List of hybrid creatures in folklore

The following is a list of hybrid entities from the folklore record grouped morphologically. Hybrids not found in classical mythology but developed in the context of modern popular culture are listed in a separate section. For actual hybridization in zoology, see Hybrid (biology).


Head of one animal, body of anotherEdit

'Gajasimha', Museum of Cham Sculpture
Ganesha, with Elephant's head
Horus, with Falcon's head
A medieval depiction of a harpy as a bird-woman
A nure-onna as depicted in Sawaki Suushi's Hyakkai-Zukan

Front of one animal, rear of anotherEdit

  • Capricorn – A creature that is half-goat half-fish. It is identified with the constellation Capricornus.
  • Echidna – A half-woman and half-snake monster that lives inside a cave.
  • Fu Xi – A god said to have been made by Nu Wa.
  • Glaistig – A Scottish fairy or ghost who can take the form of a goat-human hybrid.[8][9]
  • Griffin – A creature with the front quarters of an eagle and the hind quarters of a lion.
  • Harpy – A half-bird, half-woman creature of Greek mythology, portrayed sometimes as a woman with bird wings and legs.
  • Hippalectryon – A creature with the front half of a horse and the rear half has a rooster's wings, tail, and legs.
  • Hippocampus (or Hippocamp) – A Greek mythological creature that is half-horse half-fish.
  • Hippogriff – A creature with the front quarters of an eagle and hind quarters of a horse.
  • Jengu – A water spirit with the tail of a fish.
  • Ketu – An Asura who has the lower parts of a snake and said to have four arms.
  • Lamia – A female with the lower body like that of a snake and is also spelled as Lamaia. This should not be confused with the Greco-Roman Lamia.
  • Matsya – An avatar of Lord Vishnu that is half-man half-fish.
  • Merfolk – A race of half-human, half-fish creatures. The males are called Mermen and the females are called Mermaids.
    • Auvekoejak – A merman from Inuit folklore of Greenland and northern Canada that has fur on its fish tail instead of scales.
    • Ceasg – A Scottish mermaid.
    • Sirena – A mermaid from Philippine folklore.
    • Siyokoy – Mermen with scaled bodies from Philippine folklore. It is the male counterpart of the Sirena.
  • Nü Wa – A woman with the lower body of a serpent in Chinese folklore.
  • Nāga – A term referring to human/snake mixes of all kinds.
  • Onocentaur – A creature that has the upper body of a human with the lower body of a donkey and is often portrayed with only two legs.
  • Ophiotaurus – A creature that has the upper body of a bull and the lower body of a snake.
  • Peryton – A deer with the wings of a bird.
  • Sea-lion - A creature with the head and upper body of a lion and the tail of a fish.
  • Siren – Half-bird, half-woman creature of Greek mythology, who lured sailors to their deaths with their singing voices.
  • Skvader – A Swedish creature with the forequarters and hind-legs of a hare and the back, wings and tail of a female wood grouse.
  • Tatzelwurm – A creature with the face of a cat and a serpentine body.
  • Tlanchana – An aquatic deity that is part woman and part snake.
  • Triton - A Greek God and the son of Poseidon who has the same description as the Merman. Some depictions have him with two fish tails.

