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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The Thinking Cap
Cerebruortuum segniores

This delectable and brightly-colored fruiting body has the curious effect of speeding up cognition and allowing great intuitive leaps in a relatively short span of time, at the cost of permanent synaptic damage and eventual brain death. An antidote was first synthesized by Reswob in 1887 and is widely available; some graduate students have been known to abuse the cap along with the antidote to benefit from these effects, which is–needless to say–strongly contraindicated.

“The use of cerebruortuum segniores in the Chinese Imperial Examinations was punishable by death, but they were nevertheless smuggled in with astounding ingenuity. Naturally, the long term effect of brain death meant that cheating one’s way into a good score was an exercise in futility, but the false belief that the effect could be counteracted through acupuncture and the consumption of baiji ovaries meant that every year dozens of students had to be carried out of their cells in comas to expire peacefully in what Ching Dynasty chroniclers called the 菜園–the vegetable garden.” – Dr. Phineas Phable

The Bamf Puff
Nocterepunt xavier

The Bamf puff gets its name from onomatopoeia: it causes imbibers of the immature puffballs, or those exposed to newly-released spores to be teleported a short distance away, leading to a distinctive sound as air rushes to fill in the void. It is a defense mechanism designed to disorient predators who might otherwise feast on the fungi’s succulent flesh, which is highly regarded as a delicacy by humans and animals alike. Intact puffballs are extremely difficult to harvest without rupturing but were highly valued as quick getaway tools by highwaymen and assassins.

“The difficulty with the buff’s teleportation effect is its randomness–it tends to be in the same horizontal plane as the puff, but not always. Stories of hapless mushroom hunters and would-be assassins trapped in trees, buried underground, or even fifty feet in the air are not uncommon. No one is quite sure what happens to the material displaced by the appearing victim, but it is always gone for good–an effect that people have occasionally tried to harness for waste disposal, the keeping of secrets, and even murder. They are rarely successful, save by the rarest kind of luck.” – Dr. Phineas Phable

The Princess Toadstool
Fortunadcaelum relinquere

A distant relative of the famous Cordyceps genus of behavior-modifying ascomycete fungi, princess toadstools also alter behavior through fungal infection, albeit in a much more regimented way. Princess toadstools are clonal, with a large number of fruiting bodies connected to a single, subterranean, fungus. Consumption of one of the fruiting bodies leads animals–or humans–back to the initial site, where they are compelled to tend to the larger fungus by bringing it food, irrigating it, and creating what Bharadwaja called “princess gardens” in his Ayurveda. An antidote is available, though mild cases will often clear up on their own.

“In the hollows of the Himalayan foothills near the norther border of Kashmir, there is a particularly large and ancient princess toadstool that is surrounded by the skeletons of laborers and charcoal-makers it has ensnared over the years. It is at the center of a particularly large and lush princess garden, one lined with stones and fed by an aqueduct from a glacial spring. No one is sure how old they are, for none dare approach it.” – Dr. Phineas Phable

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Quantum Marmoset
Mustempus peregrinationis

This relative of the common marmoset lives its life in a nonlinear fashion. To the observer they appear to fade in and out at random intervals during their 8-10 year lifespan, but from the perspective of the marmoset it is living its life in a straight line with surroundings that randomly jump about. Exceedingly rare, as the likelihood of any two marmosets of breeding age in the same area at the same time is vanishingly small.

“Natives in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Norte state will try and lasso a quantum marmoset when they find one. If done correctly, they will be taken with during the next nonlinear tree swing. Tradition holds that if the passenger goes back in time and prevents themselves from lassoing the marmoset, the universe will cease to exist.” – Dr. Phineas Phable

Hammer’s Space Wallaby
Malleuspatium desultor

Named after Hammer’s Space, the ranch where it was discovered in Australia’s Northern Territories, the Hammer’s Space wallaby differs from ordinary wallabies in that its pouch has infinite capacity through a link to an interdimensional space. The wallaby will often store items that strike its fancy in its infinite pouch, and will throw them at pursuers or competing wallabies. Joeys enter the pouch from the interdimensional space; the exact method by which the wallabies reproduce is unknown but of extreme interest to particle physicists.

“The pouch is too small to fit a human, but settlers have been known to go ‘wallaby fishing’ by catching a Hammer’s Space wallaby and pulling items from its pouch; occasionally valuable items like gold and jewels are found. One witness describes a Hammer’s Space wallaby evading pursuers by throwing a wooden mallet, an airplane propeller, the left wheel of a 1930 Holden sedan, and a human tibia at them.” – Dr. Phineas Phable

Sigh Bat
Vespertilio suspiransugere

The sigh bat is related to the vampire bat, but unlike its more famous relative it subsists on the sighs of the brokenhearted rather than blood. It has evolved a number of abilities that allow it to generate brokenhearted sighs in generally happy times, from mimicking human voices and penmanship to excreting a compound that resembles lipstick that they smear on collars and napkins.

“If for all your indiscretions
a sigh bat ye’ve blamed
Beware that thru ye inhibitions
a sigh bat ye’ve not gain’d.” – Traditional

Frogfly
Avius Anuran

This strange creature appears to be at least semi-intelligent and is often mischievous, though rarely malicious. They have been known to steal small items from intruders, and to set simple snares designed to deter intrusion into their habitat in temperate forests. The frogfly fuses small leaves into small cups to collect dew, and lays its eggs in the ensuing tiny pools. The call of the frogfly is noteworthy for being far higher and slower than terrestrial frogs, and it has often been mistaken for human laughter…

Frog O’Lantern
Curcurbita Anuran

Found primarily in squash fields, the Frog O’Lantern has evolved a thick carapace to mimic natural gourds and feast on the bugs that inhabit them.

“The curcurbita anuran itself does not glow, but forms a symbiotic relationship with bioluminescent bacteria that shine around its eyes and mouth during mating season, which is typically late October. Studies indicate that the relative brightness of the glow plays a part in courtship, though this is currently unverified.” – Dr. Phineas Phable

Volksphibian
Veedubyus Anuran

One of the major causes of swamp pollution. Some would have us beleive that this is a light truckphibian, but this is simply not the case. Be very wary; Volksphibian kidnappings are not unheard of. Once you get in, there’s no telling where you’ll end up.

Clockwork Frog
Beethovus Anuran

This normally-motionless amphibian springs to life when you wind it, gears spinning and churning on its back.

“Beware that it doesn’t unload a bit of the old ultrahopping on you.” – Anonymous

Frogcat
Felis Anuran

A rare breed of amphibimammal, the Frogcat inhabits extremely limited areas of western Michigan. Identifiable by its distinctive cry (“croew” or “meak”), it is a reclusive animal that shuns contact with all but selected homo sapiens, frogs, and felines. Extremely intelligent, but also quite shy. Sightings should be reported to your local DNR at once.

Hourglass Frog
Tempus Frogit Anuran

Refines naturally-occurring chroniton particles from its diet of swamp much and high-powered quantum neutrino fields. Approach with extreme caution.

“Near the edge of all things
In the Swamplands of Time
A curious creature sings
Without reason or rhyme

The Hourglass Frog
Bounds through the grass
Dimly through the fog
You’ll hear it pass

From it shy away
And do not disturb
For a high price you’ll pay
If it you perturb

The sands inside it
Reverse their fall
And within a moment
You were never born at all”
Traditional