Deathmoths

From The Backrooms Wiki
Entity 4
Entity Class:            Class 3D
》Can attack wanderers but usually won't
》Unintelligent

A female deathmoth in Level 9. It should be noted that deathmoths are extremely rare in Level 9.

Deathmoths, occasionally known as death moths, are a moth-like entity of The Backrooms, found in most indoor and some outdoor levels.

Description

Deathmoths are a common moth-like entity within The Backrooms. They are found in most indoor levels, and are notable for their sexual dimorphism. While male deathmoths are small, easily scared, and sometimes kept as pets, females are huge, hostile, and able to produce acid that dissolves wanderers.

Appearance

Other than size, male deathmoths are not too different from female deathmoths. All deathmoths have four white wings, the top two have a black circular marking filled in with another white circle. Their bottom wings have the same marking, although it is less noticeable as the circle on the bottom is smaller and also faded. Their bottom wings are usually folded up, creating an appearance similar to bird wings. However, when aggravated, their bottom wings fan, making it clear the wings are separate. Their wing skeleton is black, but due to the thickness of their wings, it is barely visible on females.

Like all Lepidopterans, deathmoths have six legs. However, unlike most Lepidopterans, their legs lack joints and are very muscular. The legs of females start with a ball of fur. It is not known if this ball of fur is present on males, or if it is just too small to see. After this, their legs are almost gelatinous, and have another ball of fur at the bottom. Deathmoths rarely walk, so their legs exist to grab and crush things. Their legs are slightly brown.

The abdomen of deathmoths is furry and almost pure white. Like many moths, it is also segmented. Their thorax is slightly brown, and is just as furry. Although the size of deathmoths varies greatly, the abdomen is almost always about ~1.5 times as long as the thorax. The head of deathmoths is rather strange. Although the head does have both maxillary and labial palps, antennas, and is very furry, only male deathmoths possess a proboscis and large, compound eyes. Female deathmoths have small, non-compound eyes, unlike every other lepidopteran. Although they don't have teeth, female deathmoths possess an extremely strong bite, and a mouth shape similar to that of a giant isopod, another creature notable for its strong bite. One bite from a female deathmoth is reportedly enough to tear off a person's arm.

Social behaviours

Like many insects, deathmoths can be described as eusocial. However, their social structure operates very differently than other eusocial insects. Unlike bees and ants, workers are male, and there are no drones. Females are able to reproduce asexually, and males are completely infertile. Deathmoth colonies typically have several female “queens”. The sex of a deathmoth is not determined at birth, but is determined by the food they eat. Deathmoths that grow up to be male are usually fed scraps and vegetables, while those that grow up to be female are fed meat. Around ~10,000 deathmoths are born every month, of which only 2 are female. These female deathmoths, upon maturing, leave the colony to form a new one. This allows deathmoths to spread extremely quickly in areas where their growth isn't impeded. Deathmoth “queens” live around ~30 years, and, upon the death of one, the youngest female deathmoth in the colony is selected to be a new “queen”. The amount of “queens” per a deathmoth colony varies, but it is generally 2-5. However, colonies with as little as 1 and as many as 17 have been found.

Colonies have never been seen to have relations with other colonies, although deathmoths may “claim” territory using pheromones, which are places they plan to expand into.

Biology

Habitats

Like many insects, deathmoths are able to live in hostile environments, including places where humans can't. However, due to the size of females, places where deathmoths can set up colonies are severely limited. Deathmoths prefer semi-dark, slightly damp areas, which makes them rare in outdoor levels. They seem to have no problem with radioactivity and many toxins. Although male deathmoths can be seen almost everywhere in levels that have deathmoth colonies, females never leave their colony.

Although deathmoths live in many places, there are far more deathmoths in Level 5's boiler room than anywhere else, and it is widely thought they originated there.

Diets

Contrary to popular belief, deathmoths don't actively seek out wanderers. In fact, male deathmoths are completely herbivorous, and typically work collecting bits of moss and other small plants. However, female deathmoths are almost exclusively carnivorous. Most food female deathmoths eat is regurgitated food eaten by male deathmoths. They also practice cannibalism, eating dead deathmoths from their own colony. However, they prefer to eat actual meat. Female deathmoths have “hunting periods” lasting a few hours, in which they hunt for death rats and other small mammals in the immediate area around their colony. They don't usually go after wanderers or strong entities (such as facelings), as they see it as too risky and generally don't enjoy the taste. However, if they feel their colony is threatened, they will attack wanderers. If a wanderer or other entity is walking towards a deathmoth, they typically feel threatened. As soon as they feel threatened, male deathmoths release pheromones alerting female deathmoths that something is encroaching on their colony, if it isn't a “hunting period”. During “hunting periods”, it is safer to walk by, as female deathmoths will only attack wanderers that get uncomfortably close to them or their colony, or attempt to kill a deathmoth, rather than if a wanderer merely approaches. In very rare circumstances, female deathmoths will hunt nearby wanderers if they are very low on food. However, there are only 4 reports of this ever happening. The female deathmoths in these circumstances are weaker due to starvation and don't spit acid.

If a female deathmoth has been alerted or has otherwise decided to attack a wanderer, they first attempt to crush the wanderer with their legs and bite off their head. This usually kills an unarmed wanderer. However, if a wanderer prevents this attack by acting quickly, the female deathmoth will retreat, and instead spit acid. As it takes some time for the female deathmoth to aim, it is best to run away at this point. In most circumstances, if a wanderer escapes, deathmoths will no longer see them as a threat to their colony and will not pursue. However, if a wanderer doesn't escape or continues to assault the deathmoth colony, the female will spit acid, and this will dissolve the wanderer instantly, causing them to suffer an agonizing death. The acid is why large holes are common around deathmoth colonies.

Anatomy

Deathmoth anatomy is very similar to the anatomy of most moths, but with a few key differences. Firstly, female deathmoths lack compound eyes, and male deathmoths lack a reproductive system. The crop of deathmoths is able to convert any food into a meat-like substance in both deathmoth sexes, although only males utilize this.

Reproduction

Male deathmoths, despite being called male, lack a reproductive system. Female deathmoths reproduce asexually and continue to lay eggs from the point of maturation up until their death. Maturation varies between sexes, with males maturing in a few days and living around a month, and females maturing in a few years and living around 30 years.

Taming

Male and female deathmoths alike can be tamed by feeding them almond water. A tamed deathmoth will follow the wanderer who tamed them. Consistently feeding a male deathmoth almond water will eventually lead to it growing to the size of a small bird, and also significantly increase its intelligence. You can tame a female deathmoth, but it is very risky.

Dos and Don'ts

Do

  • Attempt to tame male deathmoths.
  • Be careful when approaching deathmoth colonies.

Don't

  • Fear male deathmoths
  • Attack deathmoths or deathmoth colonies.
  • Tame female deathmoths unless you are an experienced professional