for its speed, and so mostly used for carrying dispatches and quick, harrying flank attacks. Winchesters were said to fly so fast that a cow grazing below would be blown off its feet, and the passenger would feel as if they were in danger of being blown off the dragon's back. As couriers, they tended to be used on the shorter routes, while Greylings flew the longer routes to Africa, India and the Americas.
Due to the small size and speed of Winchester hatchlings, the eggs had to be hatched indoors, usually in a barn or similar structure. The hatchlings were allowed to fly around a bit before the meat was brought out for their first meal.
Given the Winchester weighs between 2-3 tons, they do not commonly require a crew, and often fly with only their captain aboard. Winchester hatchlings were usually harnessed by boys of 14 or so. Winchesters are considered unattractive prospects for many experienced officers as the captain of such a small dragon would not be able to gain seniority, partly due to the lack of men under their command, but also due to the tendency of dragons to respect strength and size over human notions of rank.
Small lightweight dragon, camouflaged by its grey coloration. Bred more for speed than intelligence and weighs around 5 tons. They are the result of crossbreeding the larger, more aggressive Grey Widowmakers with the smaller, more even-tempered Winchesters. It is stated that Greylings are able to stay in the air with only 1 wing beat every hour. Usually likes sleeping in small caverns.
This middleweight dragon is capable of a vitriolic attack (spitting highly acidic venom) aimed with great accuracy, though only downward. As its name implies, it has an impressive wingspan, and distinctive markings ranging from orange to blue. One of its peculiarities is that it will only take female captains (a fact not recognized until Queen Elizabeth I, when she had her serving maid harness one). Longwings average a length of 60 feet (20 m) but have a wingspan of 120 feet (35 m). This 2:1 ratio of wingspan:length is unusually long in dragons, hence the name of the breed. The Longwing's acid and the Regal Copper's strength are the elite weapons of the British Aerial Corps.
This heavyweight dragon exceeds all known breeds in sheer size (30–50 tons) and are related to the Bright Coppers (middleweights with unusually large air sacs allowing longer duration flight) and the Spanish Cauchador Real heavyweight dragons. Females are usually larger than the males. Regals breed infrequently making them very valuable. Only a handful of heavyweights approach their size, including Grand Chevaliers and at least one breed of Prussian heavyweight dragon. Large Regals are approximately twice the weight of Celestials/Imperials (30–50 tons vs. 20–25 tons), though most are 30 tons or less. Regal Coppers have vivid colorations ranging from red to yellow, and are very far-sighted. Regals have a top cruising speed of around 17–20 knots (35 km/h) and a top speed of a little over 20 knots (37 km/h). A favorite British tactic is to use Regals' brute force to "bulldoze" through enemy formations, opening them to attack by other British dragons. Although a large and formidable dragon, there are dragons known to be even bigger. Demane's dragon, Kulingile, a cross of Parnassian and Chequerd Nettle, has outgrown Maximus, one of largest known Regal Coppers. Curicuillor, the Incan dragon of an unidentified breed, also dwarfs a fully-grown Regal Copper and is comparable to Kulingile in mass.
Middleweight dragons with golden coloring. Yellow Reapers are fairly common, weigh in between 12–15 tons, and are known for their even temperament. They are however rather slow, with a top speed of approximately 20 knots (with a top cruising speed of 17 knots), with even the larger Regal Coppers capable of faster (though not longer) flight. Reapers have contributed their genes towards almost every other line of British dragon, giving most British dragons their even temperaments, which is in stark contrast to Turkish Kaziliks and some Chinese dragon breeds. Yellow Reapers have an average wingspan of 80 feet (25 m) and are generally around 50 feet (15 m) long.Anglewing: Golden brown and spotted with bright yellow, Anglewings are smaller dragons, with oddly angled wings that allow them to make sharp, unpredictable turns. They are middleweights, weighing a mere 13–16 tons on average.
Bright Copper: Native forerunner of the Regal Copper. Noted for their unusually large air sacs, that gives them the ability to fly for a very long time, a trait they passed on to their descendants, the enormous Regal Coppers and this has allowed the latter to fly despite its immense weight.
Chequered Nettle: Like the other heavyweight breeds of Britain, the Chequered Nettle was not a native breed, but one that was created through cross-breeding. As a heavyweight dragon, albeit smaller than the less common Regal Copper, the Chequered Nettle is very useful in battle, and they possess spiked tails which can be used in a manner similar to morning stars. The colouring of Kulingile, a Chequered Nettle/Parnassian cross, suggests the Chequered Nettle is gold coloured with brown stripes.
