12 Amazing Fishes That Will Remind You of Dragons

As a passionate fish keeper, I’ve always loved the idea of “fish that look like dragons.” There are many different dragon-shaped fish species in the world, and thankfully, they can be found at your local aquarium or pet store.

These fish come in many colors and interesting shapes – some have fins that resemble wings while others do not. One thing is for certain, though: these beautiful beauties will surely make any aquarium shine!

In this blog post, we will explore some of these amazing fishes you’ll love to know about. If you’re interested in these mystical-looking creatures, look no further and keep reading until the end.

Here’s the list of the fishes we’ve discussed here with dragon-like appearances

  1. Dragon Moray Eel (Enchelycore pardalis)
  2. Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)
  3. Dragonface Pipefish (Corythoichthys haematopterus)
  4. Gray bichir/Senegal fish/polypterus senegalus
  5. Polypterus teugelsi
  6. Polypterus weeksii/mottled bichir
  7. Stomiidae/barbeled dragonfish
  8. violet goby/Dragon Goby
  9. Asian Arowana
  10. Dragonet
  11. Common seadragon/weedy seadragon 
  12. Leafy seadragon


Here are some similar articles we’ve covered on our site. If you feel interested, click the links below to read them.

Interesting Fishes That Look Like Human.
13 Fishes That have Eel-like Appearances.
12 Fishes with Snake-like Appearances.


12 Fishes That Look Like Dragons

Dragon Moray Eel  (Fish with dragon like appearance)

1. Dragon Moray Eel (Enchelycore pardalis)

The leopard moray eel is a species of marine fish in the family Muraenidae. This organism inhabits coral and rocky reefs at depths ranging from 8 to 60 meters, often found with other members of its own kind or schools containing similarly colored specimens like yellowtail snapper, which have more vividly colored bodies than their surroundings that help them blend into those around it.

 The ground color for this animal’s body ranges from grey-browns through light browns on lighter parts, while darker shades represent blackish scales as well as some dark bands seen, especially along the tail section where they are thinner and irregularly shaped.

They’re characterized by narrow curved jaws lined with razor-sharp teeth used for eating prey, including smaller fishes though some bigger ones can be consumed too, such as crabs. It’s a renowned saltwater fish that has a dragon-like appearance.

The leopard moray eel is a stealthy carnivore that relies on its nocturnal lifestyle and ability to camouflage itself within the corals. Its preferred diet includes fish and small cephalopods, but they can also be found grazing along coral reefs for algae or polyp tissue.

Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)  (Fish with dragon like appearance)

2. Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)

The Axolotl is a cute freshwater fish that looks like a dragon. Native to Mexico, the Mexican walking fish is a salamander that never undergoes metamorphosis. As do most other amphibians, axolotls remain aquatic and gilled when they reach adulthood instead of taking to land.

This species was originally found in several lakes, such as Lake Xochimilco, underlying Mexico City, where it flourished until urbanization began lowering water levels due to an increased population which depleted resources like oxygen from the waters surrounding them, reducing their habitat significantly over time.

The last sighting of this unique creature occurred on September 1st, 2015, during a fishing trip near Cuitzeo de Leon, with only four individuals captured for study purposes, according to experts who fear imminent extinction if not proper action is taken. So, it’s rare to find them in the wild.

Axolotls are often mistaken for other amphibians such as waterdogs, but they should not be confused with these. They also shouldn’t be mistakenly identified as mudpuppies because the two animals belong to different families and have a superficial resemblance only.

The Axolotl is a type of salamander that can reach lengths of up to 18 inches. They possess external gills, caudal fins and are neotenous in their evolution, meaning they have traits more like an amphibian or larva than other types of adult salamanders.

It’s a fascinating amphibian, unlike any other. It has wide, lidless eyes and underdeveloped limbs with long digits. They have an elongated body; males are identified by their swollen cloacae lined with papillae while females stand out for wider bodies full of eggs.

Three pairs of external gills originate behind the head to provide oxygenation in water through filaments (fimbriae). These four-gilled slits filter food particles from entering but can’t stop them all at once when it comes time to eat!

