If you really want to see weird stuff go to the Fungi Chaos. If I look at an Epipent I see a failed science experiment that floated out of a lab.
Epipents are an insectoid species and perhaps one of the most weird looking ones of Niorath. The reason fro their unique appearance is most likely partially due to the weird environment where they live, the Fungi Chaos. This region is home to all sorts of alien looking creatures and the epipents are no exception.
Their most defining feature is perhaps the balloon like appendage on their back. This allows them to float in the air even though they don't have wings.
Epipent or Floater
Can only be found in the Fungi Chaos
30 - 40 cm (balloon included)
In general the Epipents look like other insectoid species thanks to their similar exoskeleton. However, due to the balloon like appendage on their back they, they are quite unique. While the rest of their carpace is often purple in colour, their balloon is in most cases a combination of green and yellow.
They don't have wings and solely rely on the balloon to keep floating in the air. It can control the flow of air to and from this appendage through holes near its base. Ascending or descending is therefore just a question of letting air in or out. They do have small appendages to the side which look like wings but these are used for steering rather than staying in the air. For killing their prey the Epipents also have quite a large poisonous stinger.
The main food source of Epipents is other insects which it can catch quite easily with its hunting tactics. But everything that is not too large, such as small birds, is also fair game to a single Epipent. However, in most cases the Epipents hunt in swarms which allows them to take down larger prey.
Their main method of hunting is by positioning themselves right above their target. Once they are in position they deflate their balloons and take a diving pose. In this pose they position their stinger downward to hit their victim with full force after which they inject their poison.
by kefkejaco with midjourney
by kefkejaco with midjourney
Thus far the Epipents have only been seen within the Fungi Chaos in southern Oneraga. It is believed that whatever created this weird region with alien looking lifeforms was also responsible for creating species such as the Epipents. No one has ever tried to capture an Epipent so there is no way of really knowning if they could survive in another environment.
One thing is for certain, however. They do need to live in an area with at least a decent amount of fungi nearby as their larvae need this to grow.
Although there is only limited knowledge on the reproduction cycle of Epipents, scientist do know a few things. While the mating of Epipents is a mystery we know that it eventually results in a large amount of larvae.
Epipents place their larvae on top of larger fungi which then serve as food for them. The most common place for Epipent larvae to be found seems to be on the floating fungi which are common around the Fungi Chaos. Many believe that it is overeating by these larvae that can cause flying fungi to collapse.
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kefkejaco with midjourney