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On the back of the Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes book, there is a small creature with wings:

enter image description here

What is this creature? It doesn't match any of the creatures in any of the monster manuals. It kind of looks like an imp, but it clearly isn't one, and my only other guess is that maybe it's some kind of homunculus?

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It appears to be a Berbalang

coverart

Looking through the pictures in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes it most looks like the Berbalang.

Wizards of the coast has been known to put baby pictures of monsters in their books.

As such I suspect it's a baby Berbalang. For reference a Berbalang looks like this:

berbalang

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    \$\begingroup\$ Whilst i agree with you that this is the most likely candidate, I would like to point out several difference, notably the colouration, the shape of the nose and the shape of the mouth are all different. This may simply be due to differing art styles though, the variant cover version looks more like the Berbalang in the book. \$\endgroup\$ – Liam Morris May 19 at 10:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LiamMorris If you check out the linked question. The baby ki-rin depicted is quite different to that depicted in Volo's Guide to Monsters (media-waterdeep.cursecdn.com/avatars/thumbnails/9/709/253/315/…). I would put it down to precisely that, different art styles etc. Monsters in the book only depict an average specimin. Additionally there are many animals in our world that change colouring between youth and adult (the swan being the most notable). \$\endgroup\$ – illustro May 19 at 10:54
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Most likely a Homunculus.

Since it has wings, it's not a quasit. As it doesn't have a tail with a stinger, it's not an imp. It could possibly be some kind of mephit, but it doesn't have any clear elemental appearance.

This leaves homunculus as the most likely tiny gargoyle-looking creature.

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As far as I can tell, it's not in the books

Impossible, perhaps the archives are incomplete

After scanning through Volo’s Guide to Monsters, The Monster Manual, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, Guild Masters’ Guide to Ravnica and Wayfinder’s Guide to Ebberon, I can safely say that specific creature is not in any of those books.

However, there is one other place that creature is found - it's on the back of the Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes variant:

MToF variant cover barcode


Perhaps it is a Berbalang

Comparing the image on the variant back cover of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes to the image provided by illustro, I believe that this is a Berbalang:

Berbalang

If the creature on the back of the variant cover is indeed a Berbalang, we may assume that the one on the standard cover is also a Berbalang, though in a different art style. Similar things have been done before, compare the beholder on the standard cover to Xanathar’s Guide to Everything to the one on the variant cover:

XGtE variant cover comparison

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It's acting like a gremlin. Berbalangs don't seem to have any interest in breaking things. Gremlin batspawn is the right color, shape, proportion and would be likely to be doing what that little guy is doing.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Berblangs have interest in finding out knowledge, and spying on Mordenkainen or helping him seems like an excellent way of obtaining knowledge. \$\endgroup\$ – illustro May 21 at 0:42

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