|Environment||Near the entrances of Ancient Hives, out of direct contact with sunlight|
|Locomotion||Rolling; occasional crawling|
|Prey||Carrion, plant or fungi|
|Predators||Numerous — Roalches are at the bottom of the food web|
|Personality||Shy towards living creatures or mobile plantlife/fungilife|
|“Roalches are a minor but extremely important little detritivorous species on the planet Tozect. Normally known for their movement by curling up and rolling, this particular breed are instead larger and apparently incapable of rolling”|
|—Vacotor Database description, Terran translation|
Roalches are the lowest known part of much of the remaining food webs on the planet Tozect, their homeworld. As with most other species that continue to eke out a living on the planet, they reside within the Ancient Hives as the surface has become far too hot to support most forms of life.
- Species Type: Cold-blooded Subterranean Crustaceanoid
- Lifestyle: Solitary Detrivore
- Hunt/Forage Success Rate: 100% Scavenge (95% success rate)
- Armor: Possess a shell-like exoskeleton. This usually provides adequate defense; however, when the Roalch grows too large for its exoskeleton, it must be shed -- in Roalches it is shed progressively. This means the moult takes place in two stages. The posterior half of the exoskeleton is lost first, soon followed by the anterior half a few days later. During this time the Roalches are defenseless, and generally are forced into hiding.
- Defenses: Roalches can curl up into a defensive ball to protect against same-sized foes and predators. However, this defense is useless against significantly larger foes.
- Weapons: Although not generally considered weapons, a Roalch can use its retractable mandibles in a very tight bind. This allows them to bite straight through flesh, but it cannot bite clean through bone or metal. After such an attack is made, the Roalch will usually make an attempt to flee.
- Tools: Roalches cannot manipulate their environment.
- Method of Eating: Unspecified
- Reproductive Rate: Roalches have no defined mating season; they will mate only when enough energy can be spared to breed (in other words, if there's enough food supply to make it not a waste of time). If these conditions are constant, as they are in the most populated of the ancient hives, Roalches will generally breed every 6 Earth months.
- Gestation: Females gestate the eggs for up to a week (although the general amount of time is about 3 days) before laying the eggs and attaching them to the outside of her own body.
- Offspring Incubation: The eggs are carried by the female in a patch on the underside of her body near her drygills, for a total of 2 weeks until they finally hatch, at which point they're on their own. These offspring are generally colored white.
- Number of Offspring: 100-1000 roalchlings — this number is dependent entirely on the quantity of food in their home. The greater the food supply, the more energy the female can use to make eggs safely. Same goes for the male.
- Offspring Survival Rate (before age of maturity): Unspecified
- Singular/Plural/Possessive: Roalch / Roalches / Roalchen
Roalches are the major decomposers of their homeplanet of Tozect. They live strictly underground, and are generally found infesting the many crevices and cracks in the walls of the ancient hives; hives remaining from a gigantic worm, now believed to be extinct. They have a rigid, segmented, and calcareous exoskeleton, and fourteen jointed limbs.
Like most species that remain on the planet, they will perish if they venture to the surface, due to the actions of the local sapients, the Toryds several decades ago.
They breathe through gills specialized for the atmosphere of Tozect called drygills. The name is somewhat misleading, as the Roalches still require moisture to breathe, only very minute traces of it.
Roalches are usually found close to the entrance of the ancient hives that dot the vast deserts that make up Gleamia. Generally nocturnal, they hide during the day to try and avoid death by desiccation. However, if a creature drops dead, the Roalches will sense it with their very sensitive tentacles and their single, cyclopean compound eye, retract their eye and curl up into a ball, rolling towards the sensed prey. Once they arrive, they uncurl and climb on the body, where they tear at the flesh with their retractable mandibles. This ball-like form can also be used if the Roalch is cornered or attacked, as it provides excellent defense against same-sized foes (although a single foot fall could easily crush it).