Skeledirge is a large, red, crocodilian Pokémon covered in rectangular scales. Its belly is angular and has a white coloration flanked by black stripes on either side, resembling an open suit jacket and dress shirt. It also has various white-colored patterns on its head, lower jaw, neck, back, shoulders, arms, legs, and the cylindrical tip of its tail. The white coloration on the top of its head resembles a lute. Skeledirge has three black claws on each foot, and although it usually walks on all fours, it is capable of standing on its hind legs.
Skeledirge's head is delineated with a black circular shape at the top. It has black eyes with yellow irises and red eyelids, serrated jaws with purple insides, and various square and triangular patterns that come in red, orange, yellow, and purple. A wreath of solid orange-and-yellow fire energy emerges from the back of Skeledirge's jaws, which circles around its head.
There is an orange fiery bird resting on top of Skeledirge's head, which is a separate, independent entity from the Pokémon. This bird is spherical, with a yellow face, white eyes, a short crest and tail, and a singular tiny pointed "foot" it balances itself on. It is said that the bird was born when the egg-shaped fireball Skeledirge had as a Crocalor gained a soul; this also gave Skeledirge its Ghost typing. The bird can sometimes be seen pecking at Skeledirge's jaws.
Skeledirge has a meddlesome but caring personality. Its singing is gentle, but powerful and full of vitality, capable of soothing the souls of all who hears it. Opponents hearing its singing will feel warm and fulfilled inside, losing their will to battle.
Skeledirge burns its enemies by unleashing flames that exceed the temperature of 5,400 °F (3,000 °C). As seen during its signature move Torch Song, when Skeledirge sings, the fiery bird transforms into a microphone-like shape, with its "foot" growing much longer towards the ground. Then, the bird powers up with the singing, gains fiery wings, and flies towards its enemy. Skeledirge is the only known Pokémon capable of learning Torch Song.
- Skeledirge is the heaviest fully evolved starter Pokémon, weighing 719.8 lbs (326.5 kg).
- In a trademark filed by The Pokémon Company on November 7, 2022, Skeledirge's Japanese name was romanized as "Loudbone" instead of "Laudbon". The name "Laudbon" was trademarked a month later on December 19, 2022.
Skeledirge resembles a crocodile with a skull pattern or a calavera on its forehead. Its Fire typing may be inspired by the fact that crocodiles release excess heat through their mouths. Likes it pre-evolved form, its affinity to vocal performance could be based on the observed singing behaviour in crocodilians during breeding and nesting times. It being a Ghost type crocodile could be a reference to several crocodile-related ghost stories present in Spanish folklore, such as the Catalonian Cocollona, the Lizard of Magdalena from Jaén, or the Drac de Na Coca, whose body can be found on display in Palma de Mallorca, from which the skeletal appearance of Skeledirge may take inspiration, due to the similar exposed skull in both. In particular, it may be based on the bogeyman-esque monster Cuca, which is typically depicted as an alligator hag with long messy hair in Brazilian culture, and as a crocodilian creature with a dome-shaped body in the Iberian Peninsula. The legend of Coco or Cuca is believed to originate in present-day Galicia. The name may derive from a Celtic word for "skull" or "shell", and develops the meaning of "head" in colloquial Spanish or Portuguese. It also becomes the namesake for the coconut fruit and has been associated with the crocodile since the Age of Discovery. This reference may also be present in the design of Fuecoco and Crocalor.
Skeledirge's "suited" appearance and general behavior resemble a singer, such as those in rock music, mariachi, or opera. Its overall design may also be inspired by the Día de Muertos holiday, with its face resembling a Calavera, and the fire energy around its neck resembling Mexican marigolds put on display to honor the dead. Its colorful look may be based on alebrije, a form of Mexican sculpture art depicting fantastical creatures in brightly colored patterns; or the trencadís works of art by Antoni Gaudí such as the salamander statue dubbed "El Drac" (lit. "The Dragon"), located in Park Güell, Barcelona, as well as his architecture as a whole, which is usually very related to bones, being the Casa Batlló and the back of the Sagrada Família the most recognizable cases.
Skeledirge and the "hatched" fiery bird on its head may be based on a Nile crocodile and its supposed cleaning symbiosis with the Egyptian plover. The location of the bird might also be inspired by the bulbous protuberance at the tip of male gharials' snouts, which enables them to produce certain sounds. Alternatively, its Ghost typing could draw inspiration from the Egyptian deity Sobek, or more specifically Sobek-Ra in in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt. The fire bird may also vaguely represent the acquired godhead of Horus or Ra in Sobek, as both deities are depicted with bird heads.
Skeledirge may be a combination of skeleton and dirge (a type of song or hymn performed in mourning, such as during funerals).
Laudbon may be a combination of laúd (Spanish lute, a musical instrument), loud, and bone.