Front of one animal as head of anotherEdit

A Centaur fighting a man

Animals with extra partsEdit

Pegasus, as the horse of Muses, was put on the roof of Poznań Opera House (Max Littmann, 1910)
Detail of the embroidered dress of an Apkallu, showing a pair of 4-legged winged animals. From Nimrud, Iraq. 883-859 BCE. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul
  • Angel – Humanoid creatures who are generally depicted with bird-like wings. In Abrahamic mythology and Zoroastrianism mythology, angels are often depicted as benevolent celestial beings who act as messengers between God and humans.
  • Bat – An Egyptian goddess with the horns and ears of a cow.
  • Cernunnos – An ancient Gaulish/Celtic God with the antlers of a deer.
  • Fairy – A humanoid with insect-like wings.
  • Hathor – An Egyptian goddess with cow horns.
  • Horned God – A god with horns.
  • Jackalope – A jackrabbit with the horns of a whitetail deer.
  • Satyr – Originally an ancient Greek nature spirit with the body of a man, but the long tail and pointed ears of a horse.[10][11] From the beginning, satyrs were inextricably associated with drunkenness and ribaldry, known for their love of wine, music, and women.[10][11][12] By the Hellenistic Period, satyrs gradually began to be depicted as unattractive men with the horns and legs of goats, likely due to conflation with Pan.[10][11] They were eventually conflated with the Roman fauns and, since roughly the second century AD, they have been indistinguishable from each other.[10][11][13]
    • Silenos - A tutor to Dionysus who is virtually identical to satyrs and normally indistinguishable, although sometimes depicted as more elderly.[12][11]
  • Seraph – An elite angel with multiple wings.
  • Winged cat – A cat with the wings of a bird.
  • Winged genie – A humanoid with bird wings.
  • Winged horse – A horse with the wings of a bird. *Pegasus is the name of the winged horse, not the species
  • Winged lion – A lion with the wings of a bird.

Other hybrids of two kindsEdit

Satyr men, satyr women, and satyr children.
Garuda carrying his master Vishnu. Garuda has an eagle's head, wings and legs
  • Adlet – A human with dog legs.
  • Alebrije – A brightly colored creature from Mexican mythology.
  • Anansi - A West African god, also known as Ananse, Kwaku Ananse, and Anancy. In the Americas he is known as Nancy, Aunt Nancy and Sis' Nancy. Anansi is considered to be the spirit of all knowledge of stories. He is also one of the most important characters of West African and Caribbean folklore. Anansi is depicted in many different ways: sometimes he looks like an ordinary spider, sometimes he is a spider wearing clothes or with a human face, and sometimes he looks much more like a human with spider elements, such as eight legs.
  • Avatea – A Mangaian god that has the right half of a man and the left half of a fish.
  • Bes – An Egyptian god with the hindquarters of a lion.
  • Lilitu – A woman with bird legs (and sometimes wings) found in Mesopotamian mythology.
  • Cerberus – A Greek mythological dog that guarded the gates of the underworld, almost always portrayed with three heads and occasionally having a mane of serpents, as well as the front half of one for a tail.
  • Drakaina – A female species from Greek mythology that is draconian in nature, primarily depicted as a woman with dragon features.
  • Faun – An ancient Roman nature spirit with the body of a man, but the legs and horns of a goat.[10][11] Originally they differed from the Greek satyrs because they were less frequently associated with drunkenness and ribaldry and were instead seen as "shy, woodland creatures".[13] Starting in the first century BC, the Romans frequently conflated them with satyrs and, after the second century AD, the two are virtually indistinguishable.[10][11][13]
  • Feathered serpent - A Mesoamerican spirit deity that possessed a snake-like body and feathered wings.
  • Garuda – A creature that has the head, wings, and legs of an eagle and body of a man.
  • Goat people are a class of mythological beings who physically resemble humans from the waist up, and had goat-like features usually including the hind legs of goats. They fall into various categories, such as sprites, gods, demons, and demigods.[14]
  • Gorgon – Each of them has snakes in place of their hair; sometimes also depicted with a snake-like lower body.
  • Jorōgumo - Type of Japanese yōkai, depicted as a spider woman manipulating small fire-breathing spiders.
  • Krampus — A Germanic mythical figure of obscure origin. It is often depicted with the legs and horns of a goat, the body of a man, and animalistic facial features.
  • Kusarikku – A demon with the head, arms, and torso of a human and the ears, horns, and hindquarters of a bull.
  • Lamia – Woman with duck feet.
  • Mothman – A humanoid moth.
  • Pan – The god of the wild and protector of shepherds, who has the body of a man, but the legs and horns of a goat. He is often heard playing a flute.
  • Selkie – A seal that becomes a human by shedding its skin on land.
  • Karasu-tengu – A crow-type Tengu.
  • Uchek Langmeidong - A half-woman and half-hornbill creature in Manipuri folklore, depicted as a girl who was turned into a bird to escape from her stepmother's torture in the absence of her father.
  • Werecat – A creature that is part cat, part human, or switches between the two.
  • Werehyena - A creature that is part hyena, part human, or switches between the two.
  • Werewolf – A creature that becomes a wolf/human-like beast during the nights of the full moon, but is human otherwise.
  • Wyvern – A creature with a dragon's head and wings, a reptilian body, two legs, and a tail often ending in a diamond- or arrow-shaped tip.

