XXXX - Tibet
Rating Unknown - France(?)
A breed of winged horse; the Abraxan is a gigantic, extremely powerful Palomino (FB). Madame Maxime, headmistress of Beauxbatons, breeds them (OP20), and the winged horses that pull her carriage are Abraxans. They drink only single malt whisky and require "forceful handling" (c.f. GF15 ff.).
A gigantic black spider (legspan may reach up to 15 feet) with a poisonous
bite, the Acromantula is an anomaly in the beast / being classification
system. While capable of human speech, the Acromantula is classified as
a beast rather than a being due to its violent tendencies. It is native to Borneo (FB), where it is believed
to have been a wizard-bred species, serving as an example of why the Ban on Experimental Breeding was put into effect.
Note that all spiders, including Acromantulas, fear the basilisk above all other living things.
An Acromantula was stationed at the center of the Triwizard Tournament maze, guarding the Triwizard Cup (GF31, OP16).
Acromantulas joined the Battle of Hogwarts, fighting for Voldemort (DH32).
"acro" from "akros" L. peak +
"mantula" from "tarantula" Eng. a species of large, hairy black spider
Rating Unknown - Britain
XXXXX - New Zealand and Australia
A creature, probably fanciful, which Luna Lovegood thought she spotted in the Department of Mysteries (OP34).
‘aqua’ = L. ‘water’ + possibly ‘virus’ = L. ‘slime, poison’; a maggot is a fly larva which eats decomposing flesh
This reference to the armadillo being part of the Wit-Sharpening Potion may be in homage to a particularly funny advertisement which ran on British television. In the advert, a devastatingly dim country fellow is offered a Dime candy bar, which is "smooth on the outside, crunchy on the inside." He says that he prefers to eat armadillos, which are "smooth on the inside, crunchy on the outside!" The presenter says "You're a bit thick, aren't you?" and the country bumpkin nods happily. Thanks to Wayne Childs for noting this connection.
XXX - Worldwide (FB)
A thin grey serpent with glowing red eyes which comes out of magical fires and lives long enough to lay fiery hot eggs in some dark and secluded spot. These eggs, while valued as potion ingredients, are very dangerous. If they are not found and frozen in time, they will set buildings on fire.
"Ash" comes from the color of the serpent and also as a reference to its connection to fire. "Winder" recalls the sideways movement of some kinds of snakes, such as the rattler. They are sometimes called "sidewinders."
Thin and mournful-looking bird somewhat resembling a vulture, greenish-black in color, native to Britain and Ireland. Normally remaining hidden in its nest in brambles and thorns, flying only in heavy rain, the feathers of the Augurey repel ink. Its distinctive cry was once thought to be a death omen, but it is now known that the Augurey's cry foretells rain. The Augurey eats insects and fairies.
"augury" - Eng. generally, the art of divination, but specifically, the art of the augur (one who interprets omens based on the behaviour of birds)