The Cetoian Redback Beetle
OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: To flesh out the world of Ceto, which the Je'daii recently settled upon, and provide Asha with a case study through which to complete her Anil Kesh Trial
- Image Credit: Myself
- Canon: Not Applicable
The Je'daii Order
The Silent Academy
- Name: The Cetoian Redback Beetle
- Designation: Non-Sentient
- Homeworld: Ceto
- Language: Not Applicable
- Average Lifespan: 3 Years (Females) | 6 Months (Males)
- Estimated Population: Planetary
The eggs of the Cetoian Redback Beetle are highly translucent; each clutch consists of around 150 eggs, which are laid in a close knit bundle upon a pile of Cetoian tree leaves. Start to finish, the length of time it takes for the eggs to hatch can be anywhere from one to two weeks - largely depending on the weather. Too hot, too wet, or too cold, and the eggs will take longer to hatch. In some cases they will even die off before they hatch, though this is mostly observed only when the temperature is too low.
During their larvae stage, this species are translucent - much in the way their eggs were; their backs have a somewhat hardened shell that has not quite fully formed, more like a flexible coating, which provides a small amount of protection, while their bellies are fleshy and significantly weaker. While in this stage they have tiny mandibles to help them eat through their eggs and any sustenance they come across on their path toward maturity, and little legs that mostly succeed in simply dragging them across the leafy surfaces they're born upon, as opposed to holding up their weight. At the midpoint of this stage, the larvae reach approximately 0.4 inches in length, and are similar in appearance to a grub of sorts.
Matured Redback Beetles are significantly different to their larvae counterparts. Reaching around 2 inches in length, they boast a tough grey shell which holds an almost metallic shine, with a large patch of red along the center. The crevices between their shell are much weaker, their softer innards facing much less protection, and the most obvious of these armour chinks lay where their head connects to their main body, as well as along the central seam of their shell which parts to unveil magnificent (yet extremely fragile) wings.
Redback Beetles boast two sets of antennae, one on their upper face and one to the side of their mandibles. Speaking of which, though small their mandibles are ridiculously sharp and though made to cut through the leaves which make up the core of their sustenance they are not without offensive merit. A bite from a Redback Beetle will lead to the secretion of a venom which, while mild to larger creatures and sentients, is capable of harming Ceto's smaller predators who prey on them for nutrition or fun.
- Breathes: Type I
- Average height of adults: 0.8 Inches
- Average length of adults: 2 Inches
- Skin color: Shiny Grey Outer Shell | Black Innards
- Hair color: Not Applicable
- Distinctions: Various red markings; curved streak on their mandibles, blotchy patch along the center of their shell, two connected arrows on their forehead | Multiple Antennae | Forms a red dye-like substance when crushed | Larvae are somewhat translucent | Eggs are extremely translucent
- Races: Not Applicable
- Strengths: [2 minimum]
Hard Outershell: Adult Redback Beetles boast a tough exterior shell which helps to protect them from being trampled or easily eaten by predators.
Venomous Bite: Though it will do little more than cause redness, slight pain, and swelling for approximately 24 hours in creatures as large as your average human, against the smaller creatures on Ceto who would seek to make them their meal the venom of a Redback Beetle can bring about immense pain and slight paralysis. It may be possible to extract enough to reproduce such effects on larger creatures, but such would require a large amount of the pesky bugs.
Flight: Redback Beetles are capable of short bursts of flight, due to the wings tucked away in their shells. They will typically only make use of their wings if they are panicked, preferring to crawl around where they're closer to the fallen leaves they eat.
- Weaknesses: [2 minimum]
Shiny: Though beautiful to look at, Redback Beetles will glisten under sources of light and make them a target to birds and other such predators.
Chinks in their Armour: Obviously their shells are not without their faults. There are numerous weak points in their defenses, such as where their head meets their bodies, and the central groove which parts to unleash their wings.
Weak Wings: The wings of a Redback Beetle are little more than thin membranes. As such, they are prone to tearing easily and once damaged will no longer be capable of lifting their body weight.
Source of Dye: Redback Beetles are a great source of red dye, and as such may be highly sought after. The colour of the dye made from these beetles is extremely vibrant and ever so slightly shiny in appearance. Sadly the beetles must be crushed in order to extract the dye, an extremely fatal process for the poor beetle!
- Diet: Herbivorous | Typically eat the leaves of Ceto's native trees and underbrush.
- Communication: Chemical Secretion | Vibrations caused by rubbing the shell coating their wings together.
- Technology level: Not Applicable
- Religion/Beliefs: Not Applicable
- General behavior: Like most animals, the life of the Redback Beetle revolves around procreation. Females live much longer than males, and are capable of laying clutches of up to 150 eggs at a time, and a total of 600 over their lifetime. She will remain present throughout the larvae stage, before moving on in search of another mate. Contrary to this, once a male has done his duty (usually at around 4 months) they will immediately leave and within another 2 months or so will have died. Both males and females of this species secrete a chemical to attract one another. They rarely make a noise (aside from the sounds made by their wings in flight) unless they feel especially threatened. Then they will noisily rub the two halves of their upper-outer shell together in order to sound larger and more menacing than they are. If this does not work then they will resort to flying away from who-or-whatever caused their distress.
There is not much known about the Redback Beetle. Given that Ceto plays host to a large number of islands, most of which are uninhabited, and the majority of its population are amphibious, for most of their existence this particular species went unnoticed and undocumented.
It is believed that they formed naturally on Ceto, and as of yet there is no evidence of their particular breed elsewhere in the Galaxy which further cements this notion, likely on an island which did not have much in the way of predatory presence given that their shells are shiny. One theory states that as more creatures were introduced, or made their way to other parts of the world, the Beetles' sanctuary became overrun with animals who looked at them as a source of food, and their shells acted like a beacon. As such the species evolved to have a meaner bite, and their shell toughened.
When the Je'daii Order settled on Ceto, following the construction of a Temple to house their youngest students, the Redback Beetle finally found itself in the spotlight, discovered by a Journeyer who was seeking to complete one of her Trials, and as such it was finally documented and added to the already vast archives out there on the Holonet.
Edited by Asha Hex, 14 January 2018 - 05:37 PM.