If you look at this fish closely, you will find a lot of similarity with the toothless dragon form “how to train your dragon” movie. So, the Axololt also known as -fish that looks like toothless the dragon. Just by looking at this fish, you’ll find the similarity with the toothless from “How to Train Your Dragon” movie.

Dragonface Pipefish  (Fish with dragon like appearance)

3. Dragonface Pipefish (Corythoichthys haematopterus)

The messmate pipefish is a member of the Syngnathidae family and can reach up to 19.8 cm in length. However, it’s not often found for sale at aquariums as this species lives primarily along the Indo-Pacific region from Africa all the way out to Vanuatu Islands. It’s a small saltwater fish that has a dragon-like appearance.

This colorful fish was given other names, including dragonfaced pipefish, bloodspot pipefish, reefpipefish, or reeftoppipefishes. Its face resembles an old European-style dragon mask with red spots on its snout resembling blood coming out after being bitten by some type of predator!

Dragonface Pipefish is a small, slender fish that has a fantastic ability to change its color depending on the environment. Some of these pipefish can look green or red, and others may have yellow spots with black stripes running down their body. This unique pattern never stays constant for very long as they are always changing colors in order to better blend into their surroundings, making them hard for predators such as sharks or rays to spot!

Dragonface Pipefish looks like any average little creature you might find at your local beach, but there is one thing about this tiny guy that makes him anything but ordinary: he’s got superpowers! The Dragonface possesses incredible camouflage power, which perfectly matches his skin tone, even when swimming next to bright light.

It’s a poor swimmer who relies on its body slithering over the substrate and live rocks, similar to a snake’s movements! It can also use its tail loosely anchored itself with coral or rocks when it needs extra support.

Polypterus senegalus  (Fish with dragon like appearance)

4. Gray bichir/Senegal fish/polypterus senegalus

Polypterus senegalus, the Senegal bichir or Cuvier’s Bichir, is a lungfish-like fish with an appearance more primitive and prehistoric than other modern fishes. This creature is not really an eel nor a dinosaur. It was inaccurately called by some in past times but rather part of the Polypteridae family that has had its most common ancestor living around 200 million years ago, making them one of the oldest known species on Earth.

They are native to Africa, where they can be found across large expanses from South Africa all through Central East African countries like Uganda and Tanzania up North into Sudan before migrating back down to Southern Morocco while sometimes being also seen along southern coastlines near Ethiopia.

Polypterus senegalus is an elongated fish, usually grey or beige in color, though it sometimes has shades of white and pink on some of its rhomboid-shaped scales. Most of the fish is covered with subtle patterns that have occasional darker blotches or dots. At the nose, there are no sharp angles; instead, you’ll find smoothly rounded scales larger than other parts on this creature’s body. External nostrils protrude from just below each eye to aid in hunting prey underwater as Polypterus does not possess good eyesight but relies heavily upon smell when capturing food!

The mouth of Polypterus senegalus is large and appears to grin when closed. The dentary, premaxilla, and maxilla each carry one row of sharp teeth that are slightly recurved in shape for easy consumption. There are multiple rows of smaller teeth found between the larger ones on particular (the jaw’s bones) as well as coronoids, which form the roof over the tongue.

Polypterus senegalus is a long, cylindrical fish with 8-11 dorsal spines and 14-17 anal spines. Like most other bichirs, it has one serrated fin that runs from the forehead to the tail, or caudal fins. The pectoral fins are used as locomotion means for this Polypterus species; males will have thicker tails than females due to sexual dimorphism, which their size difference in comparison can identify. They typically grow up to 35 cm (~14 inches).

Polypterus teugelsi (Fish with dragon like appearance)

5. Polypterus teugelsi

Polypterus teugelsi (Teugelsi bichir) is a nocturnal, carnivorous ray-finned fish that can grow up to 30″ long and was first described in 2004 by Ralf Britz. It has a line of black markings on the dorsal surface and an orange ventral side with completely black pectoral fins, medial and pelvic fin. It can grow up to 30 inches long.

