Hunting queens are a large spider species found in the Hammered Plateau. They live in large colonies in cliff faces, their durable spiderwebs can even catch small mammals and birds. They are named after their exceptional catching rate, a whopping 98% of creatures they hunt for are caught and eaten.
Hunting queens have a small head, with 8 large eyes. These eyes appear in 2 rows on the front of their heads. Their legspan is about a metre, which is average for females of this species; the males can grow to 2 metres wide. They possess a tan/orange shade on their head, body and abdomen, with darker brown stripes all along the abdomen. Their legs are a much darker brown, verging on greyish black. The cliff hunting queen subspecies has a darker colouration, with black legs and a brown body. The nestled hunting queen has a slightly greenish hint on their bodies, as they need to disguise more in the more foliage-covered areas.
Genetics and Reproduction
Female hunting queens reproduce both sexually and asexually. They reproduce sexually during the breeding season, and will lay their eggs in a special chamber in the colony's nest, laying up to 200 eggs in one go. Females reproduce asexually when males aren't around. These babies are exact copies of their mother, and so they are all female, and perfectly suited to their environments they live in. This has both benefits and disadvantages.
Ecology and Habitats
Hunting queens live in the hammered plains, an area of severe cliffs and valleys. The arachnids live in large, interconnected networks in the cliff face which has special areas for keeping food stores, sleeping, and their eggs. They have a very durable exoskeleton, to deal with the harsh climates of the planet.
Dietary Needs and Habits
These arachnids are carnivorous. They eat any creature who is unfortunate to get caught in their spiderwebs, which they weave from one side of a thin valley to the other. Large creatures can break through the webs, but smaller ones cannot. They will wrap their prey in their webs, rendering them immobile, and will slowly digest them as they have a very painful death.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
The hairy legs of a hunting queen enable them to detect small vibrations in the ground. This helps them to detect motions on their spiderweb, when a creature gets caught the spiderweb will move, and the hunting queen sat on the edge of the web with their leg on it will detect the movements.