Beetles Species in Kythr'ra | World Anvil
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A Domesticated Insect

"You think a DronDgin would have even a chance against that QuenSin!? you must be new around here!" The sheer enthusiasm of the crown astounded me, these matches take place nearly every 5 days and yet the pit's stands seemed full of obnoxiously loud cheering every time. Did these folk not tire of watching the same blood shed over and over? I had to asked myself.   It had been only the previous evening I learned that even my esteemed client - The partner of Master of the Traders guild no less - attended these rowdy occasions; and as such had found myself dragged out to my first Beetle Battle.   Being from the generally more peaceful point of LOST, to me the notion of using creatures usually used for transport over hard terrain or long journeys as fighting beasts seemed absurd, especially ones that regularly grew larger than a man - who would go down their after the fight to tame the winner, and tend the looser? I knew I certainly wouldn't want to risk those jagged, bone crunching mandibles or the various horns, spikes, and shield shaped protrusions growing from their carapaces.   Before passing the extravagant entrance gates - moulded from some dark blue and glossy metal used regularly in architecture on the more privileged side of town - I was met by a thin grinning man whose teeth had seen better days. He wore the standard long, loose fitting clothes of this desert region, though the sandy yellow cloth had been dyed with horizontal blue stripes so he stood out as one of the working team at the event. standing between two glass jars that came up to his chest height, he gave me an extra toothy grin and said; "Time to pick your champion." I was prepared for this, as I had been able to hear his companion yelling and walking purposefully down the line of excitedly chatting fight-goes. "last seasons reigning champion Queenie against the ferocious new DronDgin! you get to pick who goes home richer!" And other such motivating cries; although he made it sound like an even match - explaining loudly how the newcomer's metallic shell could stand the weight of twenty XGoannan'sX - going by the amount of coins in the left jar over the right one, it was clear the locals had a favourite. However I wasn't too concerned with who came out on top financially, and so parting with the minimum entrance fee opted for the significantly less popular one; the DronDgin.   Extract from Trading In The SSS, a travel memoir by Fenea Folx

Basic Information


Similar in appearance to typical earth ground beetles, these differ in that they come in a much larger range of sizes. As expected the body is segmented into 3, and they each have 6, many jointed legs. However internally these bugs have gone through some complex evolutionary changes which, along with a more O2 rich atmosphere, allows them to such immense sizes. They lack the ability to fly that many insects have, this is due to their increased weight.  

External anatomy

  The most obvious anatomical difference is the increased width of the legs in proportion to insects. Along with having fewer joints in there legs (usually between 3 and 4), this makes them able to withstand the pressure from the gravity of the planet. Their legs tend to be shorter, and less slanting to give a more solid foundation for movement.   At the end of each leg, a solid 'claws' support the creature - these have no blood flow, and grow continuously. There are normally 1-3 on each foot, each wider at the base than the joint, and they spread out the body weight onto a larger surface area.  

Internal anatomy

Possibly the most important adaption is the development of internal pumps at each of the 6-10 spiracles - these allow O2 to be pumped around the body more efficiently, and are coupled with multiple sets of internal valves and pumps (similar to hearts), that allows blood to flow throughout the entire body. This circulation system has become much more complicated than an ordinary insect or even (in places) a mammal. It has led to some issues biologically, such as an increased likelihood of death due to any injury the pieces the carapace, and being less able to stand up to unusual motions such as being turned upside-down or on their sides - these motions often cause unbalance in the placement of organs and flow of blood through organs.   The exoskeleton is formed very differently than an insect, using geometric shapes within the structure of the tissues to maintain strength even when the substance itself is fairly thin in proportion to their size. These shapes often result in dome shapes, stronger than a flatter surface would be.

Genetics and Reproduction

As a solitary species, males will often fight over mates - this regularly results in the death of the looser. Different species will often have different courtship rituals, the most simple of these has the male rub has antenna and back legs on the female - if she is receptive, he will then mount her. The females are often larger and more sturdy, as they must endure the males weight during mating. For this reason they also lack the decorative horns that some males have.   After mating, the male will leave, and the female will find somewhere to lay the newly fertilised eggs. She will not lay until she has found a suitable location with enough food and protection for the larva - if only a small amount of food is available she may only lay a percentage of the total fertilised eggs. This occasionally includes building a burrow for the eggs. once laid she will leave them and go on her way.

