Hellbugs are a mutated form of a rather harmless insect species from the Votanis system. Samples of these creatures were brought aboard the Arks on the voyage to Earth. During the Arkfall disaster, their DNA rained down upon the planet, only to be reconstructed by the terraformers and twisted into a new and dangerous form of life. Hellbugs are vicious predators that live in large collectives, usually within underground caverns in the terraformed frontier.
Hellbugs come in a variety of shapes. The smallest are Skitterlings – baby Hellbugs that are nimble and deadly when attacking in swarms. Warriors, Archers, and Monarchs comprise the soldiers of the Hellbug army. At the top of the food chain is the Matron: a single momma Hellbug found in each nest who is the progenitor of the species. Rumors persist of an even larger form of Hellbug – the Hellion. If the stories are to be believed, Hellions are several stories tall and carry an army of smaller Hellbugs within their own bodies.
One might wonder why there hasn't been more of an effort to eradicate the entire species. The answer is simple: Hellbugs produce one of the most powerful forms of fuel on the planet. They ingest gulanite ore as a digestive aid, which is transformed inside their bodies and excreted. Hellbug shtako contains unrefined petrohol – the main fuel source for rollers and other vehicles in the new frontier.