Shed Knightworms

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Shed Knightworms are a branch off of the Mycostrum Knightworm which lost their dependence on their symbiote, allowing them to spread without waiting for their symbiote to evolve with them. With no climate drier than plains present in Darwin, they had little trouble spreading far and wide despite the limitations of their reproductive system.

Shed Knightworms do not grow their exoskeleton as a continuous mass as their ancestor did. Instead, the exoskeleton grows in layers which periodically break off, more like the skin of Terran squamates. After shedding, they usually proceed to eat their own shed, reclaiming any nutrients lost. Unlike their ancestor, they are detritivores throughout their lives.

Shed Knightworms are many in species and come in a variety of different colors for different conditions. Most of them are brownish to blend in with soil, though they also come in purple, red, and iridescent green to blend in with different types of flora. Temperate and polar species hibernate over winter, digging burrows with their faces to shield themselves from the cold above. Like their ancestor, they spawn in pools of water, and their 1-millimeter long larvae mature quickly. Their exact breeding season generally varies with the climate, but it always coincides with rain, thaw, or other sources of vast amounts of water.