Appearance. Whistling Beetles are large bugs, about approx. 5 nailsbreadths long and 2 nailsbreadths wide. They've got six paws with tiny hairs on them, as well as 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 cows 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 isnt 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.
Special Abilities. The Whistling Beetle has no real special abilities other than its drill, which
is used to penetrate the bark of trees. It has no special weapons. The only
thing exceptional is the way it communicates: through
itís shell. With the top of the shell, it whistles. With these whistles,
the beetle tells others of his kind
in the area if theres 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 its winter-rest is over.
The meaning of the following whistles are known in detail:
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.
The Whistling Beetles are commonly seen in the Silvermarshes and
within the last confines of the
Forest. In other forests at the Sarvonian continent there are also Whistling
Beetles, but much lesser than in the Silvermarshes and
the Thaelon. At the other continents
and the Isle of
Denilou no beetles have been recorded
Habitat/Behaviour. 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, hell first notify all the other beetles in the group and tell them where the food is located.
Natural enemies of the beetle are especially birds, weasels, wild cats, but also gnomes who use the beetle for cooking bizarre meals. Whistling Beetles approximately get 3 years old if theyre not eaten, crushed, squished etc.
Diet. The Whistling Beetle feeds on the leaves 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 and doesnít do anything until it gets warmer.
Mating. When a female wants to mate, shell release some fluid from the horn and use her whistle to attract males. If a male, who is always willing to mate, detects this fluid or hears the whistle, hell 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 dont fit in the horn anymore (which is pretty soon). When the beetles come out of their motherís horn, theyíll become part of their motherís group. After half a year theyre matured and theyll start to mate.
Usages. 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 theres 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 cant swim.
Information provided by Theodorus Holzman