Within the full and rich tomes and charters of the various organisms that inhabit our world here exist countless reports and descriptions of the most marvelous creatures, each more fantastic than the last. But, without fail, standing out among the plethora of living things has been a species very near and dear to many of our hearts. I speak of course, of the spycrab. The spycrab, as all competent mercenaries know, is endangered, as they are largely without defense; harmless, charming little creatures, so docile, so full of life. But, the fight for there conservation has been a long and hard-fought one, one that is not over. But rejoice, biologists of all sorts, for victory may be in the foreseeable future. The beloved spycrab... has begun to evolve. Edit
This new spycrab, dubbed the hermit spycrab, or Decipio Domus (Domus being Latin for "house"), is very much like the standard spycrab with which many are familiar, with the exception of the iconic shell. Once a hermit spycrab has reached maturity(or, on occasion, before), it searches for and acquires it's shell, which tend to exhibit a certain set of traits; The shell is typically large enough for the spycrab to hide it's entire body inside of, is usually pale brown in colour, and more often than not will possess a series of markings that match the chitin of the creature. Aside from this shell, it is almost indistinguishable from another spycrab, with a single trait being the exception. When traveling in their shell, they do not raise their claws into the air, instead keeping them within the safety of the shell, leaving their legs the only part exposed. When they feel threatened, and that they need to hide, they fully withdraw leaving nothing outside of the shell.
The mating habits of the hermit spycrab are strange. The male, after collecting a small piece of genetic material, will exit it's shell, and proceeds to open the claw holding the material. It then uses the other to pick up and toss this piece at the female. More virile males will exit their shells first, and then proceed to release a cloud of material. After a few days, these eggs, kept in the shells of their parents, hatch into shpees(young juveniles), which will remain there for a time. When the usually abundant space within the shell begins to run low, and the shpees have metamorphosed, gaining all of the features and coloration of adulthood, they will leave the shell to seek one of their own, and thus the cycle repeats. ==
The hermit spycrab has been seen exhibiting a unique symbiotic relationship with small, semi-aquatic reptiles resembling striped vipers with luminescent eyes, which are able to change the color of their scales(usually to match the hermit spycrabs own coloration). These serpents make their homes on the crabs themselves, both in the shell and out, and in exchange for safety, feed on parasites and other small creatures on or near their "host". It should be noted that they pose no threat to the shpees of the hermit spycrab, and will in fact use the painful toxin in their bite to protect them from threats, and in a few rare cases, should the parent die, they have been seen raising the shpees as their own. Both the crustaceans and the reptiles seem to also enjoy the companionship resulting from this union.
ADDITION 9-1-2015-1: A series of reports has recently begun to come in noting another interesting example of cross-species relations. Despite the pyroshark's traditional role as the crab's predator, cases of positive interaction between the two have been documented, with one notable pyroshark, along with several other mercs and activists who eventually began to follow his example, acting as a sort of protector, a guardian of the troop of hermit spycrabs he had found. He was seen fiercely protecting his charges from predators, primarily pseudo-spycrabs, including one particularly nasty individual. Stranger still, once the pseudo-spycrab in question had successfully inflicted a serious injury upon their companion, the troop of crustaceans demonstrated an aggression uncharacteristic to spycrabs, fighting off the predator before it finished him off, quickly returning to their natural temperament as soon as the coast was clear. As far as This community knows, this pyroshark watches over the creatures to this very day.
Essentially ALL predatory tf2nimals, such as pyrosharks, sniperdiles, and especially pseudo-spycrabs. Their only defenses aside from hiding in their shell are those of the common spycrab OH WAI-
While all of hermit spycrabs are of the same species, there are a few traits, or bloodlines, that some look out for:
Gargoyle Hermit Spycrab - Horn/Horn-like features/More intimidating face with fangs
Vampire Hermit Spycrab - Skeletal patterns across body/Fangs+Broad fin on the back
Bandit/Zebra Hermit Spycrab/Raccoon Hermit Spycrab - Dark band on the eyes/Stripes on the chest
REQUIRED AND RECOMMENDED ITEMSEdit
Box Trot Taunt - Shell
(Optional) Default Disguise Kit Taunt - Male Ready to Mate
(Optional) Buy a Life Taunt - Virile Male Ready to Mate
(Optional) Spycrab Misc - Offspring/Shpee/Shpeecrab
(Optional) Swarm Parasite Misc - Offspring/Shpee/Shpeecrab/Parasite
(Optional) Backstabber's Boomslang - Symbiotic Reptile
(Optional) (Spine-Chilling Skull or Noh Mercy)/Brimmstone - Gargoyle Hermit Spycrab
(Optional) Voodoo-soul/Foul Cowl - Vampire Hermit Spycrab
(Optional) L'homme Burglerre/The Escapist - Bandit/Raccoon Hermit Spycrab/Zebra Hermit Spycrab