First of all, I just want to state, for the record, I hate how, post-Tolkien, everyone uses the term race to describe separate types of beings that are decidedly non-human. But, you might say, they can interbreed, does that not make them the same species? The answer is not necessarily. Many closely related species can breed and produce viable offspring. Dogs and wolves, for instance. Lions and tigers being another well known example. It is even speculated that humans and chimpanzees could theoretically breed, producing the infamous humanzee (but, who would want to, right?). That being said, I am going to use the term, anyway. Why? Because, there are not any good alternatives, and it is the accepted convention, at this point.
- Fay (sidhe, laumes) -
- Ellylls (elves) - While related to Nordic elves, these are an insular branch of the elfin family tree who are diminutive and sometimes called pygmy elves. Because of their small stature, they are extra secretive and wary of human contact. They dwell in secluded groves and valleys.
- Piskies (pixies) - Human children taken by fays are turned into puka over time. From a distance they look like normal children, but up close, they give an air (something about their eyes) of being old beyond measure. Puka like to dance, sing, and play pranks. Very young children who are so turned are called pukel.
- Sprites (fairies) - Diminutive fay-like beings with insect wings
- Bubachod (brownies) - These small demi-fay beings like to do household chores in exchange for human food and treats.
- Goblins and Goblettes - These stunted and ugly demi-fay are prone to extort food and treats from humans under threat of whimsical curses.
- Crimbils (changlings) - These demi-fay can change shape to the match the form of the human child taken by fays. Crimbils are dimwitted and love human food and nurture.
- Coblynau (kobolds) - These small demi-fay beings dwell in caves and mines. And, no, they are not dog-headed.
According to the folklorist Wirt Sikes the Tylwyth Teg may be divided into five general types: the Ellyllon (elves), the Coblynau (fairies of the mines), the Bwbachod (household fairies similar to brownies), the Gwragedd Annwn (female fairies of the lakes and streams) and the Gwyllion (mountain fairies more akin to hags). The ellyllon (singular ellyll) inhabit groves and valleys and are similar to English elves. Their food consists of toadstools and fairy butter (a type of fungus) and they wear digitalis bell flowers as gloves. They are ruled by Queen Mab and bring prosperity to those they favour.
Nature beings are the embodiment of natural forces. Although some may appear human, they are not human.
- Undines (naiads, jengus) - Water spirits who appear human and are human sized
- Woodmares (dryads, hamadryds) - Female and male tree spirits who appear human
- Kamaitachi - Wind spirits who take the form of a flying weasel with razor sharp nails that can decapitate a human in a single swipe
- Sylphs - Air spirits who appear as women but taller and stronger and are normally invisible
- Salamanders - Fire spirits in the form of long, thin, lizard-like creatures
- Gnomes - Earth spirits in the form of short humanoids who can travel through earth and stone
- Penghou - A tree spirit that takes the form of a dark tail-less dog with a human head and face
Hybrids and Shapeshifters
These are beings who are part human and part animal.
- Strixen - Witches who can take the form of large owls
- Glaistig (green maiden, green man, faun) - Human-goat hybrids with the lower body of a goat and the upper body of a human and sometimes with goat or ram horns
- Nixen (river-hags) - Water dwelling witches who can take the form of large water snakes
- Anggitay - Female human-horse hybrids with human upper body and horse hindquarters for a lower body sometimes with a single unicorn horn
- Merewifs (mermaids)