Discworld Wiki

Terry Pratchett's fictional Discworld has a large number of creatures and plants unique to it or its parasite universes (such as Fairyland or Death's Domain).


Ambiguous Puzuma[]

A big cat with a quite unique black and white check coat, the ambiguous puzuma is the Disc's fastest animal. Because of the Disc's standing magical field, which slows down light to approximately the speed of sound, the puzuma can actually achieve near-speed of light. Because of this, seeing a puzuma in motion means it isn't there. Puzumas commonly die from complications caused by Sangrit Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle; they lose concentration because they cannot simultaneously know who they are and where they are, frequently causing them to crash into an obstacle. Many males also die from ankle failure caused by excessively running after females who aren't present.


A giant and nearly extinct snake, seen in Sourcery. It has similar powers to a traditional basilisk, such as deadly venom and the ability to kill something by looking at it. When the basilisk in Sourcery met the Luggage, it attempted to stare the Luggage to death. However, thanks to the luggage's penetrating eyeless stare, the basilisk was unable to win the resulting staring contest, and was forced to blink. It was then killed by the Luggage.

Bookworm, .303[]

A bookworm that has evolved in magical libraries. Because of the constant danger of running into a volume containing spells (which release thaumic radiation), the .303 caliber bookworm eats quickly. So quickly, in fact, that it has been known to ricochet off walls after boring through a shelf of books.


A parody of the chimera of Greek mythology, an archetypal Greek "hybrid monster". The Discworld chimera pastiches this by having, according to a bestiary quoted in Sourcery, "thee legges of a mermaide, the hair of a tortoise, the teeth of a fowel and the winges of a snake. Of course, I have only my worde for it, the beast having the breathe of a furnace and the temperament of a rubber balloon in a hurricane."

The chimera is native to Klatch, but is a very rare species. The only one seen in the books made itself rarer by attacking the Luggage.

Clock cuckoo[]

A cuckoo that builds clocks to impress potential mates. The clocks, however, keep lousy time, and thus cannot be seen as evidence for an intelligent designer.

Curious Squid[]

A small species of squid, whose curiosity exceeds their ability at making connections. They are small, harmless and reckoned by many experts to have the foulest taste of any creature in the world. Due to this they are in great demand at a certain type of restaurant where skilled chefs with great care make dishes containing no trace of the squid at all (a spoof on fugu). Apparently the only place they can be found is in the area around the sunken island of Leshp, in the Circle Sea, approximately halfway between Al-Khali and Ankh-Morpork.


Dragons are a genus of reptiles which apparently evolved on the Disc's Moon.

Draco lunaris[]

Possibly the original species of dragon, these Moon Dragons inhabit the Disc's moon. They are quite similar to Draco vulgaris, but are more aerodynamic, have silver scales, and flame from their rears. This allows them flight by means of the rocket principle. They subsist on an evidently high-octane silvery plant, which apparently covers much of the Moon and glows by means of phosphorescence, creating moonlight. This species is seen in The Last Hero. Errol from Guards! Guards! could also be of this species as by the end of the book he had turned pale from neck down and started flying around by shooting flame from his rear.

Draco nobilis[]

Noble Dragons are the large, graceful fire-breathing creatures of legend. Probably evolved from Draco vulgaris, these dragons use magic to combat the physical laws that would normally kill a flapping-winged creature weighing several tons and spitting burning substances. Because this requires more magic than the Discworld can in normal circumstances provide, Draco nobilis now exist mostly in a parasite universe closely connected to the human imagination. They can be briefly released from this universe by a sufficient expenditure of magic, or summoned on a more permanent basis in areas of high background magic. Examples of this can be found in The Colour of Magic and Guards! Guards!

