Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dragon of the Month: Lernaen Hydra

Lernaen Hydra
Hydrus lernaeus
Recognition: Snake body with multiple necks and heads.
Habitat: Mediterranean seas, marshes and lakes
Classification: Draco/Hydradracoforme/
Hydridae/Hydrus/ h. Lernaeus

The Lernaen Hydra is one of the most famous species in the dragon class. Once quite common along the Mediterranean sea coasts and rivers, today the Lernaen Hydra is a rare find. Similar to other species in the Hydra family the Lernaen Hydra possesses multiple heads with which it uses to hunt for its prey along the river beds and lake sides. Primarily feeding on small rodents, fish and eels the Lernaen Hydra is usually not a threat to the human populations nearby. However its poisonous bite can kill a man if consecutive bites are suffered. Because of a historic fear of all dragons the Lernaen Hydra has been hunted extensively throughout the centuries leaving their populations greatly decreased.

The most famous accounts of the Lernaen Hydra is that depicted in the classical Greek legend of Hercules, who traveled to Lake Lernae in Greece to slay a specimen that lived there. Thisa legend has produced a large number of works of art depicting the encounter.

The Lernaen Hydra
3rdC bc. Greek

The Lernaen Hydra
2nd Roman Mosaic

Hercules and The Hydra
Gustave Moreau

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©2009William O'Connor/William O'Connor Studios/Dracopedia:A Guide to Drawing the Dragons of the World/The Dracopedia Project. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. I was unaware such a creature was possible!

    Have you heard about the argument that this is a pseudo-dragon, more closely related to snakes than true dragons?