This species is most commonly found in streams with lush foliage near them or slow-moving water. Polypterus teugelsi doesn’t have a good sight. Therefore, it relies heavily on smell for hunting prey such as insects and small invertebrates like crustaceans.

P. teugelsi has some interesting adaptations to help it survive in the water or out of it, for a limited time at least! Unlike most fish that have one swim bladder, P. teugelsi’s is divided into two parts: the right side can be used as an air-breathing organ if needed, and gills are like those found on amphibians because they need them more often than other types of fish (like seahorses).

 (Fish with dragon like appearance)

6. Polypterus weeksii/mottled bichir

The mottled bichir fish is a member of the family Polypteridae found in the central basin of the Congo River and can grow up to 54 cm long. The name was given by John Henry Weeks, the missionary who collected this type at his mission station in Monsembe on the upper part of Congo River, which now belongs to the Democratic Republic Of Congo (Zaire).

The Mottled Bichir is a popular species from the African continent that has been known to have mild temperaments. They are not aggressive towards other fish, but their large head and mouth make them capable of eating much larger prey than you might expect! Tankmates should be chosen carefully as they can bite on other fishes.

The Mottled Bichir is also known as the Weeks bichir or fat-headed bichirs. These fish are often traded under various names, including weeks bichir, fathead urchin, and even mottled urchins! They have dark grey bands over light gray body with white undersides. Found in Africa’s rivers, lakes, ponds, and marshes, they forage for small creatures such as worms, crustaceans, etc.

 Stomiidae or Barbeled Dragonfish (Fish with dragon like appearance)

7. Stomiidae/barbeled dragonfish

The Stomiidae or Barbeled Dragonfish is one of the most fascinating species on Earth. They live in the deep sea and can reach in lengths up to 26 cm! These fish have an enormous mouth with fang-like teeth and a head that is able to open 130 degrees because they are so flexible. That allows them to consume prey much larger than their size would indicate, which makes these guys hungry hunters; it’s not uncommon for them to eat 50% greater than their standard length!

The deep-sea fish have specially evolved organs that help them produce their own light called bioluminescence. The Stomiidae family of deep-sea dragonfish utilizes a large head with many sharp fang-like teeth and long string-like structures known as barbel, which has photophores at the tip to create this amazing glow in the dark!

The Chauliodus, a specific species of Stomiidae, cannot luminescence longer than 30 minutes without adrenaline. However, in the presence of adrenaline, they can produce light for many hours and emit blue-green wavelengths that travel to depths where no other color would be visible.

 The Stomiidae waves its barbel back and forth, producing flashing lights on and off to attract prey or potential mates with their unique ability. They also evolve to black stomach walls to prevent light from going outside while digesting their meal; since many other species have similar abilities.

 violet goby (Fish with dragon like appearance)

8. Violet goby/Dragon Goby

The violet goby is a fascinating species of fish that has an interesting history and unique qualities. The dragon-like coloring may be one reason why it’s called the “dragon” goby or “dragongobie.” This little creature prefers to inhabit bays, estuaries, and river mouths with muddy substrates. These adorable creatures are found from South Carolina in the United States all the way up to Brazil!

With a long, slender body and dorsal/anal fins running the length of its silver scales, this dragon goby looks like it came straight out of an enchanted Disney movie. It has sharp teeth for scraping algae off rocks but is not used to fight with other fish. A well-kept Violet goby will develop a silvery blue metallic color that stands out from any decorations you have on your tank.

When seen in the wild, Violet gobies are generally 3 to 5 inches (7.6–12.7 cm) long in pet stores or 7-24 inches but seldom grow past 15 inches (38 cm). However, males often have a longer genital papilla than females, who’s is short and yellow-colored.

 Asian Arowana (Fish with dragon like appearance)

9. Asian Arowana (Fish that looks like a Chinese dragon)

The Asian Arowana, also known as the dragonfish or bonytongue fish, is an ancient freshwater fish species. Several different varieties share similar characteristics but vary in appearance depending on their geographical location; some experts have recognized these variations and classified them into multiple distinct species.