Draco stellaris nauticae[]

The Star-voyaging Dragon is massive even when compared to Draco nobilis. Like Draco lunaris, this species flames from the rear to achieve propulsion. Their food is the various debris they trawl from the voids they travel. Smaller dragons voyage by attaching themselves to the hide of this species, much like the remora. The species was first observed by Leonard of Quirm during the events of The Last Hero, which may mean that they are either quite rare or avoid positioning themselves so as to be visible from the Disc.

Draco vulgaris[]

Swamp Dragons (Draco vulgaris) are small, fly badly and tend to explode, due to the generation of various flammable gases in their internal plumbing. They are, in short, dragons as they would have to be in order to work in reality. Swamp dragons are inexplicably popular as pets, and there are a number of different breeds. They will eat and drink anything that can be used as or converted to fuel for fire-breathing (and as such are fond of coal and fuel oil), and they have a corrosive saliva.

A male Swamp Dragon is called a pewmet between hatching and eight months, a cock between eight and fourteen months, a snood between fourteen months and two years, and a cobb between two years and death. A female Swamp Dragon is called a hen until her third clutch, and a dam thereafter. A dead Swamp Dragon of either sex is called a crater. A group of swamp dragons is called either a slump or an embarrassment. During mating season, male Swamp Dragons will compete when they see each other by attempting to inflate themselves as large as possible (hopefully without exploding). Because of this, dragon owners are discouraged from keeping mirrors.

The portrayal of dragon-breeders (such as Lady Sybil Ramkin) in the books is a parody of "horsey" upper-class people, although there are also similarities to pedigree dog-breeding (in particular, the Ankh-Morpork Cavern Club is a parody of Kennel Clubs.) However, due to the nature of the creatures, a dragon house is typically constructed as one would an ammunition dump.

In The Colour of Magic, a brief line suggests Swamp Dragons are flightless, flameless and extinct. GURPS Discworld suggests this may be a subspecies of the Swamp Dragons seen in later books.


In The Wee Free Men, dromes are bizarre, inhuman creatures that inhabit the parasite universe known as Fairyland.

Dromes are large, blobby gray creatures, much like misshapen snowmen, with gray, doughy flesh, beady eyes and a small, toothless mouth.

Dromes have the unique ability to project and control dreams, trapping their victims within. If someone were to eat anything in the dream, they would be trapped forever until they starve to death. Once dead, the drome eats its victim (but not right away, as they have no teeth). Within a dream, dromes can shapeshift to blend in with their environment, but the one thing they cannot mimic is speech, which sounds like muffled gibberish. When several dromes gather together their powers increase and anyone nearby can be trapped within dreams within dreams within dreams until they are unsure of what is truly real or not. The only way to get out of a drome's dream is to slice off its head.

Dromes originated in a parallel reality; one of many visited by the floating parasite universe of the Elves. The Elf Queen abducted several of them to aid her in her selfish desires. The homeworld of the dromes is described as a twilit land of red rock against an unmoving sea under a great red sun, populated by crablike creatures, which they eat. This closely echoes the description of the far future Earth described by the protagonist of HG Wells's The Time Machine.

Hermit Elephant[]

A native of Howondaland, the hermit elephant is a close relative of the more commonly known elephant. However, the Hermit elephant has an uncommonly thin and vulnerable skin by comparison to these. In order to protect itself, the hermit elephant will walk into a village, enter a house or hut and lift it upon its back, carrying it away. As it grows, the elephant will periodically shed its house in favor of a new, larger one, much like hermit crabs. Hermit elephants frequently travel in herds, and these can easily be mistaken for villages if found while the animals are resting.

Kickstool crab[]

A harmless crustacean creature that inhabits L-space, and feeds on dust. Mentioned in Guards! guards!.

Pointless Albatross[]

A species of migratory albatross. The bird's name refers not to its plumage but its migration habits, consisting of a series of lazy treks from Hub to Rim deemed pointless by most ornithologists of the Disc. One was sent to Lord Vetinari from the Agatean Empire in Interesting Times bearing a message for a "Great Wizzard". The name is play on Wandering Albatross.

