(Ferrosolvens et al). Typical of a large number of metal-dissolving species discovered in various parts of the Imperium and its neighbors, Doyle’s Eel is a creature which has proved to be at best a nuisance, and at worst a serious danger to ships operating in deep space. Animals of this general type have evolved on many planets independently, and have since spread far and wide as they are carried by the ships they invade and infest.
Physiology & Ecology
An adult eel measures approximately one-third of a meter in length, with a diameter averaging ten centimeters.
Life Cycle & Reproduction
They are hermaphroditic in nature, with all individuals capable of laying eggs. In their natural environments, the eels seek out veins of metal ore in underground caverns, using a powerful acid secreted from organs located in their ventral surfaces to carve a protected nest into the rock. The eggs are deposited here. The adult remains in the nest until the eggs hatch, after which it usually dies.
The eggs hatch to produce larvae, which require up to a year of nearly constant feeding before they enter a metamorphic stage and emerge as small adults. The adults continue to eat and grow until mating; once the animal lays its eggs and begins standing vigil, it stops eating - eventually starving to death.
Diet & Trophics
Doyle's Eel is a silicon-based life form which ingests metals - especially iron, tin, copper, or zinc. By bathing these metals in acid solutions, they generate a weak electrical current, upon which they live (the exact process is ill-understood, and still under study).
History & Background
They pose a triple danger to humans directly - powerful jaws (which have been known to shear a two centimeter copper tube), a powerful electric jolt, and a strong acid secretion (which has no effect on the eel itself because the various organs which store and secrete these acids are complex "organic ceramics" not affected by the acid).
Their greatest threat to humans, however, is indirect. If an eel should get aboard a ship and lay eggs, that ship can face a severe problem. Once larvae are hatched, these tiny nuisances are likely to get almost anywhere - and have a special desire for silicon, some plastics, and other elements of shipboard electronics, computer, and avionics systems (to build up their body tissue). A ship infested with these creatures will suffer from numerous electrical breakdowns, often at critical points, as the larvae reach sensitive parts of the ship.
Travellers' Aid Society Advisory
No information yet available.
References & Contributors
- Periodical: Classic Traveller Journal of the Travellers Aid Society No. 15
- MegaTraveller Journal 2 'Defying the Wolf'
- Author: John Marshal
- JTAS Best of Volume 4
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science