Monster Hunter World

Scoutfly: An Ecological Study [x-post from /r/MonsterHunterWorld]

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*Disclaimer: Some of the things written here are theory and/or speculation and therefore not canon.*

In the wild, scoutflies usually make their homes near plants, nesting in vines when possible. From here, when they smell other creatures approaching, the scoutflies circle around nearby herbs, plants, and even corpses, with their green bioluminescence to attract hungry creatures. Once the creature they attracted are satisfied with their meals, the scoutflies take their turn to finish what is left. By highlighting edible berries and herbs, scoutflies help plants spread their seeds, while highlighting corpses will help secondary consumers to stay alive.

While Scoutflies are omnivores and will eat just about anything, they curiously lack any kind of salivary glands, and thus lack the enzymes to break down any food material on their own. It is theorized that over time, natural selection choose the scoutflies with a brighter glow, to make them more noticeable to other animals, in exchange for their salivary glands. As such, they are completely dependent on the presence of other animals, without which, they would starve to death.

The objects they tend to highlight depends on what creatures are found near them. For instance, if a majority of the fauna are herbivores, the scoutflies will eventually stop highlighting nearby corpses and instead focus on highlighting edible herbs and berries. If they had instead made their homes near a pack of Jagras, they would instead begin to highlight animal corpses.

In addition to their usual green glow, scoutflies emit a red glow when they detect the prey drive of carnivores and aggression of larger creatures to their feeders. Most herbivores have learned to interpret this as a warning sign and are quick to beat a hasty retreat. In doing so, the scoutflies preserve their feeding partners for another day.

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In the presence of Elder Dragons, scoutflies begin to give off a blue hue in reponse to their scent. At first, biologists thought the blue was caused due to the scent of an Elder Dragon's Blood. However, since the appearance of tempered monsters, which also causes the scoutflies to emit a blue light, the theory was scrapped since not all tempered monster have Elder Dragon Blood. The current accepted theory is that the scoutflies give their blue light when they resonate with the Everstream's bioenergy both present in Elder Dragons and Tempered Monsters.

When talking about Scoutfly ecology, it is hard to avoid talking about their relationship with the humans and Wyvernians of the New World. Since their discovery by the First Fleet, scoutflies were trained and bred to work with us in our exploration of the new continent. We carefully studied their natural habitats and replicated their preferred living spaces using loose vine balls in which the scoutflies most often make their homes.

To feed them, we bring partially digested foods, usually in the form of chewed foods, into their cages. In return, they follow us in their portable cages and light up resources and monster tracks for us. Scoutfly scent memory becomes sharper the more they are exposed to certain scents, and like in the wild, they will eventually forget the scents of things that seem no longer important to their carrier.

Today, it is hard to imagine what our lives would be without scoutflies. Now a staple for every hunter in the New World, these bioluminescent flies are arguably the unseen backbone of the Research Commission's success. Their ability to locate and track creatures and even mark other resources have made us dependent on them for the purposes of hunting, survival, and research. Equipped with one the strongest scent memories of any creature known to us thus far, these incredibly symbiotic creatures continue to live in harmony within all reaches of the New World.

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