Diet: Aquatic vegetation, meat after metamorphosis
Length: 1-5 feet, 2-20 feet after metamorphosis
Lifespan: 1-3 years before metamorphosis, 15-40 years after
Habitat: Nearly any body of freshwater and adjacent territories
A common sight and a country delicacy alike, crabpoles are found in nearly any pond big enough to support them, nibbling away at detritus that makes its way into their homes. They come in a broad range of sizes, colors and shapes, although most locals don’t care much for the details. Unless they live by a lake, they only tend to interact with the smaller species, those localized to small streams and ponds. Crabpoles of lakes and larger rivers can grow much larger and even, rarely, be dangerous to humans, cutting or crushing with their claws, normally only used for processing food.
After metamorphosis, crabpoles are entirely carnivorous, ranging from tiny hunters of insects to titanic beasts that easily kill most lifestock. Their preference is for prey that can fit into their mouths with one bite, but they will kill larger prey with their claws before pulling it apart. In behavior, they are as diverse as crabs and frogs alike, some living in the desert and burrowing, others preferring to hop along temperate hillsides. Some strange peoples of the swamps are known to ride giant crabpoles in battle, although they are difficult to control with finesse and tend to attack whatever target they can swallow whole, not the most strategically viable one.