THE LAZHBUG ("BELLFISH")

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY - HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR
DIET - MATING - USAGES - RESEARCHERS - MYTH/LORE

This long legged, aquatic, silvery insect can be found swimming around islands, sucking on fish. In groups they look like a mass of shimmering orbs speeding through the water. It seems to have just a spherical head, no body, three legs and a tail sitting on top of his head. This gives it an unusual appearance and it is called therefore Bellfish.

Appearance. The Lazhbug consists of a spherical head/body, three legs and a tail. The head and the body are one and the same. The two shiny, black eyes and horizontal slit of the mouth are on the bottom of the sphere. The tail is on top of the sphere. The legs are placed on a circle around the "sides" of the sphere in a way, that if a circle was drawn from the tail through the legs in both directions, the sphere will be cut into four equal portions. It seems as if a fourth leg is missing. The legs are very brittle, while the tail is firm, yet flexible.

Organs that require input from the outside like the breathing apparatus and output as is needed for waste disposal protrude from the mouth when needed. The Lazhbug‘s "head" ranges from one nailsbreadth to a palmspan. The legs and tail range from a palmspan to three quarters of a fore. They have a soft skin, while there is a tough "skeleton" beneath it in order to protect its internal organs.
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Special Abilities. A specialty of the Lazhbug is its movement: The Lazhbug whips it tail back and forth to push the water behind its away, giving it sort of a boost. This is how they move about in the water. The whipping of the tail also creates a soft, soothing humming. Lazhbugs swim with their eyes forward and legs and tail behind them. This is a problem, as they can not see what happens behind them. Return to the top

Territory. The Lazhbug can be found in shallow waters and moderate climates, particularly around islands. They are concentrated more in the Isles of Quios than anywhere else in the world. Extreme heat is likely to kill Lazhbugs quickly, because hot temperatures damages their organs. The thin layer of tissue on the venom gland may rupture, literally turning their insides to mush. Lazhbugs can survive longer in cold temperatures, but if it gets too cold, they will freeze, making easy prey for large aquatic animals.
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Habitat/Behaviour. Lazhbugs generally travel in groups of at least ten, but they split up five times a day to find food. Hunting time is during the day only. When the Lazhbug isn't searching for food, it swims around aimlessly with the rest of the group, or sometimes it floats to the surface and appears as shiny orb floating on the
water.

If you manage to get one on the surface, the Lazbhbug will whip its tail uncontrollably until it dies or is put back in the
water. When it is killed above water, its skin changes from a smooth, silver to a rough nasty brown color.

Hunting: The Lazhbug has a pair of rust-red fangs stored in its head, directly behind the mouth. In order for it to eat, it closes in on its opponents and grabs it with its legs, it then sticks its prey with the fangs and emits a thick white venom to liquify the prey's insides. The Lazhbug then uses the same fangs to suck the juices out of the prey. Lazhbugs sometimes try to attack a larger
fish in order to protect themselves. When food is scarce, they also hunt together. This usually results in failure, as their legs get tangled amongst each other. When they succeed, however, they either leave it for another fish, or members of the group who haven't eaten will fill themselves. They do not eat anthing that was not killed by a Lazhbug.

If the venom has only contact with the skin of the prey, and gets not into its system, it would have no effect. It is only activated with the presence of blood. If a sentient being were bitten (they'd have to be very stupid, we might add), it would leave a large, painful, maroon bruise on the skin, but it wouldn't be fatal. The bruise and pain will remain until the poison is removed.
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Diet. Lazhbugs eat small
fish (normally no bigger than they are) , kelp, and any small particles of living matter they can find. Their main diet, however, is fish. Two small fish per day is enough intake for a full grown Lazhbug. When food is scarce, they use their fangs to suck up water. This picks up small particles of anything in the area. If the water is polluted, the Lazhbug is likely to fall ill and die. Lazhbugs take the easiest meal they can find, therefore, they leave large, scaled, spiked, and any other protected fish alone, as not to harm themselves. Return to the top

Mating. Lazhbugs are asexual and don't mate; however just before one reaches the end of its natural life span, the Lazhbug lays eggs. This phenomenon is very odd, and mysterious, even for an aquatic animal. They lay from 50 to 100 eggs, and guard them until they hatch, or until the eggs layer dies. However, as with any batch of eggs, some eggs may not survive. They maintain a steady population because of predators which feed on the young.
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Usages. The skin and venom of the Lazhbug both have newly discovered usage. The skin can be used as a water reagent. The venom can do nothing on its own, yet if it is mixed with blood, it becomes a brown liquid that rots anything it comes into contact with, due to the mixture of blood. Lazhbug skin can only be used as a reagent if the Lazhbug was killed underwater, making it hard to get hold of.
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Researchers. There is, unfortunately, no real expert among the very few researchers. Therefore the discussions about the beast are many, and the meanings differ so greatly, that an impartial observer might think the researchers are talking of different animals.

Here is a discussion of "head“ and "body“. The well known Malon is of the opinion that this animal is a rare case of "head only“, whereas Ekbar of Killyshmagot argues that this is ridiculous, and that this animal has just no neck and body and head have joined.

"It had four legs at one time“, Zefru alleged on their previous meeting. "It's just moved on top of the thing's head, isn't it obvious? It's being used as if it is a tail now; the forth leg has only taken over new tasks."

"Then how do you explain then the different bone structure, or how you want to call it, of this tail you claim to be the forth leg?“ responded Thrall, from Voldar.

"It's adapted to the new tasks, of course,“ Zefru answered. "Can you explain to me, why the legs are not distributed evenly around the sphere though? The empty spot on one side is proof enough that my opinion is the right one“...

Simple debates like these amongst researchers clearly show that there is much more research to be done, tilll these interesting creatures are fully understood! Return to the top

Myth/Lore. The researchers discussion has however not hindered to create lovely poems about these unusual animals, the most famous is following:

"I saw silver in the sea
The silver swam away from me
I thought I saw a little more
Over by the golden shore
I followed it and then I found
That it hummed a soothing sound
I then looked at the silver ball
And the ball glared back at me.
I shant forget, not at all
Of swimming silver in the sea..."

This poem is said to have been written by an explorer, but no one knows who the true author is. Return to the top

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