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This page is about the animal Jhereg. For the House of the Jhereg, see Jhereg. For the book, see Jhereg (book).

A winged reptile, capable of hunting but preferring to scavenge ("Jhereg feeds on others' kills"). From the side their wings look like triangles, and from the front they look like walls placed too close together around a snake-like head. Unlike most depictions on the books, they have a pair of wings and one pair of clawed feet (not two pair). Their scaled bodies range in color from brown to green, and these colors become lighter in spring or summer. They are small enough to ride comfortably on a person's shoulder or to be concealed under their cloak, but large enough to carry a dagger by the hilt.

Jhereg are highly maneuverable flyers and prefer to remain airborne, but can run on their two legs if weighed down by a large meal, or even slither if concealment at ground level is necessary. On the wing, jhereg are agile enough to steal kills from falcons and other birds of prey, acting as kleptoparasites.

Jhereg have a poisonous bite that, while not always lethal, is enough to slow down a human significantly. On at least one occasion the jhereg poison was powerful enough to kill a Dragarean. (In Phoenix, Loiosh helps to defend and save Vlad by biting a female attacker who dies from his poison.)

As colorfully described in Rocza's point-of-view segments of Athyra, jhereg have a highly-attuned sensitivity to air currents, allowing them to discern nearby solid objects, whether still or in motion, as well as to take advantage of breezes and thermals while in flight. This allows her and Loiosh to direct and assist Vlad in fending off Ishtvan and Loraan in a pitch-black cave, and lets Rocza snatch a falling dagger safely by the handle without the benefit of vision.

Jhereg hatch from eggs small enough to fit easily in an Easterner's palm. Female jhereg are larger than males, and are usually the dominant member of a pairing. They typically mate for life and will fight to protect one another, although a wild male jhereg may abandon a grievously-injured female.

The Jenoine experimented on jhereg creatures prior to their destruction on Dragaera. These experiments gave the jhereg nearly human-level intelligence (despite having a brain about the size of a walnut).

For thousands of years, Eastern witches have summoned jhereg females to bargain for the services of one of their offspring. Jhereg familiars are a well-known indication that someone is a witch, and in Burz this was also considered a sign that the witch in question was hostile or evil.

There is a giant variety of non-poisonous jhereg that live near Deathgate Falls. These jhereg are larger in size than most Easterners.

A reasonable and official picture of a jhereg can be found here, by Katherine Grantham.

Notable Jheregs[]