Gnaeus stood, wobbly, dropping blood thinned by green water, and as he inhaled to yell something back at Titus, something big and brown leapt on top of his head.An insectoid, with four filamentous wings and six segmented legs, unrolled a proboscis with an audible snap. It stabbed the end of the rigid appendage at Gnaeus’s head, jabbing into his wound like a straw into a plastic pouch.Whatever Gnaeus had been planning on yelling at Titus turned into a scream.
Between twelve and fifteen inches long, estries are large and aggressive carnivores. They are insects with six segmented legs, a hard carapace, and two antennae. They lack venom, using their strong pincers to tear prey apart. Some estries have a single horn on their head that they use to flip other estries over, either during territory disputes or when hunting other estries for food.
Genetics and Reproduction
Estries exist in a genderless state until an unknown stimulus prompts them to become one gender or the other (usually the complement of whatever gender is in their vicinity). The egg-laying estrie will deposit eggs in a protected area, and the sperm-laying estrie will fertilize these eggs before both parents leave forever
Growth Rate & Stages
Estrie larvae burrow immediately after hatching and only emerge from protective sand when they've matured enough to grow a carapace. During their time in the sand, they prey on small colonies of predatory slime, and other larval estries.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Carnivorous but in a place without many meat options, estries are largely cannibalistic. Their lack of fear of larger prey results in many estrie attacks on Imperia, Renani, and Mariner visitors to Germania.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Germanim use estries as food, hunting them with specialized military groups. Their meat is eaten, and their carapaces are used to make bowls, armor, jewelry, and other related items. Estries in molt secrete a substance that can be used to synthesize certain essential medications.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Estries are uniquely adapted to survive the sandstorms that are frequent on Germania, and they thrive in these low-altitude open sandy plains. The adaptations for sandstorms are not helpful at higher altitudes, and they're to bulky to fly in thinner atmospheres. They avoid most elevations above 6,000 feet.
Intelligent enough to not like being shot at with a gun. Otherwise, thinking is not their strong suit.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Estries hunt by vibration, using vibrations against rocks to find and hunt prey. Unfortunately, this attraction to vibration also attracts them to many types of spaceship engine, and on Germania they are responsible for the majority of ship crashes or strikes for both Imperia and Renanim.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Estries can either be black or sand-colored, depending on their current habitat. They're capable of shedding their outer shell and growing a new one that helps them blend into their surroundings more easily, and can accomplish this within a few days of entering a new environment.