Their preferred habitat was among the planet's towering mushroom forests. The gelagrub had a wide mouth above which were two vertically aligned eyes, and two rows of stubby legs endowed with adhesive characteristics that enabled it to climb steep inclines. The gelagrub had to eat constantly to maintain its natural sunscreen.
They were easily domesticated creatures whose larval forms were used as mounts by Gossam colonists. Clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic also used them as mounts during the Battle of Felucia in the Clone Wars.
Like the rest of Felucia's flora and fauna, the gelagrub had its own unique adaptations to the intense ultraviolet rays of the planet's sun. The gelatinous larval form was, for example, one of many Felucian creatures with a shimmering, semi-transparent skin. It was able to metabolize UV-filtering chemicals from its lichen food source, and distribute them to hypodermic ducts, affording the gelagrub's internal organs a natural sunscreen. This also meant these creatures were constantly eating.
When a gelagrub pupated, the adult emerged as a hard-shelled ground creature, not unlike a giant beetle, with a mirrored carapace in the place of the larval translucent skin to reflect the worst of the sun's rays.
Rothana Heavy Engineering sold a genetically modified gelagrub that was designed to not pupate into their beetle form. They were used as mounts by Imperial troops. The company also offered freeze-dried packets of specially formulated food for their gelagrubs, in the event that the world they were dispatched to lacked any fungi such as mushrooms or similar fungus. Unlike other mounted creatures sold by Rothana, this did not have a specific price listed. Instead, they were available via special order only, and required a representative for the pricing.
Behind the scenes
The ground beetle was developed by ILM digital artist Paul Giacoppo as an entirely digital creature. Designed to fit into the Felucia environment, it had a translucent "gummy" like sheen.
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