Fire Lizards are a native species of Pern, present before its colonization. They are, in a sense, primitive Dragons, because they were the genetic base for Kitti Ping Yung's original 18 dragons. Being very much like dragons, they share many of the same abilities.
Fire Lizards are about the size of a large bird. They come in all the same colors as dragons, and the temperament of said colors correspond to their larger cousins, unlike dragons however, men and women can Impress any color of fire lizard, and they do not need to be a certain age to do so. Also, a person can Impress multiple fire lizards. Fire Lizards lack the ability to communicate in words, but can have limited success telepathically communicating pictures and thoughts. They are, however, much more affected by emotions and events around them, to the point of hysteria. There seems to be a group consciousness, on a basic level, that allows all fire lizards to experience large events. For example, the new fire lizards of the Ninth Pass knew about the volcano eruption at Landing, even though they were not alive for it. There has also been speculation that fire lizards are immortal, or so long lived as to appear so, as they don't appear to age and no one has ever seen one to die of old age or disease. Fire Lizards are very sociable creatures, they travel in fairs and love to sing. They have three set of lids the innermost is a transparent membrane, see where it is going while its eyes remain protected from harsh environments, even space, two other horizontal and horizontal, depend on how awake they are all three can be open.
Anne McCaffrey stated in an interview that Fire-Lizards would not commit suicide after the death of their human. This was seemingly retconned in books published after the interview; where Bronze Zair passed away immediately after Masterharper Robinton died. The difference here is that Zair didn't "go between forever" but simply died.
It could be that a Fire-Lizard will commit suicide if the bond with its human is particularly strong, or that Zair was simply "hanging on" for Robinton's sake.
Fire Lizards had been present on Pern long before humans colonized the planet, though they differred physically from the fire lizards seen in the wild. Originally, these creatures were called "dragonets" and were more adapted to hunt only in the water than on land. Changes to their genetic code made them more effective land hunters, along with being larger, leaner, and with flatter noses. Many colonists kept them as pets. In an effort to improve them as such pets and protectors , they were exposed to Mentasynth, an Eridani compound intended to strengthen their latent telepathic talents. As these altered dragonets became more prevalent, they eventually became known as fire-dragonets, and then fire-lizards. In the intervening centuries, the Pernese lost the knowledge of the existence of fire-lizards, who had bred with wild dragonets, and their genetics came to replace the original ones of their ancestors for the entire species. During the first pass, their genetic code was speculated to be divergent evolution from a type of sea creature. Tunnel snakes are the other branch. It is unknown how or why they developed such unique characteristics, such as breathing fire, telekinesis, or telepathy. By the Ninth Pass, fire lizards were little more than a myth or legend, and they were not rediscovered until the Southern Continent was settled and explored.
First Fall states that fire-lizard numbers were dropping at this point, as not many were nesting in the north.
According to Dragonseye, Fire-lizards had fallen prey to a plague. As a result, they were thought extinct.
Second Interval/Third Pass
At some point (presumably) during the Second Interval, Fire-lizards became common on the Northern Continent again.
Fire-lizards were rediscovered by the brown dragon Canth, who spotted a gold hatchling as his rider F'nor slept on a beach near Southern Weyr. F'nor impressed the hatchling and named it Grall, and sent word back
Fire Lizards and their Owners
First Pass/First Interval
- Bay Harkenon - queen Mariah
- Chio Fusaiyuki - brown
- Pol Nietro - bronze
- Sean Connell - two browns, gold Blaze
- Sorka Hanrahan - bronze Duke (First fire-lizard to be Impressed)
- Zi Ongola and Sabra Stein-Ongola gold Fancy
- Bemin- brown Jokester
- Fiona- gold Fire
- Issak - brown
- J'marin- gold Siaymon
- Kindan - bronze Valla
- Koriana - gold Koriss
- Lorana- gold Garth- brown Grenn
- Pellar - brown Chitter
- Alemi - Sailor
- Aramina & Jayge - two queens, three bronzes (including Tork - Impressed to Jayge - and Bitty), three browns
- Asgenar - brown Rial
- Brand - blue
- Brekke - bronze Berd
- Brestolli - blue
- Dannen - gold Somi, blue Kern (only appearing in Dragonfire (Crossroads))
- Deelan - green
- Dulsay - bronze
- F'nor - queen Grall (the first fire-lizard to be Impressed in the Ninth Pass).
- Famira - green
- Fidello - brown
- G'sel - bronze Rill
- Groghe - queen Merga
- Kylara - queen
- Larad - green (queen in Renegades of Pern)
- Mardra - queen (possibly a bronze or brown in Dragondrums)
- Menolly - queen Beauty; bronze Rocky, Diver, Poll; brown Brownie, Mimic, Lazybones; blue Uncle; green Auntie One, Auntie Two
- Meron - bronze
- Mirrim - brown Tolly, green Reppa, Lok
- N'ton - bronze Tris.
- Nurevin - queen
- Piemur - queen Farli.
- Pinch - queen Bista.
- Robinton - bronze Zair
- Rosheen - gold Ola
- Sebell - queen Kimi
- Sharra - bronze Meer, brown Talla
- Tordril - blue
- Toric - queen, two bronzes