Quantum Weather Butterfly[]

The Quantum Weather Butterfly is a butterfly which has evolved the curious trait of weather control. This is used as a defense mechanism and a sexual characteristic. The insect is yellow, with Mandelbrot patterned wings: these wings have an infinite wing perimeter, but only a finite area. Its classification is Papilio tempestae, and it appears mainly in Interesting Times. It is based on the butterfly effect.

Ramtop Red Deer[]

A species of endangered deer which can be found in Lancre. (Lords and Ladies)

Republican Bee[]

A species of honeybee that, rather than being ruled by the traditional queen, runs its hives as democratic republics. Republican bees "committee rather than swarm, and tend to stay in the hive a lot, voting for more honey."


A small lizard mostly found in deserts and other sunny locations, the Salamander is unusual in that it has no orifices. It subsists on the magical energy contained in Octarine wavelengths of light, which it absorbs through its skin. Other wavelengths are also absorbed, but these are not "digested". The salamander must therefore occasionally "excrete" them, producing a bright but short-lived flash of light. Iconographers use this effect to enable flash iconography, by keeping the salamander(s) covered until needed and then scaring them when taking the picture.


A shabby and disreputable species of seabird, which looks like it has been in an oil slick, and eats carrion. The ultimate scavenger, it has been said that scalbies will eat things so disgusting they would make a vulture sick, and even things that already have made a vulture sick. Appears in Small Gods

Shadowing Lemma[]

A creature which exists in only two dimensions and eats mathematicians. The name is a reference to a lemma from dynamical systems theory.


This small rodent is a more careful variant of the lemming, as it only throws itself off small pebbles. It also abseils down cliffs and builds rafts to cross lakes. Its fur coat is very valuable (particularly to the creature itself, which will do anything rather than let go of it). Many articles of expensive clothing, such as wizard's robes, tend to be lined with vermine. Its name is a play on vermin and ermine.


A small toothless scavenger insect native to the deep caves and dwarf mines of Überwald. They are very patient, and able to digest practically anything with any nutrient value (one character even claims that the exhalations of visitors is food to them). Vurms are bioluminescent, giving off a weak greenish-white glow. Dwarfish drudak'ak seem to have a special connection to the creature, possibly using vurm blood to tattoo a luminescent personal identifier (the draht) onto their forearms and apparently spreading the creature intentionally to new mines and territories. Appears and is named in Thud!, and may have appeared in The Fifth Elephant.

World-bearing Turtle[]

See: Great A'Tuin



Apples in the Discworld include the Lancre Blackheart, the Golden Disagreeable and the Green Billet (which goes immediately from ripe to rotten upon being picked). All these varieties are used to make Scumble.

In The Sea and Little Fishes a variety called Nanny Ogg is invented, a play on Granny Smith. After a chain of events, a breed of onion called Granny Weatherwax also appears.


An alcoholic beverage drunk in very small cups some months apart (or served to strangers in pint mugs, as a sort of initiation test). Scumble is a pun of the cider Scrumpy, where, notoriously, people are not sold more than 1 or 2 pints, and then helped to walk home.

It was first introduced in Mort which tells us:

"A lot of stories are told about scumble, and how it is made out on the damp marshes, according to ancient recipes passed down rather unsteadily from father to son. It's not true about the rats, or the snakes' heads, or the lead shot. The one about the dead sheep is a complete fabrication. We can lay to rest all the variants of the one about the trouser button. But the one about not letting it come into contact with metal is absolutely true..."

It is a parody of scrumpy and is made mainly with apples. In Mort it was drunk on the Sto Plains, but in later books it is associated with Lancre, where it is distilled by Nanny Ogg (whose particular variant is known as "Suicider").

When scumble is mixed with dwarfish beer, it creates a highly intoxicating cocktail known as " Fluff".

