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Author Topic: Whistling Beetle  (Read 3166 times)
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Theodorus Holzman
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« on: 28 November 2001, 13:20:00 »

 Whistling Beetles

 Appearance:
Whistling Beetles are large bugs, about 6 cm long and 3 cm wide. They’ve got 6 paws with of tiny hairs on it and two horns on their head, which they can feel with. The beetles are gray, with the exception of an orange shell on their back. The shell stands a bit upwards, like a cow’s horn and ends in a point. The shell is used mainly by the beetle to store its food in. However the top of the shell isn’t used to store food, but to make whistling kinds of noises, of which the beetle grants his name. Beneath its horns, there are two facetted eyes, also orange.
Whistling Beetles approximately get 3 years old if they’re not eaten, crushed, squished etc.

 Territory:
The Whistling Beetles are commonly seen in the Silvermarshes and the Thaelon Forest. In other forests at the Sarvonian continent, there are also Whistling Beetles, but lesser than in the Silvermarshes and Thaelon. At the other continents and Denilou no beetles have been recorded.

 Diet:
The Whistling Beetle feeds on the leafs of foliage trees and ferns. The beetle also has a taste for the syrups some trees contain, and has a small drill to penetrate the barks of trees to get to the syrup. Before winter, the beetle stores food in its shell and goes into some sort of static period, in which it digs itself in doesn’t do anything until it gets warmer.

 Special Abilities:
The Whistling Beetle has no really special abilities. Except for its drill, which it uses to penetrate the barks of trees it has no special weapons. The only thing exceptional is the way it communicates; through it’s shell. With the top of the shell, it whistles. With these whistles, it tells other beetles in the area if there’s danger or where a syrup tree is located. The top of the whistle can also be used to measure the temperature, so the beetle knows when it’s winter-rest is over.

 Uses:
Whistling Beetles are used by several races, like the Mullogs, as warning systems. The reason for this is that beetles give, when crushed, a distinctive whistle. When others hear this whistle, they know there’s danger approaching. Mullogs also find the fluid stored inside the shell a delicacy and have therefore domesticated the beetle. They keep them at small islands in ponds, because the beetles can’t swim.

 Habitat/Behavior:
Whistling Beetles normally live in groups of ten to twenty beetles, which all share a territory. Other beetle groups are fended off this territory, except in mating seasons. The groups do almost everything together. When one beetle finds food, he’ll first notify all the other beetles in the group and tell them where the food is located.

 Mating:
When a female wants to mate, she’ll release some fluid from the horn and use her whistle to attract males. If a male, who’s always willing to mate, detects this fluid or whistle, he’ll return the whistling. As they keep doing this, the two beetles will locate and crawl to each other. Even beetles of other territories are allowed. The seed of the male is implemented in the horn of the female, who will then separate it from her body and dig into the ground, or beneath some bushes. The horn then contains some eggs (10-20) and a fair amount of food. When the eggs hatch, the beetles start eating the food, until they don’t fit in the horn anymore. (Which is pretty soon). When the beetles come out of their mother’s horn, they’ll become part of their mother’s group. After 0,5 year, they’re matured and they’ll start to mate.

Whistles:
Danger: A long, low whistle, which gets more rattled when the danger is nearer.
Food: Three short high whistles for a fern and three short low whistles for a syrup tree.
Defending Territory: Repeating high whistles until the intruding beetle is gone.
Mate (female call): A long whistle, which varies all the time between low and high.
Mate (male response): Two low whistles and then a longer high whistle.
Mate (female response):The opposite of the male response: two high whistles and a longer low whistle.
When crushed: A short very high whistle, this whistle is so high, that only Mullogs and Elves can hear it. For other races it’s off their hearing range, so they can’t hear the sound.

Note: The above named whistle patterns are usually repeated. E.g. if you hear nine short low whistles, it’s a beetle repeating it’s food whistle.

"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune-they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures."

Edited by: Theodorus Holzman at: 12/1/01 4:42:50 pm
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Theodorus Holzman
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« Reply #1 on: 30 November 2001, 11:37:00 »

Erm.....I can't believe these things are so good nobody has any comments on them......:

"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune-they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures."

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #2 on: 30 November 2001, 16:00:00 »

Ok, here we go with some comments, Theo:

How about some natural enemies? What beasts do they fear most?

Location: Which woods do they prefer exactly?

"... male, who’s always willing to mate, ..." *grin*

Maybe you could elaborate a bit on the whistles which make the beetle so famous. I guess there won't be many different whistle sounds, so maybe you could name the most important: Mating, food, danger etc. and describe them a bit (e.g. a low long rattling tone etc.) Guess the whistling shouldn't be too loud, but you could also mention that the Mullogs who know the different sounds of the beetles quite well, can take good advantage of this when they move through unknown forests (e.g. the amount of whistles can hint at something helpful for orientation or something similar...)

But in general: Nice ideas, Theo!

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 11/29/01 10:00:59 pm
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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Theodorus Holzman
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« Reply #3 on: 01 December 2001, 06:29:00 »

You always know how to cheer me up! ;)  I like the idea of elaborating the whistles further, that could be done. About the natural enemies, doewe already have many "bug-eating" beasts, or do I've to invent some?

"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune-they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures."

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Bard Judith
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« Reply #4 on: 03 December 2001, 07:33:00 »

Birds?
Weasels?
Gnomes?
Certain kinds of fish?
An animal kind of like a skunk?
Wild cats (which we really SHOULD have anyway)?

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"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #5 on: 03 December 2001, 07:59:00 »

Okeydokey. Bought as well.

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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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