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Burrowing Beetle

CW: Parasitic Bugs, slight gore

Basic Information


The Burrowing Beetle has three sets of legs, each about 2 cm long and ending in small but very sharp claws. Its Carapace is slightly rough and dark brown, making it more difficult to spot when it is resting on a tree. Thin, slightly translucent, amber-colored wings are safely tucked under the beetle's Elytras when not in flight. Unfolded, each wing is between 6 and 7 cm long.   Burrowing Beetles have strong jaws, which they use to tear into meat or to hold on to hosts while inserting their eggs into them. They also have a sucker similar to mosquitos to lap up blood and a stinger, which they use to disposit the eggs into the host.

Genetics and Reproduction

A peculiarity of this species is that every single Beetle is intersex. Due to this, they can reproduce asexually. Once a year, the Beetle can insert eggs into a host.

Growth Rate & Stages

TW: Body horror, do not read if you are squeamish
A fertile Beetle bites a living host, holding on with its strong jaws while it uses the claws of its hind legs to break the hide or skin of the chosen host. Once the Beetle has broken through, it will insert its stinger-like apparatus into the wound. It disposits a batch of up to 200 viable eggs into the creature with its stinger. The eggs are so tiny they cannot even be seen with a magnifying glass. After 24 to 48 hours, the eggs hatch into roughly 1 mm long larvae. These larvae slowly make their way into the stomach of the host.   Once they have arrived in the stomach, the larvae will burrow into the stomach lining and pupate. There, the pupas absorb the nutrients meant for the host. After five to seven days, depending on the size and species of the host, they have grown in size and evolved into full-fledged beetles. At this stage, the beetles are about 10mm high, 10 mm broad, and 15mm long. During this period of growth, the host will experience stomach cramps, bloating in the stomach area, and an increased feeling of hunger.   Once a beetle has sufficiently grown, it emits an electromagnetic signal to its siblings. As soon as the majority of beetles emit this signal, the beetles will burrow their way out the stomach lining, either breaking out of the stomach area directly or making their way outside via the host's esophagus crawling out of the host's mouth and nose. This is excruciatingly painful for the host and typically ends in death.
  If noticed early enough, there are two ways to get rid of the larvae - magic such as Greater Restoration or strict fasting for two weeks with minimal water intake to starve the larvae.

Ecology and Habitats

The Burrowing Beetles originate from the Feywild. It was brought to Ebea by an infected traveler, where it has since thrived in moderate temperatures and forested areas.

Dietary Needs and Habits

In the Feywild, Burrowing Beetles mostly feed on the blood of Bleeding Tooth mushrooms. The mushrooms put the Beetles into a feeding-frenzy-like state, causing them to suck dry any creature that dares interrupt their feast.   As the Bleeding Tooth fungus is native to the Feywild and does not grow on the Mortal Plane, the Beetles there had to adapt. Instead of predominantly mushrooms, they now feast on carrion. Burrowing Beetles in Ebea are carnivores and scavengers, often gnawing on the carcasses left behind by bears, wolves, or foxes. When no carrion can be found, the Beetles will coordinate attacks against smaller mammals to kill and eat them.

Biological Cycle

The Burrowing Beetle is active year-round, except in the cold winter months. Around the first frost, a Beetle will search for a host it can attach to. It holds on with its strong yaws and its sucker to lap at the blood of its victim. The blood nourishes the Beetle, and together with the body heat of the host, helps to keep it warm.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Burrowing Beetles live in swarms. They do not have a hierarchy but rather operate on the principle of 'first come, first serve' when food is scarce. When there is enough food, they will communicate using electromagnetic signals. They also coordinate attacks against live prey this way. This helps to ensure that as many Beetles as possible can survive.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

Due to the particularities of this species' growth stages, they have a solely parasitic relationship with other species. Due to accessibility, they typically lay their eggs in beasts. However, if the opportunity presents itself, they will insert the eggs into humanoids as well.
5 years
Average Height
1 cm
Average Weight
15 grams
Average Length
7 cm (including mandibles)

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23 Dec, 2021 05:34

I am sufficiently convinced that these are out there somewhere and terrified/amazed.