Hybrids of three kindsEdit

Assyrian lamassu dated 721, BCE Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago.

Hybrids of four kindsEdit

Horns of a goat and a ram, goat's fur and ears, nose and canines of a pig, and mouth of a dog, a typical depiction of the devil in Christian art. The goat, ram, dog and pig are animals consistently associated with the Devil.[16] Detail of a 16th-century painting by Jacob de Backer in the National Museum in Warsaw.
  • Abraxas – A god-like Gnostic creature with many different types of portrayals, many of which as different types of hybrids.
  • Enfield – A Heraldic creature with the head of a fox, the forelegs and sometimes wings of an eagle, the body of a lion, and the tail of a wolf.
  • Hatsadiling – A mythical creature with the head and body of a lion, trunk and tusks of an elephant, the comb of a rooster, and the wings of a bird.[17]
  • Kamadhenu – A creature with the head of a human, the body of a cow, the wings of a pigeon, and the tail of a peacock.
  • Monoceros – A creature with the head of a deer, the body of a horse, the feet of an elephant, and the tail of a pig.
  • Nue – A Japanese Chimera with the head of a monkey, the legs of a tiger, the body of a Japanese raccoon dog, and the front half of a snake for a tail.
  • Qilin – A Chinese creature with the head and scales of a dragon, the antlers of a deer, the hooves of an ox, and the tail of a lion. The Japanese version is described as a deer-shaped dragon with the tail of an ox.
  • Questing Beast – A creature with the head and tail of a serpent, the feet of a deer, the body of a leopard, and the haunches of a lion.
  • Simurgh – A griffin-like creature of Persian mythology with the head of a dog, the body of a lion, the tail of a peacock, and the wings of a hawk.
  • Taweret – The hippopotamus-headed Egyptian Goddess.
  • Wolpertinger – A creature with the head of a rabbit, the body of a squirrel, the antlers of a deer, and the legs and wings of a pheasant.
  • Yali – A Hindu creature with the head of a lion, the tusks of an elephant, the body of a cat, and the tail of a serpent.
  • Ypotryll – A Heraldic creature with the tusked head of a boar, the humped body of a camel, the legs and hooves of an ox or goat, and the tail of a snake.

Hybrids of more than four kindsEdit

Navagunjara, has limb representing eight animals, including a human hand.
  • Baku – A Japanese creature with the head of an elephant, the ears of a rhinoceros, the legs of a tiger, the body of a bear, and the tail of a cow.
  • Calygreyhound – A mythical creature described as having the head of a wildcat, the torso of a deer or antelope, the claws of an eagle as its forefeet, ox hooves, antlers or horns on its head, the hind legs of a lion or ox, and its tail like a lion or poodle.
  • Scylla – A monster from Greek mythology which has the body of a woman, six snake heads, twelve octopus tentacles, a cat's tail and four dog heads in her waist.
  • Fenghuang – A Chinese creature with the head of a golden pheasant, the body of a mandarin duck, the tail of a peacock, the legs of a crane, the mouth of a parrot and the wings of a swallow.
  • Kotobuki - A Japanese Chimera with the head of a rat, the ears of a rabbit, the horns of an ox, the comb of a rooster, the beard of a sheep, the neck of a Japanese dragon, the mane of a horse, the back of a wild boar, the shoulders and belly of a South China tiger, the arms of a monkey, the hindquarters of a dog, and the tail of a snake.
  • Meduza – A sea creature from Russian folklore with the head of a maiden and the body of a striped beast, having a dragon tail with a snake's mouth and elephant legs with the same snake mouths.
  • Navagunjara – A Hindu creature with the head of a rooster, neck of a peacock, back of a bull, a snake-headed tail, three legs of an elephant, tiger and deer or horse, fourth limb being a human hand holding a lotus.
  • Pyinsarupa – A Burmese creature made of a bullock, carp, elephant, horse and the dragon.
  • Tarasque – A French dragon with the head of a lion, six short legs similar to that of bear legs, the body of an ox, the shell of a turtle, and a scorpion stinger-tipped tail.
  • Nawarupa – A Burmese creature with the head, trunk and tusks of an elephant, the eyes of a deer, the horns of a rhinoceros, the wings and tongue of a parrot, the body and legs of a lion and the tail of a peacock.[18]

