Applause Cricket
Sloeclaeppa applausus

Unlike most true crickets, insects of the genus Sloeclaeppa have evolved to draw sustenance from human emotion. They tend to congregate in performance venues, concert halls, and anywhere else someone may be expected to perform, and whenever a suitable silence presents itself, they will chirp loudly and feed on the resulting embarrassment, shame, and other negative emotions. Some researchers believe that they can only hydrate themselves through flop-sweat, but this remains unclear.

“Applause crickets have been known to chirp in the interval between a performance and the resulting applause, as they are able to get by on the small amount of emotion generated there, but they tend to prefer unforgiving venues and comedy clubs which offer much greater engorgement. The Apollo Theater in New York has been trying to rid itself of an infestation for years.” – Dr. Phineas Phable

Quilting Bee
Planetoftha apis

Quilting Bees are unlike the closely related honeybees in that they don’t construct hives or produce beeswax, but rather use their stingers to sew a flexible clothlike structure used to contain honey and brood young. The cloth is renowned for its warmth and durability, and rural peasants have long been known to smoke quilting bees out of their blankets before winter in order to make use of the fabric and the honey it contains during the lean times.

“The bees’ quilts were very susceptible to clothing moths, which meant that even the most carefully maintained one never lasted but a season or two.” – Dr. Phineas Phable

Infinipede
Multitudius incomprehensibili

Infinipedes are seemingly normal millipedes, and have the same habitat, diet, and behavior as other myriapods. However, they literally have an uncountable number of legs, despite the fact that they clearly must have a discrete number based on observations. The Deep Brown supercomputer at the University of the Rift was designed specifically to automate the task of counting an infinipede’s legs, but it ran out of processing power after only 12 minutes of sustained counting.

“The first myriapodologist who attempted to count an infinipede’s legs was driven to madness, and had to be subdued after he tried to attack a mathematician while shrieking that number theory had failed the infinipede, not the other way around.” – Dr. Phineas Phable

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A firefly met a spider at dusk once, and they exchanged a few words in the secret language of arthropods, a patois of gestures and pheromones that no larger creature could ever hope to understand.

“I have often wondered why it is you glow,” said the spider. She was busy spinning a fresh web for the wave of prey that would arrive with the dusk. “Surely it only attracts those who would eat you.”

“We find our mates that way,” replied the firefly, alighted on a nearby branch, with caution. “They shine in the dark and so do we.”

“But I find my mate without such blinking,” replied the spider. “He comes for my scent and my web, and does not speak or display anything but the utmost obedience as he dances, lest he be my next meal. None need know what passes between us.”

“Ah, but surely one of the big ones has seen the dew on your web in the morning sun,” the firefly said. “As great a light as mine, or greater, and worse because you cannot move it.”

“But I can move myself,” the spider sniffed. “And the big ones do not often seek me for their repast, as they know my fangs drip with venom. You have no such fangs.”

“My children do.” The firefly flitted its wings casually. “They eat the slimy garden-creepers below before turning to the sweet flower-juice in their old age.”

“But we are not speaking of your little worm-brood, but of you. What is to keep me from eating you now? I can leap farther than you can fly, and faster, and my sight is far beyond your little shining orbs.” Thus saying, she jumped.

The firefly had predicted this; what had seemed a mere idle twitch had really been the warm-up to his takeoff. “There is one thing you should know,” he said as he flew away. “Our lights are also a warning to your kind. A firefly is toxic to any who would eat it, as surely as your venom is. Remember that, and your manners, the next time you meet one.”