Developed by Nzi’Fuma
Lifespan and Development:
The life cycle of a Tanner Mantis begins in the egg stage. When an adult consumes it’s prey, it gathers the viscera left over after its feeding, and reproduces hermaphroditically. Afterward, it will lay a cluster of eggs beneath the surface of the snow, nested in the leftover viscera of its former prey.
The eggs tend to lay dorman beneath the snow either until the snow thaws enough for the eggs to be exposed (Which kills them) or until an animal’s body warmth activates the latent eggs, immediately hatching and inserting itself into the subcutaneous layer of the creature’s skin.
From there, it proceeds to feed on the blood sugar of the creature it inhabits, until it absorbs the bloodline memory of its host. Once it has attained a certain level of ‘familiarity’ with it’s host’s bloodline, it will take that memory with it to the next stage, pupae.
The pupae stage can go one of a few ways. Either it will exit the host through one of it’s orifices without much damage done, or it will tear out of the skin violently causing wounds that are difficult to heal, because the toxic slime it leaves behind complicates healing, encouraging the growth of disease.
In any case, the host creature is rendered with a less capable immune reaction for at least a season before they are able to recover, if they survive.
The Tanner Mantis then seeks out the snowfields, and from there lies in wait beneath the snows, insulated from the freezing winds by a surrounding layer of snow and whatever hide or skin it was able to tear off its former host.
It has deadly pincers and scythe-like appendages that are capable of ripping and tearing, more than capable of taking down local herds or stray wanderers. With every kill, it collects parts and pieces, covering itself with the hide of it’s kills and laying eggs as it will.
carnivorous in pupae stage. Parasitic in larval.
The properties of the larval slime of the Tanner Mantis are said to have certain benefits, when it comes to speeding up the rotting process of materials, whether it be for mulching materials, or the processing of flax, and other processes.
It can also be used as a toxin when insinuated into a wound. Injested, it’s mostly harmless.