In the magical world presented through the lens of the Harry Potter franchise, there were ten known species of dragons in existence. That number could have been bigger since author J.K. Rowling has provided evidence into two other breeds that were rumored to have gone extinct.
Dragons had a long history in the Harry Potter universe. They were beautiful creatures but almost impossible to domesticate, and those who tried were classified as Dragonologists. But the giant, fire-breathing beasts served more than one purpose to wizards and witches. Dealers were known to illegally sell and trade dragon eggs out of the sight of the Ministry of Magic. Materials such as dragon blood, claws, horns, hides, and hearts were highly sought after. The items were used for various potions, clothing, and wands.
Charlie Weasley was a known Dragonologist and worked with various breeds in Romania. During the Triwizard Tournament, Charlie was the one who accompanied the chosen dragons to Hogwarts. Newt Scamander also had a history working with dragons as a famed Magizoologist. Dragons appeared a handful of times within the Harry Potter franchise, but some were more memorable than others. Let's take a look at the ten breeds of dragons that existed in the beloved franchise.
The Antipodean Opaleye had a pearly shimmer to its scales, making it one of the most beautiful dragon breeds. The Opaleye was native to New Zealand but it had a history of migrating to Australia. The breed was not known to be aggressive unless it's searching for food. According to the book written by Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a male Opaleye traveled to Australia in the 1970s after it was forced out of the territory and killed several kangaroos with its powerful fire-breath.
Also referred to as the Liondragon, the Chinese Fireball as the name suggests, had the power to shoot out balls of flame from its nostrils. The breed was native to China and was used during the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament. The Fireball had smooth red skin fringed with golden spikes. Viktor Krum faced this particular breed during the Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The wizard was able to steal the Golden Egg after he used a Conjunctivitis Curse to blind the Fireball.
Common Welsh Green
The Common Welsh Green dragon was native to Wales and tended to reside in mountain regions. The breed was known for his identifiable roar and usually preys on sheep or small mammals. The Welsh Green was particularly subdued but in 1932, a rogue dragon attacked sunbathers Ilfracombe, in Devon, England. According to Rowling, a Welsh Green may have been responsible for the Great Fire of London in 1666. Fleur Delacour faced the breed during the Triwizard Tournament and was able to snatch the Golden Egg by enchanting the dragon until it fell asleep.
As the second dragon breed indigenous to Great Britain, the Hebridean Black was much more aggressive than the Common Welsh Green. It was native to the Hebrides Islands of Scotland where the MacFusty clan take responsible for the breed. The Hebridean Black had dark scales and an arrow-shaped tip on the end of its tail. The dragon could grow up to 30 feet long and has stunning purple eyes.
The dragon breed native to Hungary had a lizard-like appearance with black scales and yellow eyes. Hungarian Horntails were known for being violent with the use of its bronze horns and flames that can reach up to 50 feet. The breed ate cattle, goats, a sheep, and humans. Harry Potter was the one who drew the Hungarian Horntail during the Triwizard Tournament. He tried to use his broomstick to thwart off the dragon but it kept up in flight.
The Norwegian Ridgeback was very similar to the Hungarian Horntail in appearance except it had black ridges on its back and is less vicious. The Ridgeback was native to Norway and takes refuge in the Northern mountains. The breed contained venomous fangs and was known to eat large mammals, and water mammals at times. According to Fantastic Beasts, a Ridgeback once took a whale calf right out of the water. Hagrid was given a Norwegian Ridgeback egg in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. When it hatched, Hagrid named it Norbert and had help raising the creature from Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Hagrid eventually gave the dragon to Charlie Weasley and it was later discovered to be a female dragon. The named was then changed to Norberta.
The Vipertooth, native to Peru, also had venomous fangs similar to the Norwegian Ridgeback. The breed had smooth copper-colored scales and short horns on their heads. The Vipertooth was known as the smallest and fastest breed of dragon. Unfortunately, the breed enjoyed eating humans, making it one of the most dangerous creatures in the Wizarding World. In the 19th century, the International Confederation of Wizards sent out exterminators to take care of the growing Vipertooth population. The Dragon Pox disease was thought to have started with wizards who worked with Peruvian Vipertooths.
The Romanian Longhorn was one of the larger dragons in existence. The breed inhabited the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. The Longhorn had dark green scales and two enormous glittering gold horns on its head. Those horns were highly prized ingredients for certain potions. Due to the demand for their horns, the Romanian Longhorn was endangered so its territory was turned into a dragon reservation.
The Swedish Short-Snout preferred to live in the isolated mountains of Sweden. The silvery-blue dragon had a flame so powerful, it turns blue and can turn bone into ashes. This made it one of the more dangerous species of dragon. The Short-Snout appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, although it was yellow in the film. Cedric Diggory faced the breed during the Tournament. He was able to distract the dragon long enough to retrieve the Golden Egg.
The Ukranian Ironbelly was the largest breed of dragon that existed in the Wizarding World. Due to its size and strength, it was one of the most dangerous. The Ironbelly had metallic grey scales that were hard as steel. As a native to Ukraine, an Ironbelly was said to have carried off a ship sailing in the Black Sea in 1799. Newt Scamander notably worked with the breed during WWI. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a Ukranian Ironbelly was used to guard the Lestrange Vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Harry, Ron, and Hermione rode the dragon to make their escape after their Gringotts break-in.
Lesser-Known Dragon Breeds In Harry Potter
Newt Scamander has claimed that only ten dragon breeds existed to his knowledge but two others were revealed by Rowling. In a page from the book Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit seen on the author's website, there was an image of Portuguese Long-Snout, found North of Portugal. This particular breed was said to have light green scales and long pointed horns. The other breed was revealed to be the Catalonian Fireball, a breed native to Spain. The Fireball had a scorched snout and two black horns. It's assumed that the Portuguese Long-Snout and Catalonian Fireball went extinct as their existence in Harry Potter was unknown.
- Fantastic Beasts 3 (2021) release date: Nov 12, 2021