To Lorekeeper Matteo,
I have so much information to share with you, so I beg your patience with the length of this letter. The hunter I spoke of in my previous letter, he goes by the name of Jackson, has been able to get me within observation distance of the raknar hive. This would not be possible if not a clever little device Jackson has permitted me to borrow for my research. It is a long tube with glass lenses on either end that allows one to see over great distances with amazing clarity. I will include a sketch of the device for you to consider, but I digress.
I have been observing the hive for over a week now, and it is quite fascinating. The hive itself is a collection of individual nests that each raknar weaves out of silk. They then expel an egg-sack from their abdomen into the nest. When the eggs hatch, the raknar spend their time bringing prey back to the nest for their young to consume. In a matter of days, the young reach the size of a large dog then leave the nest to fend for themselves. At that time, the process repeats itself. I have seen several hatchings so far, and it seems that the color of the mother has no effect on the color of the offspring. I have observed on particularly large black raknar hatch out red, blue, green and violet colored offspring.
Thanks to Jackson’s seeing-tube, I can study the interactions between individual raknar. While it is clear that they have a hierarchy within the group, they are not operating on the same level of cooperation as say a beehive or ant nest. Each raknar is independant from the hive, and it would seem they use cooperation for mutual gain rather than acting under the direction of a queen. Or perhaps it is more correct to say that each raknar is a queen unto themselves.
Through my observations of the species, I have seen a wide amount of variation in the color and shape of the mature raknar carapaces. However, based on my research from the dissections and now from this social study, I must conclude that the raknar are of but one gender and reproduce through parthenogenesis. Certainly not something unique in the insect world, that is for certain, but still very unusual to see in such a large species.
Jackson and I shall remain here for another week, but I am uncertain if I can learn anything more at such a distance. What I need now to progress my research is a live sample that I may interact with to determine more about these magnificent creatures. I will have to convince the men when I return to capture one for study.
Your ever-faithful servant,
Keeper Bartal Talmason