|Official Name||Hadarian Beetle|
|Common Nicknames||Meat-Beetle, Cattle Bug|
|Habitat||Hadar and Sendras|
Hadarian Beetles are over-sized insects treated as a common delicacy to the Allar and Slizzar. The insect emerged from the depths of Hadar during the last Void Invasion, sprouting from the earth and remaining topside as the archipelago formed around them. During the foundation of the Essa Empire, the beetle became renown as a Naylar delicacy and was widely consumed. With the fall of the Essa Empire the Hadarian Beetle's population in the wild has doubled since what it once was. The animal is most common in the eastern regions of the island chain today, with the more recent use as a carnival oddity. When prompted with food, the insect can perform simple tasks such as pushing and pulling small items and this is often done for the amusement of others.
First found in Hadar, the aptly named Hadarian Beetle was discovered to contain a juicy, sectioned meat. When first sighted shortly after the last Void Invasion it was speculated that the insect had been around for ages, and only emerging from underground after the continent had been split into smaller island chains. Some desperate for protein began slicing up the small beetles and found them to have juicy, plump insides. This discovery caused a higher demand for them throughout Hadar as many began interbreeding the most overweight beetles available until the majority of the insects were too fat to even hold themselves up. The beetle itself has been domesticated by the Hadarian populus during the formation of the Essa Empire as a food crop. Today, the beetles roam free across Hadaria and some parts of Sendras, often near urban areas. Several traveling carnivals and circuses have found entertainment value of the creatures. When prompted with food, the insect can perform simple tasks such as pushing and pulling small items.
The Hadarian Beetle is considerably in size, originally starting a mere 6 inches in length but now reaches sizes akin to the average Ailor’s forearm. The insect stands on six legs, two on it’s midsection and four on it’s lower section to better support their plump bodies. The Beetle’s main characteristics aside from it’s meaty core would be the horn-like pincers on the head. Usually a red color for females, and a purple for males, these pincers are effective for tasks such as pushing or pulling items as large as double the Beetle’s weight, averaging between four and six pounds. The Beetle as a whole is a dark black color with a sandy tan underside. It’s exoskeleton being a protective shell for the sensitive underbelly, requires blunt force to be cracked open. As a result, the shell is most often used as a bowl for the meat itself.
To better ensure consistent produce, Hadarian Beetles are kept in herds, usually electing a bull to breed the many females in a pen. These bulls are unlike the spritely hard-working females and are more plump and lazy, sitting in the center and letting the females work for it, occasionally getting up to breed. Other than gender, there are no classes in the Beetle’s society. All choosing to meander at their own pace and all that aren't kept aside for work are eventually butchered for food.
Life Span and Development
A female Hadarian Beetle can lay up to 15 eggs after a single mating period. These eggs are usually kept in piles of composted plant material, the eggs are known to be quite delicate despite the Beetle’s tough exoskeleton. The eggs are roughly the size of a baby’s fist and take 3-4 weeks before hatching into one larva per egg. These larvae eat decaying plant matter in large amounts to prepare themselves for their pupa stage. Larvae are the size of an outstretched palm once uncurled from their respective egg and are a translucent white known to be soft and slimy, similar to a hard boiled egg in texture. In the following week, the larvae are lead to a suitable place to burrow in order to develop into a pupae and in two weeks time emerge as an adult. The average male beetle lives up to three years, reaching maturity at one year. The females reach maturity at four months and usually die after two breedings or five years. The males have been known to eat their female mate’s dead corpse, despite being primarily herbivorous. The reason for this is unknown, but it is suspected that they do so in order to keep the area in which the eggs are laid free of predators or ants. In their older age most beetles retire to form a sub-herd of only the elderly to ensure the survival of the larger, healthier herd. While in their seclusion the beetles will become incredibly tired and weak, their exoskeleton slowly softening over a feek weeks prior to death. At the point in time where the elderly insects begin secluding themselves, most farmers will choose to take them out of their misery and lob off their heads much like the average Ailor farmer would with a chicken.
The Hadarian Beetle is a lethargic, brutish insect with horns and a fatty underside. Their only real purpose is to be grown as livestock and eaten. Their meat and fat is used in a quantity of foods created by the Allar and Slizzar, present in almost every meal as a filler. The Beetles have little order, and act as mindless drones unless provoked with food to do otherwise. Their tough exoskeletons and thick head ornaments make them useful for pushing objects around, though it would be extremely difficult to train them to do anything else. Nearly all the population of the Hadarian Beetle is domesticated, though those that are located in the wild are far more aggressive than their domesticated counterparts. Male Hadarian beetles in the wild are often found to be territorial and have control of several female beetles. They burrow into the ground and protect their brood with their lives, which, generally, causes the male to be killed eventually as it attacks anything that comes near it. The majority of all beetles act in the same manner, they do not startle easily and can be dragged, picked up, and moved without any struggle from the beetle. The only true way to train them is through repeated practice and the promise of food, which seems to influence them the most. When prompted, the beetle will follow a trainer with food and when rewarded will inch closer and closer to performing the task at hand. While that may prove to be a sign of intelligence to some, it has been proven that the beetle will not act with a simple command, only when given a treat in return.
Territory and Groupings
In a group of ten females, one male will sit at the center and oversee the females. Every other ten added females requires another male to be added as the females will overtake a single male with their need to reproduce. In the herds, a small group of females will become the caretakers of all eggs, larva and pupa. The mother of the eggs will not take care of her own young, usually laying her eggs and moving on to pasture. In the wild, as previously stated, the male protects the brood and the females. Guarding the burrow from any potential threat, even at the cost of its life.
- Some have claimed to trained male beetles for years, somehow conditioning them to a point where they can find and fetch specific objects for their owners.
- After their insides are removed and eaten, some households choose to paint and decorate the exoskeleton husks for future use. Often covering them in symmetrical and colourful designs.
- Some researchers have observed that if the male dies, one of the females in the herd will end up becoming a male. How this happens is mystery.