Modern fictionEdit

The following hybrid creatures appear in modern fiction:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Franklin-Brown, Mary (2012). Reading the world : encyclopedic writing in the scholastic age. Chicago London: The University of Chicago Press. p. 258. ISBN 9780226260709.
  2. ^ S Sanatombi (2014). মণিপুরী ফুংগাৱারী. (in Manipuri). p. 57.
  3. ^ Regunathan, Sudhamahi (2005). Folk Tales of the North-East. Children's Book Trust. ISBN 978-81-7011-967-8.
  4. ^ Singh, Moirangthem Kirti (1993). Folk Culture of Manipur. Manas Publications. ISBN 978-81-7049-063-0.
  5. ^ Devy, G. N.; Davis, Geoffrey V.; Chakravarty, K. K. (2015-08-12). Knowing Differently: The Challenge of the Indigenous. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-32569-7.
  6. ^ Sangeet Natak. 1985.
  7. ^ Krasner, David (2008). Theatre in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology. Wiley. ISBN 978-1-4051-4043-0.
  8. ^ Rev. J. G. Campbell, "Superstitions of the islands and Highlands of Scotland", Scottish Celtic Review 4 (1885), pp155, 157, noted in J. G. McKay, "The Deer-Cult and the Deer-Goddess Cult of the Ancient Caledonians" Folklore 43.2 (June 1932), pp. 144–174). p. 152.
  9. ^ Sue Weaver (16 April 2011). The Backyard Goat: An Introductory Guide to Keeping and Enjoying Pet Goats, from Feeding and Housing to Making Your Own Cheese. Storey Publishing, LLC. pp. 142–. ISBN 978-1-60342-699-2.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Riggs, Don (2014). "Faun and Satyr". In Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (ed.). The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters. New York City, New York and London, England: Ashgate Publishing. pp. 233–236. ISBN 978-1-4094-2563-2.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Hansen, William F. (2004). Classical Mythology: A Guide to the Mythical World of the Greeks and Romans. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 279–280. ISBN 978-0-19-530035-2.
  12. ^ a b West, Martin Litchfield (2007). Indo-European Poetry and Myth. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 293. ISBN 978-0-19-928075-9.
  13. ^ a b c Miles, Geoffrey (2009) [1999]. Classical Mythology in English Literature: A Critical Anthology. New York City, New York and London, England: Routledge. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-203-19483-6.
  14. ^ Nathan Robert Brown (30 September 2014). The Mythology of Grimm: The Fairy Tale and Folklore Roots of the Popular TV Show. Penguin Publishing Group. pp. 195–. ISBN 978-0-698-13788-2.
  15. ^ Platt, Rutherford (1926). The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden. Entry: The Book of the Secrets of Enoch chapter XII
  16. ^ Fritscher, Jack (2004). Popular Witchcraft: Straight from the Witch's Mouth. Popular Press. p. 23. ISBN 0-299-20304-2. The pig, goat, dog, ram — all of these creatures are consistently associated with the Devil.
  17. ^ Stratton, Carol (2004). Buddhist Sculpture of Northern Thailand. Serindia Publications, Inc. ISBN 9781932476095.
  18. ^ "Quest for Glory Shrine - Monsters". Retrieved 2022-12-17.
  19. ^ Hayward, Philip (2017). Making a Splash. p. 37. ISBN 9780861969258.
  20. ^ Forest, Richard W. (2014). "Dungeons & Dragons, Monsters in". In Weinstock, Jeffrey (ed.). The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters. Ashgate Publishing.
  21. ^ Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. p. 92. ISBN 0-87975-653-5.