Charmander is a bipedal, reptilian Pokémon with a primarily orange body. Its underside from the chest down and soles are cream-colored. It has two small fangs visible in both its upper and lower jaws and blue eyes. Its arms and legs are short with four fingers and three clawed toes. A fire burns at the tip of this Pokémon's slender tail, and has blazed there since Charmander's birth. The flame can be used as an indication of Charmander's health and mood, burning brightly when the Pokémon is strong, weakly when it is exhausted, wavering when it is happy, and blazing when it is enraged. It is said that Charmander dies if its flame goes out. However, if the Pokémon is healthy, the flame will continue to burn if gets a bit wet and is said to steam in the rain.
Charmander can be found in hot, mountainous areas. However, it is found far more often in the ownership of Trainers. As shown in Pokémon Snap, Charmander exhibits pack behavior, calling others of its species if it finds food.
Charmander appears to be predominantly reptilian in origin, and may have been partially inspired by the mythical salamander (as opposed to the real-world amphibian of the same name which inspired its mythical counterpart). This salamander was a fire-spirit capable of surviving in extreme heat or flames, and it is sometimes creatively rendered or interpreted in the shape of a lizard.
Physically, Charmander has a slender body, a short nose, and a long tail, as well as other lizard-like characteristics. The fact that it does not undergo a metamorphosis stage (beyond its own evolutionary pattern) but instead grows into a larger version of itself as it matures, among other things, indicate that Charmander has more in common with reptiles (such as lizards) than with amphibians (such as real-world salamanders).
Charmander's Hidden Ability, Solar Power, may have drawn inspiration from the spotted salamander. In July and August 2010, this species was identified as the first known photosynthetic vertebrate animal, capable of converting energy from sunlight.