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Urist likes hydras for their seven heads.

  • Any Land

Building destroyer: Level 2

· Megabeast · No Stun · No Pain · No Exert · Fanciful

Tamed Attributes
Pet value 10,000

· Exotic pet · Non-Breeding

Not trainable 

Birth: 200,000 cm3
Max: 8,000,000 cm3

Adult at: Birth
Max age: Immortal
Butchering returns

(Value multiplier x10)

Food items

Meat 130-459
Fat 49-71
Brain 28-35
Heart 2-4
Lungs 8-10
Intestines 12-16
Liver 4-5
Kidneys 4
Tripe 4-5
Sweetbread 1-2
Eyes 14
Spleen 2

Raw materials

Bones 61-67
Skull 7
Teeth 21

Wikipedia article

This article is about an older version of DF.
A giant dragon-like monster with seven biting heads.
Decapitation: the least efficient way to fight a Hydra, but excellent training for weapon skills.

A hydra is a large, multi-headed megabeast with the ability to destroy buildings. It seems that it neither destroys nor avoids traps, and can be eliminated just by having about 50 stone-fall traps in its way, or one simple cage trap. When a hydra appears, the game pauses just as it does when a forgotten beast appears.

Hydra injuries also heal MUCH faster than all other creatures, but the hydra's regeneration is no match for the damage and blood loss it generally sustains during a fight. However, if a wounded hydra waits a few weeks (possibly one month), it will mostly likely heal all injuries, except for infections. This regeneration does not make the creature regrow lost body parts, unlike in the myth, and there will not be any head multiplication.


Hydras are dangerous for several reasons including their massive size, inhuman strength and propensity for biting people in half. The main difficulty in killing a hydra lies in its many heads; like the Giant cave spider, Hydras have the annoying habit of protecting their vital bits using walls of redundant flesh, their 6 superfluous necks in this case. This means that there is a very good chance that you'll be impotently hacking away at one head while another shakes you around by the bloody sieve that used to be your torso.

In adventure mode, the best thing to do is to set your combat preferences to "dodge" and attempt to break any bite the Hydra manages to get into you. Keep your back to a wall or tree so that a charging Hydra will get knocked down when you dodge out of the way. Rather than trying to dispatch the 7 heads one after another, stabbing the Hydra's upper body with a pike will bring about its demise much faster. The small contact area and high penetration depth of a pike will easily generate mortal wounds to the lungs, and with luck, can also damage the heart and spine too. Once its breathing is hindered by perforated lungs, the Hydra will suffocate to death in short order.

In fortress mode, hydras are usually more than a match for any dwarf, and the difficulty is compounded by the lack of targeted attacks and limited availability of pikes. They are still quite slow and vulnerable to bleeding however, so attacking en masse with edged weapons can still work if traps are not available. However, as is often the case, the best method to fell this beast is to use a cage trap.


The plural of "hydra" is "hydras" according to the raws. However, "hydrae" is the common form and is also widely used. Not that you'd be likely to ever encounter several of them, if any.