Scale Knightworms

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Scale Knightworms are a branch off of the Fur Knightworm which lost their dependence on the Fur Mycostrum. They did so by adjusting how their exoskeleton grows—instead of a continuous growth of chitin, it grows in scale-like layers which easily shed over time much like human skin cells. Although this makes their exoskeleton somewhat weaker and puts them at a disadvantage against the Fur Knightworm for staying active in the early spring and late fall, this allowed them to conquer land which their ancestor had no access to without waiting for the Fur Mycostrum to evolve with them.

The Scale Knightworms are many in species and can come in a variety of colors to disguise themselves among different flora and soils. One notable common adaptation is to living in regions populated with Creepincrystals—the Scale Knightworms which live in these crystal-rich areas have sparkling green scales which mimic the luster of crystals, making them difficult to distinguish from a detached Creepincrystal hair at a glance. Other common color variants include purple with spots or stripes to hide among purple flora, reddish brown to live among crystals with exposed fungal core, and a sandy color to live on beach and desert sands. In general, those in cold climates are chunkier than those in warm climates to preserve heat as much as they can. One difficulty they face in dry climates is their dependence on water to reproduce; over most of their range, simply breeding during the wettest parts of the years is enough, but in the hot desert their populations are sparse and directly tied to streams and oases. Desert species notably also spend much of the day underground to avoid the heat, like many terran desert fauna.

Like their ancestor, Scale Knightworms reproduce by spawning in pools of water. Their 1-millimeter larvae mature quickly, as to not have their pool dry up before they are ready, and unlike the Fur Knightworm, the Scale Knightworm remains a detritivore throughout its entire life. Those in temperate and polar regions hibernate over the winter, burrowing deep underground with their antennae to avoid freezing to death. Non-desert tropical species, having little need for hibernation, often have reduced antennae.