Isopork

From 2speccers2tools wiki

Splitting from the immense IWMLEtMaB genus, Isopork are minute fauna found in a variety of soil ecologies, specializing to feed on a variety of soft flora.

To feed, species of Isopork utilize lightly pointed tooth-like projections to scrape at their meal, which consist of moss-grade flora, algae, detritus, and occasionally recent “higher” flora sprouts. Compared to other “Insects” that feed on vegetation, Isopork menus typically do not require as much digestive activity to break down (save for the keratinous cuticle of “Mushrooms”).

Isopork are timid and prefer to remain inconspicuous, either by staying close to the soil or burying themselves under the leaf litter. To get an early head-start in perceiving dangers, Isopork vision is quite fine for such small critters, capable of detecting definite shapes and color. Of course, when that fails, these “Insects” still have the one trait that lends their name - they can curl into a tight ball to protect from attack! With sturdy, chitinous plate segments at full face on the aggressor (usually a Confusiant or a larger “Insect”), Isopork can enjoy relative safety even then; this is facilitated by chitin platelets on the muscled bands between segments and a compact silhouette. Isopork locomote via a stable sprawling motion, which is rather decent at their size range, and their legs’ musculature allow for tightly tucking in when curling into a ball.

Like all “Insects”, Isopork of a certain species breed by linking up gonads to exchange gametes. An individual bearing eggs will deposit them in a sheltered patch of soil near a relative abundance of meals, ensuring the hatching nymphs will get a decent head start.

There are many dozens of Isopork species, many of which are identified by size and coloration; for the latter, species tend to match the colors of the endemic flora or soil. Predictably, Isopork are at their least diverse where their meals are scarce - such environments being deserts or tundra. Some lines of these “Insects” hitchhiked on radons and pig-o-dactyls beyond Dingus and into faraway ecologies to the east, soon becoming an almost global presence.