Tank-Jockey Beetle Species in Graves of the Departed Empire | World Anvil

Tank-Jockey Beetle

Have you ever been walking somewhere, then had something move unexpectedly and cause you to near jump out of your skin? Maybe some small critter jumps from a bush and bolts off, or bird flutters away. Now imagine instead that whole bush moved away from you, like the rabbit.   Now replace that bush with the rusted out remains of an old world tank. Bit of a shock, if you can imagine.
The Tank-Jockey Beetle is endemic to the Rust Garden, even though it's relatively rare.   Absolutely massive creatures, these insects wonder the Rust Garden, consuming the metal scraps, relatively uncaring of their surroundings. Who can blame them, when they wear the shell of an old-world tank like it was armor.   They show no preference for models or even seem to choose tanks specifically, only needing something large enough to contain their fully grown bulk. In the Rust Garden, this isn't a complicated ask. Unless you find a way to pierce that armor or find a gap in its tank shell that gives you an opportunity to try and pierce its actual exoskeleton, it's highly likely that it won't even seem to notice you, even if you were to ride right on top of them.    Their mandibles are incredibly powerful and impossibly sharp, which they use to make incisions into the armor they have chosen for their shell. So sharp are these mandibles that they make clean, almost imperceptible cuts through inches of metal, partially aided through a naturally produced thermal effect.

Basic Information

Growth Rate & Stages

This species of beetle lays its eggs in the same shells of tanks that their adult versions wear like armor. This does not mean that the newborn grows into the tank it's laid in. It's just a way for them to be protected until they hatch.    Once they do so, it can be years until they grow to full size, though the exact length of time is unknown. No one has yet to dedicate the time and resources it would be required to study anything in the Rust Gardens, let alone tank-sized beetles.
Geographic Distribution

Cover image: by Alegria,


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