Growth Rate & Stages

Typically beetles have 4 stages of growth[ starting from the egg, the rate of development inside the egg depends on the species, but generally ranges from 30-100 days.   Following this the egg hatches as a larva; these will spend most of their time eating and growing - often underground. As the larva grows it will shed its exoskeleton regularly in order to grow. This is the most vulnerable stage for the beetle as its carapace is fairly thin and it has no offensive capabilities. Because of these many larvae have developed protection mechanisms such as secreting poison and camouflaging. Even with this as the lava grow from eggs that are about a foot in diameter to almost adult size, they becomes prey for many other creatures.   once they have grown large enough, the larva will enter the pupa stage. during this stage there is no moment, and the larva inside the case will gradually become an adult beetle. The pupa has a hard covering to help protect it - this is fairly effective against smaller creatures, however some more specialised hunters will still prey on them at this stage.   Finally the beetle emerges as an adult. It's carapace will take about 6 hours to fully harden, unlike typical insects this is usually the longest stage of development as the beetles have evolved to have a shorter larva and pupa stage to reduce predation.

Ecology and Habitats

Originally from the FeatherWet point, found both in the forests and the grasslands. Humans have since domesticated and bred species that can withstand almost any environment, however they do best in warmer climates, and very few are used in the Biwilderback mountains.   With very few natural predators, there are still wild populations living in FeatherWet. These tend to be solitary and will usually fight when they come across others.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Diet specifics depend on the species of beetle - many will hunt smaller creatures, however as larva they are more likely to feed on rotting material and fungi, on burrowing animals. Most will also eat at least some plant material and scavenge of other animals.

Additional Information


Beginning in their native range of FeatherWet, a few species have been domesticated for everyday use as cart pullers of heavy goods over difficult terrain. As a more sturdy alternative to pentacorns, they quickly became the preferred beasts of burden, and they spread to other points, becoming particularly widely used throughout the SSS, and to a lesser extent in LOST.   Traits such as passiveness, and being more food orientated which in turn made them easier to tame. on from this, a slight increase in the relatively low intelligence enabled some degree of training to be used - again making them easier to work with.   Physically very few obvious changes from their wild cousins were visible, however their legs did became a little more stumpy, and matte brown and black colouration became most common. Most became shorter in length, with more compact thorax and head segments. antenna also shortened somewhat.   To this day females are more often used for transport as they are sturdier, and less likely to be aggressive. For a long while males where only used for breeding, and larva (unable to be sexed), where raised to maturity then released or killed for food at adulthood. Later males where used as battle mounts for archers - being more stable than pentacorns, and rather intimidating for the enemy. After this was first introduced different traits where bred for to increase aggressiveness and increase the range of species raised. When not being used for fighting, some cultures developed Beetle Battles - where males would be pitted against each other for entertainment. This was mainly done in human heavy areas including much of the SSS.   To this extend people began breading beetles specifically for fighting. This meant more males, and a refining of the previously vague cataloguing system the 'Gruntera System'. Suddenly the bright colours and horns became collectable, and breeding farms for the most popular traits began to grow. This was when people really started learning about the beetles on a more biological level - how did you know when the female would be receptive? What was the best diet for larger and faster growth?   The downside to this was that the genetic pool was suddenly increased by the more colourful wild species that where introduced. The mixing of genes between species also increased this, while most offspring where infertile- that didn't stop many of them from making good fighters.   Currently the mix of genes is an increasingly murky pool, with some areas being badly inbred, and others having such a range that it can be difficult to find a fertile pair.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

In some places beetles area also raised for meat, and any extra offspring - such as males when breeding for cart pulling females - may also be used for meat. However this is not a widespread use due to various cultural norms.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

  • Touch - small hairs covering the legs, segment bases (connecting segments), antenna, and mandibles
  • Smell (gases) - antenna
  • Taste (liquids) - mouth-parts,
  • Sight - compound eyes
  • Sound - membranes located behind the head
  • Humidity - antenna
Scientific Name
class - Droganin
Order - Gruntera
5-30 Earth years
Average Height
Average Length
Length - 2.5-6m
Width - 2-5m
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Coming in a huge variety of colours both glossy and matte, the more common of which include black, dark green, blue, or brown. Varying patterns such as smooth or ridged abdomens, and more extravagant differences in species such as horns or large mandibles. People have various names for these differences that are part of the 'Gruntera System'.

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