Shortwing Squirrelserpents are very common Tree Dragons, seen all over the Barbaric Archipelago.
Shortwing Squirrelserpents are barely mentioned in the Book series, unlike their flighted relatives, the Lesser-Spotted Squirrelserpent. The latter plays a minor role in A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons.
Shortwing Squirrelserpents have wings that are for the most part, vestigial. They have a long prehensile tail with a hook at the end. Their colors are earthy colors, but can come in white. They may have a spotted underside and tail striping as well.
The wings of a Shortwing Squirrelserpent can be used for short-distance gliding from tree to tree, and are also used to put out fires these dragons might cause. Instead, their tails end in a hook to anchor themselves to branches and move around in the trees, similar to what you might imagine a monkey or even opossum doing.
In How to Break a Dragon's Heart, Squirrelserpents are mentioned briefly (the exact species is not specified) as having a taste for honey as well.
|“||Every now and then, they came across . . . a Squirrelserpent, surrounded by a buzz of furious insects, its muzzle covered with honey.||”|
|— How to Break a Dragon's Heart|
While favoring honey is not specifically a weakness, it could potentially be used against them
They mimic mammalian squirrels in their function and behavior.
These dragons are plentiful and fairly low on the food chain, being a frequent prey animal. They are primarily insectivores, but will also eat small mammals.
Shortwing Squirrelserpents are also a social species. They vocalize with chirps, have special calls to each other, form teams to fight fires, and appear to rear their offspring in marsupial-like pouches, as seen in one small depiction.
The Shortwing Squirrelserpent is mentioned once when describing Fishlegs scampering rapidly up a rope having from a Roman ship.
The Shortwing Squirrelserpent appears only on an info page at the back of the book and does not feature in the story. However, its relative the Lesser-Spotted Squirrelserpent does make a small appearance in the story.
The Shortwing Squirrelserpent is detailed in this reference book.
- Shortwing Squirrelserpent in the Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons on the Official How to Train Your Dragon Books Website.
NOTE: As of Spring 2018, the official website has been redesigned and key information is no longer available.