The Asian Arowana is native to Southeast Asia, inhabiting blackwater rivers and swamps. These fish are carnivorous as adults but insectivores when young. These fierce predators have large, metallic scales like coins, whiskers that jut from their chin and undulates like paper dragons you see in Chinese New Year’s parades.

This popular aquarium specimen has cultural significance in China due to its shape resembling the Chinese dragon; this resemblance spawned belief in people for good luck and prosperity, making it highly sought after as an aquatic pet! and making it one of the most expensive aquarium fish in the world.

However, there have been both positive and negative effects on their status as endangered species because of the popularity among hobbyists around the world. Asian Arowana’s are illegal in the United States because they are currently on the endangered species list. Arowana is covered under the US Endangered Species Act.

 Dragonet (Fish with dragon like appearance)

10. Dragonet

The Dragonets are small, percomorph marine fish of the diverse family Callionymidae; they are mainly found in the tropical waters of the western Indo-Pacific. Dragonets spend most of their time near sandy bottoms at depths as low as 200 meters.

There are 139 species with 19 genera and they can vary greatly based on coloration due to different habitats that range from coral reefs to lagoons where it is common for them to find food such as crabs or insects.

The dragonet is a small, bright-colored scaleless fish with sharp spines on its gills. They are sometimes called “dragonflies” because of this resemblance to the bug that flits around summertime lakes and ponds.

Sometimes this fish could make you confused with gobies. However, Dragonet males have very long dorsal fins, which differentiate them from the females (and gobies), who can also be identified by their protruding lower jaws, though they’re rarely seen.

 common seadragon (Fish with dragon like appearance)

11. Common seadragon/weedy seadragon 

The common seadragon is a type of fish related to the seahorse. These stunning creatures are reddish in color with yellow and purple dots, which provide camouflage as well as protection from predators. Males have shorter bodies than females while also being darker; they possess strong dorsal fins along their back that help them balance when swimming or floating around on the surface.

They commonly reach 45 cm (18 inches) long. The weedies rely heavily on the pectoral fins located near their neck for movement underwater, unlike other fishes, such as tuna, who use large tail fin propulsion systems for locomotion through water. 

  leafy seadragon (Fish with dragon like appearance)

12. Leafy seadragon

The leafy seadragon is a marine fish in the family Syngnathidae, which includes sea horses. Its name stems from its lovely appearance, with long green and red leaves flowing through their bodies like weeds on water. These “leaves” act as camouflage to protect them in their natural habitat on live plants underwater or near algae that they use for food–not propulsion! They propel themselves by means of a pectoral fin at one end (on the ridge), while another small dorsal fin helps control movement closer to where it meets the tail end.

The leafy seadragon is found along the southern and western coasts of Australia. They are not large, but they’re the size of most other seahorses and can grow to about 20-24 cm. Leafies feed on plankton and small crustaceans.

These seadragons are able to maintain an illusion when it swims in water as if its pieces were floating by themselves; appearing to move through the water just like some type of plant would do! In addition to that, they have the color-changing ability that could vary according to location, diet, and their age.


These 12 fishes that look like dragons are all different and unique. They come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and patterns. It’s interesting to see how many creatures on Earth can be categorized as “dragon-like” or have features similar to the mythical creature.

There is no universal definition for the dragon, but we hope this list has been helpful! If you know about any other fish that resemble dragons, please comment below so everyone else can learn more about them too!


  1. I wanted to put one in my home fish tank and wondered if they’re available but mostly if it’s safe to have because I figure they might not be good for home aquariums.

    • Well, it actually depends on your tank setup and environment. And you can put them in your home fish tank if they’re available near you. Some of them are pretty popular and kept in home aquariums, like Polypterus teugelsi, Gray bichir, and Violet goby. I even remember seeing the Dragonface Pipefish. But you should do some study on them before getting one. And look and ask for these in the aquarium shops near your home. You can also look for them online.

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