The Umbrites come from the densely populated planet of Zhu-Zhu Hwai in the Triangulum Galaxy, where eight billion citizens live in elaborately constructed underground warrens ranging in population from hundreds to the 185 million who live in Plyx Gribnath, the Umbrite capital. Their governments are localized communes that cooperate and are very interconnected.
Umbrites are robust bipeds averaging 1.6 to 2 meters tall, with blue skin, deep-set eyes and a set of powerful pincers on their faces. Descended from a species of subterranean tunnelers, Umbrites are impressively strong and well-adapted to low-light conditions. They are very muscular and strong, and tend not to speak very often. Because of their physical adaptations for strength and sociological characteristics of warren living, they are one of the few Commonwealth species that is ideally suited for space travel.
As befits their insectoid social structure, Umbrites tend to be highly cooperative beings, renowned for their deep friendships with other beings (even across species lines) and loyalty. Umbrites have also adapted particularly well to life in a starfaring civilization, perhaps because the confined spaces of space travel remind them of life in the warrens of home. During the Commonwealth era, many Umbrites served on starships and orbital stations, and to this day Umbrites can still commonly be found living on Drifts, spacecraft and other celestial habitats. They were highly prized on starships, especially on deep space or long term scouting missions, as they are accustomed to being in cramped environments, and because of their muscular physique, they can withstand many different levels of gravity.
Despite a vaguely mammalian biologic resemblance, Umbrites reproduce much like insectoids. Umbrites have three genders-males, sterile females, and fertile females. Before the Umbrites developed technology and civilization, males existed only to fertilize the females, and once born the resulting young were fed and raised by the sterile females. But while their biology has remained the same, Umbrites have over the millennia developed more egalitarian ways of handling reproduction and child rearing.