Bluetassel Nomcube

From 2speccers2tools wiki

Compared to their cousins, this population of the Mimic Legobox took a more unique solution to avoid interfamilial competition. These Mimic Legoboxes failed to digest a bloom of Nomlights (as they possessed digestion-resistant proteins), which then ended up within their mimic tendrils. When these boxes spawned, their gametes ended up carrying some mutant Nomlights with them, spreading their line further. Eventually the hosts began evolving with these algal symbionts, their interactions more intertwined. These changes culminated with these aberrant legoboxes becoming the genetically distinct Bluetassel Nomcubes.

The Bluetassel Nomcube has diverged considerably from its ancestry - most obviously being the presence of mutualist nomlight flora inhabiting its twin lid tendrils. No longer proxies of twin poralp stands, these tendrils bear flattened frond-like projections to provide their tenants with ample area to photosynthesize in. This photosynthetic activity provides host boxes with extra energy in the form of free sugars, which helps a bit in lean conditions; keep in mind that this is not enough to supplant the Bluetassel Nomcube’s ability to filter plankton from the water, as it is still essential to nourish the box and its algal symbionts.

Beyond this newfound algal mutualism, the Bluetassel Nomcube also differs in that it prefers to settle on hard, rocky surfaces, trading mobile cirri for those producing adhesives. Although all legoboxes possess an immunity to spite, this species is the first to actually incorporate the stuff into its tissues, ensuring that whatever succeeds in prying it off of its base will not go with a satisfying reward. Because the Bluetassel Nomcube houses algae bearing pisscake-colored plastids, its populations can be found deep within dense groves of Arboralp forest, although these aren’t quite as dense as those found in more illuminated shallows.

During plentiful conditions, Bluetassel Nomcubes expel gametes carrying a couple of Nomlight cells - enough to grow into cultures of their own. Gametes conjugate into spores, which in turn develop into planktonic larvae. These larvae will eventually grow large enough to settle onto a suitable spot on the seabed in a few weeks’ time.