Alien Land Unit in Beyond Earth
An alien unit capable of attacking from a safe distance.
A number of earth species have evolved which can launch liquid or solid projectiles, among these the Oogpister beetle, the Scytodes spider, the Archer fish and the Myrmeleontidae (antlions). However, on Earth the most common such “natural cannons” are the Brachinini and Ozaenini, better known collectively as “bombardier beetles.” While there may well be other forms of “spitting” insectoids on this planet as well, Carabidae Peregrinus is the only known example discovered thus far by colonists.
The most unique aspect of this xenomorph lies in its ability to hurl spheres filled with “Miasma” with unerring accuracy. The “Manticores,” as they are termed by non-scientists, are able to ingest spores from the Xenomass that grows liberally across the surface of the planet; an internal process as yet not well understood encapsulates portions of this in globes of thin membranes the creature manufactures. The globes are stored in an external pouch until launched. When required, the animal mixes internal stores of hydroquinone and peroxide – byproducts of its digestive system – which generate explosive pressure when a bio-catalyst is added. The globes are launched by the release of this pressure, and the poisonous and corrosive spores serve as a natural weapon.
Another unusual attribute of the Carabidae Peregrinus is that it appears to coexist with Lupus Bruchus in the nests of the “Wolf Beetles.” The mechanics of this cohabitation – even whether mutualism or endosymbiosis – is as yet unknown due to the difficulty of observation in the field, but laboratory experiments indicate that the Manticores are protected and nurtured in separate chambers within the hive by the Wolf Beetles. Because they are larger than the hosts, the tunnels are larger than necessary for the passage of the latter. When the hive is threatened, the Manticores will muster to defend it. Although they do not swarm as Wolf Beetles do, adults will leave the nest periodically to seek food. Despite being scavengers, Manticores have been known to attack living prey upon occasion.