Grey Copper: A pale greenish-grey dragon occasionally used on the flanks of formations.
Malachite Reapers: Cousins of the Yellow Reapers, with yellow-brown coloring with green highlights. Prefer the cooler climates of northern Scotland.
Parnassian: A small heavyweight, occasionally smaller ones fall into middleweight range. The Parnassian’s combat value is based on their exceptionally long talons. Somewhat smaller than Celestials but larger than 12-ton Yellow Reapers by approximately 50% in weight (18 tons)
Sharpspitter: A venomous breed considered too small for military use, that was cross-bred with the larger French Honneur-d'Or and the venomous Russian Ironwing to create the Longwings.
Xenica: Little is known about this breed. Like the Longwing, it only takes female captains.
Fast moving lightweight couriers. Primarily green, these dragons are small enough in size to stand eye to eye with humans. Possess long delicate looking wings that taper and nearly reach the ground. Capable of fast and high-level travel, flying 120 miles (190 km) in two hours with an average of 60 mph. Do not have riders, unlike Western courier dragons, because of their exceptional intelligence.
These heavyweight dragons have interbred in a manner that has increased their intelligence. They form the elite of the draconian officials. They have blue to black markings. Occasionally, matings between Imperials will produce a Celestial. Imperials, like Celestials, weigh around 20–25 tons, and are not expected to fight. Imperials are virtually identical to Celestial in appearance; a frill of horns around the head and tendrils above the mouth are the main differences in appearance.
These rare heavyweights are the personal dragon companions of the Imperial family. According to Qian, there are only eight Celestials remaining in the world and each were the descendants of the single Celestial 'Grandfather' who himself was born from the mating of two Imperials. As the Celestials are so closely related to one another, they are unable to breed amongst themselves a fact which is further complicated by Lien's claim that Celestials are too genetically distant to reproduce with most other dragons meaning they must breed with Imperials.
They have the same dark colouring and the same markings as the Imperials and in youth appear identical, but as they mature gain a distinct ruff and facial tendrils. Like Imperials, they have five talons on each foot and their wings have six spines, as opposed to Western dragons' five. They are also able to beat their wings forward and backward, which gives them the ability to "hover" in midair (an ability unique to the two breeds.)
Highly intelligent, Celestials have operated as royal advisors, generals, scholars and have an extreme gift for language acquisition and mathematics that far exceeds that of most humans. They are also fast fliers, maneuverable, and they have another mysterious ability known as the "divine wind", a sonic roar with extremely powerful concussive force, one of the rarest and most powerful draconic abilities. When used as a weapon, it has, with a single blow, easily destroyed ships and caused the simultaneous death of multiple middleweight dragons and in a sustained efforts has whipped the ocean into a fleet destroying tidal wave.
Celestials weigh approximately 20–25 tons and usually do not fight in combat. Their exact top speed is not known, although Temeraire is often said to be doing 25 knots (46 km/h) as a fast cruising pace and still not flying at his maximum pace. Lien, his elder cousin, is said to be even faster. Celestial top speed, judging from their fast cruising speed of 25–30 knots (50 km/h), would be around 30–35 knots (60 km/h) in good weather. This top speed makes them faster than all known heavyweights, most middleweights, and even rivals that of the fastest Courier Dragons.
In Throne of Jade, Temeraire is said to be 20 ft shorter and half the weight of Maximus, an incredibly large Regal Copper. He is later stated to be 20 tons, making Maximus 40. If a 50-ton regal is 120 ft, then Maximus must be 111 ft. This puts Temeraire at about 90 ft, bigger than most dragons though still slightly smaller than other older Celestials. He is still dwarfed by a few larger heavyweights such as Regal Coppers, which ordinarily range between 26-30 tons.
The Shen-lung was an extremely common breed of dragon. Many superior Chinese dragons originated from this breed, in a design similar to the British Yellow Reaper. Their appearance and size varied greatly, but their blue-grey coloring seemed to be their main common point.
Like humans, some Shen-lung were clever and some were lazy. They worked at a wide variety of occupations: providing mass transit for humans, carrying freight, nursemaiding dragonets, and entering the civil service. Shen-lung in the civil service wore colored silk collars indicating their ranks. The wisest among the Shen-lung were sometimes granted the privilege of mating with an Imperial."Emerald Glass": These dragons tend to enter the military. They are green with red markings and typically slow-witted, compared to other Chinese breeds, noted for intelligence.
