|Common Nicknames||Taxidermy Worms, Boreworms|
|Habitat||Warm areas in leaf-litter or other rotting matter|
Despite their unassuming appearance, Llinàme are vital for the work of natural scientists and taxidermists across Aloria, commonly used to clean skeletons of flesh to prepare them for display or examination. These small, black grubs were originally discovered in the forested regions of pre-Cataclysm Ithania and first domesticated by the Ithanian Ailor around 100 AC. While these worms are not very common in their natural habitat, most natural history museums now have at least one large colony of the grubs which they use to clean skeletons. Recently, concerns have been raised that Llinàme may become a pest species due to their voracious appetite and broad diet, though infestations are currently very rare.
Historical documentation on Llinàme is scarce, as they were discovered first at some point before the Cataclysm and presumably not found interesting enough to warrant study by the haughty Altalar. The oldest records of the grub were written by Ithanian scholars who stumbled upon the strange worm during travels around 100 AC. They were intrigued by the creature’s tendency to consume all of the flesh of a dead (or dying) animal, even going so far as to remove stains from the bones to leave a pristine skeleton. Recognizing the potential usefulness of such a creature, the researchers collected a handful of the worms and brought them back to their workplace. A study was published and gradually since then, Llinàme have become some of the most well-cared-for arthropods in existence due to their practical uses. They have also been shipped to other areas of Aloria where they remain tools of the trade for honest scholars, but also of those of a more criminal nature.
Llinàme are rather unassuming, weighing in at less than half a gram and rarely growing larger than a centimetre in length and two millimetres in diameter. Females are slightly bigger than males, which are more often a mere five millimetres long. Individuals of this species look almost identical aside from their size difference; black and shiny with three distinctive sets of hairs down their sides, It is thought that these hairs are used to make the worm bigger and more intimidating to predatory insects. Technically speaking, Llinàme are not proper worms; they have three sets of caterpillar-like legs near their head, which sports strong mandibles for chewing through wood or sinew. They lack proper eyes, only being able to sense vague shadow and light, so they navigate through the leaf-litter largely by smell and touch. Their most notable feature is their extremely broad appetite; Llinàme could theoretically eat most organic matter, consuming anything from rotting flesh to leaves to sugar. The only reason they have not become a major pest in Ithania is because they cannot move very quickly and as such have not spread far outside of the forests and woods of the west and north where they are found naturally.
Llinàme have no regional diversity and the only difference between the sexes is that females are, on average, larger than males.
Life Span and Development
Llinàme are thought to live for between one and two months, emerging from a tiny white egg as a much smaller version of the adult worm. They do not pupate or have a larval stage, simply growing to adult size over a period of a few weeks. Eggs are laid regularly in batches of ten and normally take a week or so to hatch in the right environment: somewhere warm, damp and dark.
Llinàme are not intelligent creatures, nor do they have any capacity to be aggressive. They have been known to burrow into living creatures if they are seriously injured or otherwise incapable of removing the worm or moving away, but these worms do not target living creatures over any other food source. They eat whatever they are placed on unless it is a rock or dirt, in which case they keep moving until they find something that they can eat. Llinàme cannot be tamed, as they do not have the capacity to receive, process or act upon any commands.
Territory and Groupings
These worms tend to gather in large numbers around or inside carrion and rotting trees, simply because they reproduce there. They are not territorial, nor do they deliberately gather in groups; in fact, there is no evidence that they are even aware of each others’ presence at all.
- Llinàme are sometimes added to compost piles as they quicken the decomposition process.
- Trade of Llinàme is restricted in some Daendroc cities, as aristocrats fear that infestations could devastate food supplies if large numbers of the worms escape. This is highly unlikely in reality, as they are slow and effectively blind.