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The Care and Feeding of Hobby Hybrid Teacup Dragons

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Pixie Dragon, Minimi volito pyske

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrate)
Class: Xenosauria (Dragon)
Order: Squamadraco (Scaled)
Family: Occidentidae (Western)
Genus: Minimi (“Small” – horse sized or smaller)
Species: volito (Teacup)
Sub-species: pyske (pixie)

EGG
Eggs are glossy and opaque, the size of a ping-pong ball or smaller (40 mm diameter). Polychromatic and iridescent, they resemble labradorite spheres. Shells are surprisingly strong for their relative thinness, likely to counter the environmental heat necessary to trigger development and the subsequent heat generated by the embryo itself. Clutches can number 3 to 5 eggs.

HATCHLING
Babies are called whelps or hatchlings, or, by those not breeding or hybridding them, drakes or drakens.
Pixie Teacups are born with a dark red tail and wings, the paper-thin membrane of bat-like wings stretching between its forelegs and hind legs. Dark red, almost-black blood flows through capillaries when the wings flex and bunch, strengthening their structure much like the drying of a butterfly’s wing membranes.
Teacup dragons are the smallest of the Minimi family. The draconian version of sugar gliders, teacup dragons differ in their increased weight to size ratio, as they have increased bone density and strong musculature.
There is a lot of variety among teacup dragons but they all tend to have nasal crests that can get very elaborate, growing into big horns and thick, fluffy manes. Eyes and ears look large, proportionately speaking, and ears are erect. Tongues are forked, as is typical of Xenosauria.
Tails are used for balance on the ground and in flight, as well as a prehensile appendage while climbing and perching. Tails end in an isosceles tip.
Hatchlings need to stay near the fire all day after hatching to slowly thermoregulate and allow their scales to harden. To speed up the process they can be placed in a hot water bath to stabilize their temperature and allow their scales to come in and harden quickly. This is the best way to protect them from environmental dangers and low temperatures. Once the scales harden, they’re all but invincible and the added layer of armor locks in their naturally high body heat.
Post-bath or once 12-16 hours have passed post-hatching, scales harden and the dark red skin of its hatching gives way to shining scales in shades of dark purple to royal blue as they firm and form from the flesh beneath. Thousands of tiny, shiny scales appear as if by magic, overlapping and locking in the drake’s body heat.

SEXING
Dragons are non-gendered or female. Males are unnecessary to procreation and, therefore, have been bred out of the process of reproduction over the millennia. Belly color can reveal gender. Females will have dark blue or purple bellies. Non-gendered or binary drakes will have silver or light blue bellies, but may present as female later in life, if they choose to present at all.

JUVENILE
Drakes can sometimes accidentally start fires after they spark their torch gland. This learning curve and their general over enthusiasm leads to clumsy behavior and destructive episodes, typically unintended. This why they are often classified as pests by certain populations.

ADULT
SENSES
Teacup dragons have excellent senses of hearing and smell, but only average to poor vision.

INTELLECT
Teacup dragons are automimetic: they instinctually mimic the intelligence level and habits of those around them.
They also have very long, near perfect memories. They tend to live in one place and can amass decades of historical knowledge, becoming a “living record” of past events there.
They can become very attached to their companions. If they’ve been around someone an especially long time, they may start to ‘remember’ events from that person’s past as if the events actually happened to them.

VOCALIZATION
Chirrups, purring, one to two syllable vocalizations through their juvenile stage, though adults can produce more complex sounds.

HOARDING BEHAVIOR
Teacup dragons, like most of the Xenosauria, are drawn to shiny objects, whose market value is unimportant compared to their reflectivity. Luckily hoards are limited by what a dragon can physically carry, and Teacup Dragons as full adults can lift two to three times their body weight, so are generally limited to items of ten pounds or less.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY
ChrissiHR. 2017. All I Ever Wanted. Archive of Our Own. Chapters 4-6. https://archiveofourown.org/works/10404201/chapters/22974516
www.deviantart.com/aeoptera
www.deviantart.com/dehydromon
www.deviantart.com/pristichampsus