"Scarlet Flower": Another dragon that tends to enter the military due to an aggressive temperament. As their name implies, they are bright red.
Shen Lung (Broadwinged) : An experimental breed of lightweight dragon used for inter-continental travel, their albatross-like wings, stretching to well over twice their own body length, are comparable in size to those of heavyweight dragons, if not larger.
Chanson-de-Guerre: (Song of War). A heavyweight dragon, colored shades of orange, yellow, brown, and ivory of approximately the same weight as Imperials/Celestials (20–25 tons). They are France's most common heavyweight dragon breed.
Chasseur Vocifere: (Vociferous (or Ferocious) Hunter). Small lightweight courier-dragons.
Defendeur-Brave: (Brave Defender). A heavyweight with a hooked tail.
Flamme-de-Gloire: (Flame of Glory). Middleweight dragons with fire-breathing abilities, an ability greatly prized among dragons. In the series, England captured several during the Battle of Agincourt, but they all died out before the English could start a fire-breathing line for their own Aerial Corps. The prominent example of this breed is Accendare, a Flamme-de-Gloire that has battled Temeraire.
Fleur-de-Nuit: (Nightflower). A nocturnal heavyweight dragon with dark coloring and excellent night vision. Due to its night vision and dark colours, it is often used in spying or night-time raids and maneuvers - however, it is extraordinarily vulnerable to flashes of deep light and of little use during the day-time. Currently the Fleur-de-Nuit is the subject of a breeding program by Lien which is improving their resistance to bright lights and increasing their linguistic capacity.
Grand Chevalier: (Great Knight). Heavyweight dragon with a pale belly, which camouflages it from below. They are almost as large as Regal Coppers, and as such must weigh well over 20 tons. These dragons are relatively rare and are the larger of the Chevaliers, thus they are called Grand Chevaliers.
Honneur-d'Or: (Golden Honor). These dragons are covered in red and blue stripes on gold.
Papillon Noir: (Black Butterfly). A middleweight dragon colored with green and blue stripes which is often used as a decoy for the similar appearing Flamme-de-Gloire.
Pêcheur-Couronné: (Crowned Angler (or Fisherman)). A middleweight breed that is very common.
Pêcheur-Râyé: (Striped Angler (or Fisherman)). A middleweight dragon with no special abilities that is very common.
Petit Chevalier: (Little Knight). This breed of Chevalier is called "Petit" Chevaliers due to their smaller size in comparison with Grand Chevaliers, although both are heavyweights. Petit Chevaliers are more common than Grand Chevaliers and are larger than Chanson-de-Guerre and Celestials/Imperials. They are later mentioned as being slightly smaller than Temeraire, possibly due to his growth. One is measured at 18 tons, though others may be slightly larger.
Pou-de-Ciel: (Sky Louse; plural: Poux-de-Ciel). One of the smaller dragon breeds, but able to take on middleweights in groups.
Plein-Vite: (Full and Quick). A lightweight courier breed. Very fast but have little endurance, they carry one rider who is usually a young officer or teenager.
Roi-de-Vitesse: (King of Speed). A lightweight.
Pascals Blue: A light combat-dragon. Silvery-grey with black and blue patches.
Ka-Riu: A Japanese breed also capable of vitriol.
Sui Riu: A Japanese heavy weight which extends well over 200 feet in length, more than twice the size of the largest dragons in Europe, with deep greenish black scales. Incapable of flight, they instead possess 'water sacs' or 'glands' that increase their volume and mass depending on the body of water available to them. On land, they are the size of a Yellow Reaper, a middleweight. They become much larger when they enter rivers and lakes, and truly gargantuan if they enter the ocean, their body colour also changes paler as they expand. The Sui Riu is extraordinarily similar to a sea serpent in appearance, with the sole points of physical difference being the limbs and the stubby wings. Like the sea serpent, it can breathe underwater, but it possesses a keen intellect as well as the ability to ingest and violently expel large qualities of water. They are also capable of heating and discharging boiling water, if required. The Sui Riu is also more long lived than European dragons with a life span in excess of four hundred years.
Berghexe: (Mountain witch) A Prussian middleweight.
Mauerfuchs: (Wall fox) A lightweight Prussian courier.
Cauchador Real: (Royal Conqueror ) From the Spanish Pyrenees, this large heavyweight breed is one of the ancestors of the Regal Copper
Flecha-del-Fuego: (Arrow of the Fire). Spanish lightweight breed that can breathe fire.
