Fairy Dragons are a somewhat uncommon subtype of dragon found in fantasy works. They're typically represented as tiny dragons — normally in the Shoulder-Sized Dragon range if not smaller — with insect wings (usually butterfly ones) similar to those attributed to fairies.
In personality they are generally nicer, more playful, and more carefree than "true" dragons and much more likely to help the heroes. They often have ties to fairies as well as other dragons, and they may be associated with elves as well.
While they might have breath weapons like other dragons, these are rarely directly harmful. They are known to breathe out gases that induce euphoria, confusion or other addled states of mind, although a healing breath isn't unheard of. Another notable trait of theirs is that among the dragons, they are the most likely to be attuned to or able to cast magic.
- Shanableh/Tatsuzawa from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid takes this literally, as they are the child of a dragon and a fairy. They are significantly weaker than most other dragons as a result (only being on par with a human wizard as opposed to one step below divinity), though their fairy ancestry gives them an innate desire to help people that becomes stronger the more work they has to do. This is why she's able to adapt to living on Earth far faster than any of the other dragons (to the point that Kobayashi was completely unaware she wasn't human until informed by a third party despite having been coworkers for several months), as the life of a modern day office worker is perfect for someone like her.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: Luna/Ruka's Signature Mon is Ancient Fairy Dragon. She is a thin and delicate dragon in pastel colours with butterfly wings, and she is the wise and kind ruler and guardian of the Spirit World. Her abilities focus on healing and summoning creatures from the spirit world (you can destroy field spells to restore LP, replace them, and also special summon monsters).
- Magic: The Gathering: The plane of Ikoria is home to sprite dragons, small creatures with iridescent insect wings that are typed as both Faeries and Dragons. Their flavor text, however, does not imply behavior any more pleasant than their bigger cousins'.
Size of a pixie, rage of a hellkite.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Ancient Fairy Dragon and its alternate counterpart Ancient Pixie Dragon are serpentine dragons with mantis-like wings. As a Signer and Duel Dragon respectively, they hold great metaphysical power within the story and are strongly associated with manipulating Field Cards to control the environment.
- Dracopedia: Feydragons are tiny insect-like dragons with four turreted wings, giving them high mobility in flight. Since the books heavily focus on Mundane Fantastic, it is noted to be popular for boy scout troops and garden clubs to make little birdhouses for them. Willowisps are a specific species of feydragon in-universe, native to marshland and possessing bioluminescent throat sacks and tails tips.
- Fablehaven: Raxtus is a runt dragon whose egg was the sole survivor of a clutch attacked by a cockatrice, and who was thereafter raised by fairies. He looks almost exactly like his father — i.e., a typical Western dragon with silver scales — but about the size of a small horse. He refers to himself as a fairy dragon, and has a Breath Weapon that heals rather than harm like most dragons' do. He can take a humanoid form like all dragons can, but his resembles a larger-than-usual, albeit still short, male fairy — something he's profoundly self-conscious about.
- The Seventh Tower: In a game of Beastmaker in the first volume of the series, Tal's efforts to create a creature using the Head of a Kurshken, Skin of a Samheal Semidragon, Temper of an Icefang, Heart of a Hrugen, Speed of a Cavernmouth, Strength of a Jarghoul and Special of a Gossamer Bug produces a small, delicate-looking, brilliantly colored lizard-thing with large, seemingly delicate, insectile wings. Everybody immediately expects it to lose to the monstrous blubbery shapeless thing his opponent creates, but it turns out to be far faster, tougher and nastier than expected; it outwits the blubber-thing, dismembers it, gouges out its eyes, and is about to go in for the kill before the match is interrupted.
- Wings of Fire: SilkWings, although the same size as other dragon types, are colorful, have butterfly wings, and for the most part have no Breath Weapon or offensive powers.
- Greek Mythology has the pyrausta, a species of miniature dragon with glossy, insect wings, native to Cyprus. They make their homes in fire and embers in order to stay warm, because they die if they get too cold. This is why it was said that they often liked forges and smithies.
- Dungeons & Dragons: The Trope Maker.
- Faerie dragons are small (about the size of a cat), mischievous relatives of true dragons with butterfly wings and prehensile tails tipped with stingers. They have a pronounced Sweet Tooth and a fondness for playing tricks and pranks, and spend much of their time invisible. They are born with red scales, which then cycle through the rainbow as they grow and settle into a deep violet in old age. They often travel in the company of small fey such as sprites and pixies.
- Dragon Magazine #146 includes an entry discussing four additional varieties of faerie dragons. Crystal drakes have gem-like hides, which can reflect multiple types of energy attacks and scatter light spells into affecting everyone with twenty feet of the drake. Demon drakes are just as playful and fond of jokes as regular faerie dragons, but their sense of humor has a very cruel streak and their practical jokes inevitably involve someone else being hurt; they often pair up with quicklings, a type of tiny, equally malicious fairies, who ride them into battle. Faerie drakes can possess the scale color of any chromatic or metallic dragon species, alongside the associated Breath Weapon and a single spell related to the dragon species they mimic. Shadow drakes can become invisible in the darkness, and sometimes lair near pixies or brownies.
- Arboreal dragons, planar dragons native to the Chaotic Good Outer Plane of Arborea, are the least draconic of their kind, having scintillating scales, gossamer wings and elven eyes, and leaving a trail of sparkling mist in their wake. They enjoy wine and song, and are often found in the company of fey and other nature lovers.
