Radiosuck

From 2speccers2tools wiki

Occurring simultaneously with the evolution of the Mushrad, a few Recycling Radiobush spores, peculiarly enough, settled on a live surface - specifically a Radiotree. Employing the same digestive functions as they would on a corpse, these outliers found a surprising source of nutrition; this event would prove to be the start of a major genetic divergence. When radiobiotes sent spores into the air, these would then end up on other, similar hosts. While the first few generations significantly damaged their floral hosts’ health, the combination of high spore production and a pinch of radiation-induced gene alteration meant that beneficial mutations would spread easy among their successors. With each new generation, they became better adapted for a parasitic life: they grew much smaller to get by on less of their hosts’ vital fluids, and once they got full, they developed a coagulant to halt host bleeding. In due time, these changes would accumulate to the point in which these radiobiotes became a distinct species - the Radiosuck. The Radiosuck typically spends its time situated on a floral host, passively feeding on its vital fluids. It inherited ancestral adhesives in order to remain on a host. A modified form of its ancestral corpse-digesting enzymes is employed to burn a small patch through its host’s cuticle, gaining access to the goodies within. Most of its hosts are large enough in comparison to fall only moderately ill at worst after a feeding; although it does feed upon some smaller hosts like the Radioweed, those do not consistently provide as much nourishment and more often than not fall severely ill afterwards, which is not optimal for an organism that prefers its hosts to survive. After the Radiosuck has its fill, it secretes a coagulant compound stimulating its host to quickly mend its wound and sluggishly moves on via simple muscles.

Although a seemingly easy snack, predators are easily dissuaded from eating the Radiosuck as it possesses a significantly high spite content in its tissues, advertised by a garish display of colors reminiscent of those on an easter egg. These colors are formed from variant accessory pigments, so it could still perform photosynthesis well enough in a pinch.

A particularly nourished Radiosuck would likely spew forth a brief mist’s worth of spores from an inner chamber. These spores would soon develop into minute larvae complete with feathery setae on their fronds enabling continued airborne transport. Once larvae have grown large enough, they shed their setae and their fronds atrophy. By the time the Radiosuck has become a distinct species, the Recycling Radiobush has already been outcompeted to extinction by the Mushrad; by sheer technicality, this means that the Radiosuck has replaced its ancestry.