Highly adaptive, fast-evolving, scavenging insectiods, the Mantid are an alien species spread through the Skein Reach. Terrans describe them as looking like a cross between a praying mantis, a wasp, or a humanoid ant.
Individuals and colonies vary considerably as the Mantid’s genomes will adapt newly laid members to their environment within a few generations. Thus it is common so see a population of Mantid that are adapted to a tiny abandoned space station, or a world with an otherwise toxic atmosphere. Their carapace can be of any color based on available minerals and their place in Mantid society. For example, warriors will often have dark stripes or patterns contrasting with grays or earth tones. The statistics presented below represent typical examples of those who are adapted to living on starships or space habitats.
The Mantid are extremely social creatures and demonstrate high degrees of cooperation and devotion to their colony. Though their language is not well understood, xenobiologists postulate that they communicate both with a spoken symbolic language and through pheromones. These chemical communications seem to generate simultaneous emotional responses through a colony – if one is attacked the fight-or-flight response rapidly spreads to all Mantids in a group. Most other sentient creatures find the Mantid’s pheromones unpleasant and describe their habitats as “smelly” or “stinky”. (more…)
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