Librium – Species Spotlight: Vespa

Silithid from World of Warcraft. The inspiration for vespa.No one is completely certain where the Vespa originated. Some scholars hypothesize that they are the result of an arcane experiment gone wrong and they were released or escaped into the wild. Others believe that they may have evolved on their own, perhaps through the influence of magical meddling. Some believe they are natures response to the growing number of kobolds. The only thing known for sure is that a Vespa hive is a potential threat to all who venture near.

Though vespa are very similar to bees or ants, both being Haplodiploid and eusocial, and show similar characteristics to many different insect species such as beetles and scorpions, vespa are more closely related to parasitoid wasps.

Unlike bees or ants, the vespa have multiple queens within their hive that take part in all the duties of running the hive with the addition of laying eggs.

Distribution

The Vespa are a species of semi-intelligent insect that live in many different climates around the world, especially temperate areas. They make their homes underground and in the trees, feeding on anything that ventures too close to their territory.

The vespa are territorial by nature and do not allow other creatures near their nests. While the workers will ignore most potential threats wasps and reavers will make threatening displays to scare away predators. The wasps and reavers patrol their territory regularly, usually in groups of 1-3 reavers and 1-3 wasps. Occasionally a queen can be found with the patrol as well (20% chance). When they detect a threat that they cannot handle, 1-2 of the wasps flee to alert the hive while the rest of the patrol stays behind to fight.

Racial Traits

Distribution: Temperate and tropic regions

Activity Cycle: Diurnal, very active.

Organization: Patrol (2-5), team (5-10), swarm (10-40), hive (100-1500)

Behavior: Passive, carrion scavangers. Unrelenting defenders.

Primary Senses: Penumbra vision, ultravision

Languages: None

Physical Description

A typical flying vespa is about the size of a small dog with a body length of 0.5 meters and weighing around 10 kg. Ground vespa can grow much larger with some weighing up to 100kg and nearly 2 meter in length. Vespa have a wide morphology with each type fitting into a specific caste. Their general appearance is that of familiar insect species, such as wasps, bees, ants, scorpions, beetles, flies, and others. For specifies of each different morphology, see their individual descriptions.

Behavior

Vespa build their hives in huge underground networks that are believed to be kilometers wide in diameter. Within the network are usually several outcropped mounds allowing them to venture to the surface for food. These mounds are commonly surrounded and protected by large honeycomb style nests both on the ground and in the trees created primarily by a paper-like substance composed mostly of wood pulp. The vespa are known to tear down sections of forest to build these nests, even so far as to transfer the wood to other areas.

Biology

Though they are omnivorous parasitoids, they are not predacious. Vespa mostly eat fruit, herbs, and fungi as well as scavenging carrion. They are known to hunt occasionally, especially when seeking to restock supplies or during reproduction cycles. During these times, they are still not much of a threat to intelligent society, preying primarily on kobolds. vespa have been known to burrow kilometers to break into kobold warrens and send hunting parties outside of their own territory to bring live kobolds back to their hives. These kobolds are used as hosts for larva.

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