Counting pines[]

The only known example of borrowed evolution, counting pines alter their genetic code to adapt to outside forces. This unique ability has run into a snag when dealing with humans however. When humans first started cutting them down, the counting pines assumed that they wished to count their rings, and so adapted by displaying their age in numbers on their trunks. Unfortunately, this adaptation led to them being nearly exterminated by the demand for exotic house number-plates.


The Netherglades is home to some highly unusual plants:

Twisting Honeydew[]

Is used in medication prepared by native peoples.

Egregious Flytrap[]

Its venom can be used in delicate ironwork etchings. It can spit venom for several yards, and presumably poses a great danger to the local fly population...

Unnamed Yellow Flower[]

According to Proffessor Rincewind, the juice from these flowers induces certainty in the patient for up to fifteen minutes.

Netherglades Floating Water Hyacinth[]

According to Proffessor Rincewind, the juice from these flowers induces uncertainty in the patient for up to fifteen minutes.

Re-annual plant[]

In addition to the more common annual plants, biennial plants and perennial plants, Discworld harbors a small number of re-annual plants. These are plants which, due to a rare 4-dimensional twist in their genetic structure, flower and grow before their seed germinates. This is usually only possible in areas with considerable amounts of background magic. Farmers who grow re-annual plants are usually very careful about dates of sowing, lest they cause devastating temporal paradoxes (such as dying of starvation because the food one lived off months ago was never grown). The Discworld Almanak also mentions how a garden implement carelessly strewn among re-annuals months later can cause serious damage today.

When re-annual plant products undergo fermentation, the product is time-reversed alcohol (such as counterwise wine), a rare substance much sought by fortune-tellers and the like, as ingesting it allows some ability to foretell the future, which from the point of view of the plant is the past. Time-reversed alcohol produces inebriation in the normal way, but the hangover is thrust backwards in time to several hours before the actual ingestion of the alcohol. This is known as a hangunder, and is usually very strong since one feels so dreadful one imbibes large amounts of alcohol to get over it.

The only revealed re-annual plants are the vul nut vine, which is remarkable in that it can begin to flower as much as eight years before being sown; and re-annual grapes (the source of counterwise wine), which are harvested a year in advance of being sown.

Sapient pearwood[]

A type of semi-intelligent wood that grows in areas of high residual magic. Impervious to magic, it is used in the manufacture of wizards' staffs. Mostly extinct outside the Agatean Empire where it is still quite common, and used to make a number of aggressively ill-tempered artifacts, such as The Luggage. An artifact made of sapient pearwood will follow its owner anywhere. One of its earliest uses was in the manufacture of grave goods for which the well-worn phrase "You can't take it with you" is manifestly incorrect.


A fruit that grows in Howondaland. It is highly prized by connoisseurs as they rarely prize something common; the colour (earwax) and smell (like a sick anteater) make most people feel ill. It is also covered in spikes.

Its name may be based on the poisonous wahoo fruit, although the description is similar to the durian.

Ankh-Morpork is known as the Big Wahoonie, although the fruit does not smell that bad.

Wow-Wow sauce[]

A parody of the real world sauce of the same name. The Discworld version was invented by an uncle of Mustrum Ridcully, and its ingredients include grated wahoonie, asafoetida, scumble, sulphur and saltpetre. It is a highly unstable substance and believed to be responsible (when combined with a charcoal biscuit and an after-dinner pipe) for the elder Ridcully's explosive death. (See Black powder for why the combination might be problematic.) A presumably different uncle of Ridcully's used to swear by (or rather, swear at) Wow-Wow Sauce as a hangover cure; according to Ridcully, "He seemed very peaceful when they came to lay him out". Ridcully also advised that Wow-Wow Sauce must never be consumed when sweat is condensing on the bottle (a reference to the danger posed by dynamite that has begun to sweat its nitroglycerin).


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia.

The original article was at Flora and fauna of the Discworld. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Discworld Wiki, the text of Wikipedia:Wikipedia is available under the Wikipedia:GNU Free Documentation License.