Akhal-Teke: A Turkish middleweight.
Alaman: A lightweight Turkish courier.
Kazilik: Renowned for their fiery tempers as well as their fiery breath, these Turkish heavyweight dragons are bright red with green and black markings, and are covered in dangerous spines and horns (a Kazilik is the dragon featured on the cover of the American paperback version of Black Powder War). Kaziliks combine two traits not commonly found together, being both heavyweight dragons and fire-breathers, and as such are highly desired by other countries like Britain. Evidence suggests they are extremely bloodthirsty from birth and can have contrary temperaments. Kaziliks are perhaps the most valuable of all heavyweight combat dragons (Celestials do not typically fight), with the British paying the Turks nearly half a million pounds for a single egg (making it nearly 10 times more valuable than a Regal Copper egg). Iskierka, the sole British Kazilik, is noted as being as long as Temeraire, a Celestial, which would mean fully grown Kaziliks are approximately 100–110 feet (30 m) long (almost as long as a Regal Copper). Kaziliks have a fire-breathing range of 80 yards (70 m) (twice that of a French Flamme-de-Gloire), and can breathe fire for continuous periods of five minutes at a time. The spines along their back expel steam, possibly to relieve internal pressure caused by the fire creation process. This makes a Kazilik's sides wet and slippery.
Although Granby identifies at least twenty eight new distinct breeds of dragon, the majority have not been shown with names. Incan dragons are distinct from other breeds in that they all possess feathers on their scales which, when raised, can make them seem almost twice their actual size and few, it seems, possess breath weapons.Copacati: Seemingly a small heavyweight, the Copacati is a sleek dragon with green tipped long silver feathered scales and enormously long black fangs which overhang the lower jaw. While the Copacati is capable of a vitriolic attack, it seems to have a limited supply of venom which it can expel.
Yupanqui: A middleweight dragon covered in green and purple feathered scales and a minor talent for languages.
unnamed fire breather: Equivalent in size to a courier dragon, this firebreather can only breathe small and brief spurts of fire in close quarters and so is not as useful a weapon in the army as the Kazilik or Flamme-De-Gloire. Britain was in negotiations for an egg before the negotiations for the Kazilik egg from the Ottoman Empire.
While not a distinct breed, some feral dragons may be of full-breed or mixed breed types of dragons. In the series, the breeds to which Arkady's troop of feral dragons belong have not been established, while it has been mentioned that smaller dragons - such as the Grey Widowmakers - are feral in nature. Since dragon colors do not easily mix, they end up being usually brown or grey.
Although the breeds have not been identified, Kefentse and Mokhachane may be of distinct African breeds as they are dissimilar in appearance. It is noted that African dragons can vary widely by tribe. They are characterized with stylized pierced jewelry, including gold and ivory tusks.
Kefentse is described as a reddish-brown heavyweight with a double row of patterned spikes and about the size of Temeraire.
Mokhachane is a light to middleweight dragon, golden in color. An artist's rendering of her is on the cover of Empire of Ivory.Dakota: A brown middleweight from the North American Great Plains tribes. Colored with 'warpaint'-like stripes of red and green.
Like all American dragons this breed is flown in combat with only a single rider, not a large crew.Ironwing: A Russian middleweight breed with a venomous bite.
Lindworm: A Scandinavian dragon, possibly an ancestor of the Malachite Reaper.
A sea serpent. One specimen in the Indian Ocean measured nearly two hundred fifty feet long while only twenty feet thick. Smaller specimens measuring twelve feet or less have been found in the Atlantic, while those in the Pacific are rarely seen and no size measurements are mentioned. These may be non-sentient or it may be due to the lack of contact with humans that this species exhibits none of the dragon-like intelligence seen even in feral dragons. In a recent novel they are being used as a shipping fleet by the Chinese, effectively getting around the East India Company's monopoly.
An intelligent reptilian creature which lives in the Australian interior, bunyips spend much of their time underground and create many camouflaged traps where they may burst out from underground and devour any person or animal, even an infant dragon, which is in range. The bunyips are coloured shades of red and brown, with pebbled hides and tufts of yellow grass-like 'hair' on their heads which trails down to a series of webbed ridges between the shoulder, and possess long, narrow muzzles with a rounded snout and a powerful jaw with which the serpent-like creatures crush and grip their prey. Unlike dragons and serpents, the bunyip's cry is strangely mammalian, resembling that of the hyena.