Springers (Arachnofelis var.), also called cave spiders, spider-cats and shrew-spiders, are eight-limbed quasi-mammalian carnivores. Their origin world is not known, but they are found throughout the coreward regions of the Imperium. Although spread widely by the mysterious Ancients, their range was increased considerably by colonists of the First Imperium, as a means for biological pest control.
Massing between 250 and 500 grams, springers average 15 centimeters in length. For reasons not completely understood, springers evolved from a four-limbed form. Each limb evolved into two, the upper portions shortening almost into non-existence. The powerful rear legs are adapted to leaping, and the remaining limbs are used for clinging to prey while poison (from two glands in the mouth) is injected.
Silk is excreted by glands in the upper chest area, which is hairless to prevent tangling. Two modified "thumbs" are used to draw the silk from the glands and manipulate it into a web. The silk produced is adhesive only when excreted, drying rapidly to a thick rope. Webs woven of it are coarse networks which signal the presence and location of prey.
Springers are hermaphroditic. Young are born live at any season, in litters of three to five. Since most of their milk glands have evolved into producing silk, springers supplement their youngs' diet with regurgitated, partially digested food.
Springers normally inhabit caves, dense forests, and rock crevices, but can often be found inhabiting piles of rubble and deserted buildings. While not normally dangerous to humans, their bite is painful, and the venom can cause death due to allergic reaction in some individuals.
|Number||Animal Type||Weight||Hits||Armour||Wounds and Weapons|
|1||Pouncer||0.5kg||1/1||none||1 (special)||Teeth||A7 F4 S3|
|Poison: roll 2 on 2D for an allergic reaction causing 3D hits.|
(JTAS-9: p36, 1107, article by Liz Danforth and Loren K. Wiseman, 1981; artist Liz Danforth, 1981 (see her Oakheart site for her current work); mine [effects of poison], 1120)
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