- Moonstone Dragons are obscure dragons who debuted in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition in the Monstrous Compendium Appendix Annual Volume 2. Characterized as reclusive and gentle-natured, and distinguished by blue-tinted silver scales, they are full-sized dragons (contrasting the small faerie dragon) who native to the Realm of Faerie and the Plane of Dreams, and when discovered in the mortal world are usually residing within or near faerierealms, or portals to the faerie plane, dream plane, or ethereal plane. They vanished after 2nd edition, though the name reappeared as a nickname for the Ethereal Dragons of the Forgotten Realms in 3rd edition. Fifth edition finally saw them return from obscurity in the sourcebook "Fizban's Compendium of Dragons", with some slight tweaks.
- Midgard is home to the Chernomoi, or "lairsprites", which are an unusual take on this trope, being literally half dragon and half fairy. The result is an unusually large sprite with scales, claws, and draconic wings instead of the usual insectile wings.
- Faerie dragons resemble miniature dragons with blue scales and colorful butterfly wings, and breathe a euphoric gas that makes other beings dazed and confused. They have close ties to the fey, often associating with them, and many live in the First World. They wander through life in search of amusement and playing elaborate tricks and pranks on anyone they encounter; they don't generally seek to harm anyone, but their pranks can often get away from them.
- Havoc dragons, the breed of planar dragon native to Elysium, strongly resemble a supersized version of this. They sport butterfly wings and antennae, and further share true faerie dragons' whimsical natures, Chaotic Good alignment and tendency for their attempts to foster havens of carefree life and revelry to backfire in some manner, but grow to be as large and powerful as any other breed of true dragons.
- Draxies are mischievous and prankster fey in the shape of tiny humanoid dragons, and breathe clouds of pixie dust instead of fire. They descend from an ancient fairy dragon who, after death, was reincarnated by the First World's mercurial magic into a swarm of tiny draconic fey instead of a singular being.
- Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon: One of the bosses is the Jabberwock, a powerful draconic faerie with a bifurcated lower jaw.
- Dark Souls: Seath the Scaleless has some elements of this. While he's certainly not small, he has fairy-like gossammer wings and is very adept in magic. In fact, in-universe he invented Sorcery. Even his Breath Weapon (a beam of light that generates cursed crystals) is actually a spell, not a native ability.
- Donkey Kong 64: The Recurring Boss Dogadon is a dragon with dragonfly-style wings.
- Dota 2: The hero Puck is also known as the Faerie Dragon (in fact the original Defense of the Ancients, Puck was one of Warcraft's Faerie Dragons.). It's a small vaguely reptilian creature with six limbs, insect-like wings, antennae, and a curled tail that splits in two. Described as a Time Abyss with a playful mischievous streak, Puck is able to cast a variety of magic spells that allow it to shift in and out of reality to evade attacks and sow confusion amongst its enemies.
- Dragon City: Fairy dragons are insect-winged creatures that were created as intermediaries between dragons and fairies.
- Dragon Vale:
- Butterfly dragons, created by breeding an Air-aligned dragon with a firefly dragon, have colorful butterfly wings and no forearms.
- Moonstruck dragons have green mothlike wings and patches of fur resembling moth antennae. They're extremely affectionate, and spend much of their time gazing distractedly at beautiful things.
- EverQuest and EverQuest II have fae drakes, which are small dragons with colorful butterfly wings.
- Flight Rising has a couple of fae dragon breeds:
- Fae dragons are slightly larger than a cat, originate from the Arcane Flight, and live in nests made of tree sap. Unlike other dragons, they speak with completely neutral expressions and lack inflection in their voices, because they use their large head fins to express emotion (although this is only understood by other Faes). They are noted as being exceptionally powerful mages, in part because of their Arcane origin.
- Veilspun dragons are an Ancient Breed originating from the Shadow Flight. They are on average even smaller than the Fae breed, have insectoid wings, and a swarming, insectoid lifestyle. As a breed, they are considerably more mischievous than the Fae dragons, befitting their origin as the first creations of the local Trickster God.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III has Faerie Dragons, small creatures with antennae and dragonfly wings, which can be recruited from the Magic Forest structure on the overland map. Heroes IV has them as one of the Tier 4 creatures for the Preserve faction town.
- Kingdom Rush: Origins: The Fairy Dragon Aerie tower, found in the Crystal Lake stage, is home to small purple-blue dragons with insect wings instead of forelegs, which can trap foes in crystal.
- Pix ARK: Fairy dragons are passive creatures that can be tamed and ridden.
- Pokémon has Flygon, an insect-winged reptilian Pokémon based on an adult antlion. However, it is not actually classified as a Fairy-type, instead being a Dragon/Ground type. Mega Altaria is the first Dragon/Fairy type, though it looks more like a bird than a dragon.
- Stellaris has one of the player portraits this type of creature. It is officially referred to as the Fairy Dragon by the developers and game wiki, but not in game.
- Warcraft: Fairy dragons, also called fey dragons and blink dragons, are bright blue creatures with colorful butterfly wings and toadlike faces. In size, they range from being as small as a hand to as large as a dog. They're not true dragons, but rather creatures of the Emerald Dream, and are often found alongside Night Elves.
- Aurora: The official Tumblr lists the cat-size Whispdragons as one of the subspecies created by exposing dragon eggs to elemental energies. They possess butterfly wings, are beautifully colored, and have a loud, unpleasant cry for a Breath Weapon.
- Corgi Quest: Faerie dragons are small and cute, and make you deliriously happy with their Breath Weapon.
- A strange, downplayed example can be found in Hamster's Paradise with the wingles, a group of colorful, lizard-like rattiles that developed the ability to fly using modified scales that act as almost insect-like wings, and fill a niche similar to hummingbirds. They thus resemble this trope at least visually, even though, like every other vertebrate on the planet HP-02017, they are actually hamsters.
- Dungeons & Dragons (1983): They're the focus of the episode "Cave of the Fairie Dragons" in which the main characters rescue their queen and help the fairie dragons find a new home.