Jiaolong (Chinese upr. 蛟; pinyin Jiāo; Wade-Giles Chiao), most commonly found in combination with the character for "dragon" as Jiaolong (Chinese upr. 蛟龙; pinyin Jiāolóng; Wade-Giles Chiao-lung), a creature of Chinese mythology, one of the main types of Chinese dragons, strongly associated with the water element.
Described as a dragon with a serpentine form and skin covered with scales, but without horns. It is thought to inhabit mountains and swamps.
The Shanhaijing mentions it five times; one description speaks of a snake-like dragon with four legs; another, mentioning a jiaolong living in the Han River, claims that it had a small head on a long neck with a white ox or necklace. Larger specimens were said to be large enough to swallow a person whole.
They inhabited bodies of water, or under the sands of deserts, and the Chinese considered them harmful creatures. Jiaolongs sometimes attacked humans to take valuables, suck their blood, or take revenge for an injustice they had suffered.
Yangyujing (Classic on Fish Farming), claims that the jiaolong is the king of all 360 fish species. The Guanzi Book calls him the god of all aquatic creatures. Deprived of water, this dragon was said to lose its strength, so it left the ponds from which water was drained to pick fish, and the swamps drained by people.
Huainanzi also refers to the jiaolong as an aquatic creature, which, after all, laid its eggs in the hills (jiao could also hatch from the eggs of a snake or pheasant if these survived in the ground for a thousand years).
Like other Chinese dragons, jiaolongs could transform into human beings. They often then appeared or disappeared in a cloud of vapor. They also had the ability to bring rain and storms.