They had beaked faces and long, powerful tails that could stretch to 10 meters long. The varactyl's flexible neck supported its armor-plated skull, and both male and female dragonmounts had crests and a ridge of mid-body spines displayed during courting ritual. While females sported blue green plumage and skin, males were mostly dull shades of orange and brown. Most important were the varactyl's five-toed feet. Not only could a varactyl run at very fast speeds, but their feet were adapted with tiny hairlike structures that allowed them to climb the rocky walls of Utapau's sinkholes. This marked the varactyl as an excellent mount for the native Utapauns.
A varactyl's vocalizations were short, loud hooting calls.
Varactyls were very intelligent creatures with the ability to remember its riders far into the future. Depending on how that rider treated them previously corresponded to the varactyl's reaction to them, either loyal and affectionate to a good rider, or hostile and dangerous to an abusive one.
Long ago, the stunted Utai learned to tame wild varactyl, and still served as wranglers for the dragonmounts, acting as keepers of both varactyl and their flying dactillion cousins. Varactyl were known to be loyal and obedient steeds. Riding a varactyl was reportedly similar to riding the speedy suubatars of Ansion. Both creatures were fitted with high-backed saddles for their riders.
In order to track down General Grievous, Obi-Wan Kenobi used a particularly swift and loyal varactyl named Boga. In record time, Boga reached the tenth level of Pau City, and engaged General Grievous in his wheel bike in a furious chase through the city.
Commander Cody carried out Palpatine's execution of Order 66 and ordered an AT-TE's gunner to fire upon Boga and Obi-Wan, however the AT-TE's cannon blast hit a wall near them, and the two plunged to the grotto below.
Many years before the Galactic Civil War, someone had brought a live varactyl egg to Kashyyyk. When the egg was subsequently lost, it hatched and soon dozens of varactyl populated a section of jungle on the Wookiee homeworld. As varactyls are not known to be able to reproduce asexually, how this happened is unknown.
A long time ago, a large number of varactyls attacked the Wookiees of the Kerritamba Village. After they had finally fended off the attacks at the Great Tree, the Wookiees drove the varactyls out of the Kkowir Forest.
- Knights of the Old Republic 6: Commencement, Part 6
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Strongholds
- Maul: Lockdown
- Star Wars: Grievous Getaway
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novel
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith video game
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith junior novel
- Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith 2 (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith 3
- Star Wars Galaxies: Rage of the Wookiees
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars Galaxies: The Total Experience: Prima Official Game Guide
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption: Prima Official Game Guide
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- Threats of the Galaxy
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – The Shadow Syndicate (Card: Varactyl Armor)
- Star Wars Art: Visions (Picture only)
- Star Wars: Head-to-Head Tag Teams
- "The Art Side of the Force"—Star Wars Insider 130
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Explorer's Guide
- (Indirect mention only)
- Stay on Target