|Homeworld||Trees (HD 3823 II)|
|Body Type||Hexapodal arthropod|
|Behind the Scenes|
|Created by||Todd Drashner|
Honeywhips are sentient, non-sapient lifeforms native to planet Trees in the Orion's Arm science fiction setting.
The honeywhip is generally described as looking like a cross between a terran king crab and a beetle. It possesses an armored body and six long, chitinous legs (usually 3 times the diameter of its torso) which end in hooks used to anchor itself to the trees in which it lives. Its coloring typically serves as camouflage in its native environment. Along its back, where a crab would have a single continuous carapace, the shell is split into two halves that hinge outward like the wing cases on several species of Terran insect.
When the shell of opens, it reveals a set of sharp mouth parts and one or more spinnerets used to produce its hunting silk. The honeywhip gets its name from the sweet-smelling strands or whips of sitcky "silk" that it spins out from its body to catch prey. Depending on the species, it may produce anywhere from one to six strands which it dangles from its body while hanging upside down under a convenient tree limb. Each strand is tipped with a drop of aromatic but extremely sticky fluid, which it uses to attract the insect equivalents of the local Trees ecosystem. When the creatures try to feed on the "nectar", they get stuck and become further entangled as they struggle, and are pulled into the Honeywhip's maw.
They come in a variety of sizes and species, ranging from the dwarf honeywhips (also known as miniwhips), of the northern arctic forests, with an average leg span of 1 centimeter, to the elusive giant honeywhip (legspan: 1/3 meters) of the Wirali Archipelago.
Both the silk and "honey of the honeywhip are produced naturally as a byproduct of its digestive processes. Although it is classified as an "animal" type life form, the honey of the honeywhip bears more of a resemblance to the secretions of terran carnivorous plants, rather than its namesake.
Two of the most famous honeywhip species are the rainbow honeywhip (which hunts in slowering trees, and is colored accordingly) and the skunkwhip, which uses silk that smell like rotten meat to attract carrion eating prey, not unlike the genus of flowering parasitic plants of Rafflesia on Earth.