Flesh eating beetles against zombies?

We have got lots of giant and gross mutated bugs who have an appetite for survivor flesh, but what about beetles who will naturally decompose cadavers in real life?
I stumbled upon Flesh-Eating Beetles Explained (mostly sfw, but the picture might be a bit gross) and thought: Could insects like this, especially when mutated by the blob, actually harm the blob by eating the matter off (walking) corpses faster than the blob regenerates it?

Think of it like fist-sized parasites feasting upon zombies, weakening them. If I recall correctly, giant parasites existed in the past and feasted off mammoths and similar big animals. This particluar beetle I am talking about feeds on corpses only, so it would be hostile to zombies but ignores humans and ferals.

I can not think of any way how to implement it yet. Probably a permanent effect that does heavy damage over time, persists after death but can be cleaned by burning. Scorched zombies might have a resistance to them, as do hazmat zombies and potentially others.

I do not know how they would contract the effect either yet. The beetles naturally appear on decaying corpses. Since cockroaches can “zombify” when ingesting enough tainted material but these beetles naturally feed on corpses, I would argue they have a resistance against this.


As far as I understand zombies aren’t dead in the sense that their tissue is dead and rotting, but rather that the former creature has been replaced by blob infused living tissue with blob enhanced metabolic processes (they’re visible in IR). Thus, corpse eating bugs wouldn’t find much to eat, and even less to damage, in zombies.

As far as I understand zombies aren’t dead in the sense that their tissue is dead and rotting

Then that needs to be properly conveyed in-game:
if you “kill” a zombie and leave its corpse in a non-freezing place, after a few hours it will show as “corpse of [zombie name] (rotten)”. When it revives and you kill it again, it still remains rotten.

Also the fact that when you pulp them, “the blob” is unable to “repair them” either. So in that regard that type of creature would be able to find things to eat.

With the first point said, and if we accept that the zombies are not “decaying” nor “rotten”, I think that the currently existing insects should be hostile towards everything - zombies or not - if they are also hostile towards humans, then. It makes no sense for a Giant Lady Bug to tag-team with Zombies against Ants or a “survivor”/human NPC, with Zombies and Lady Bugs actively ignoring eachother like they aren’t there.

In the event that we don’t want Insects to be hostile towards Zombies, at least have Zombies be hostile towards them, and either have the insects ignore them until they lose a certain % of their health or just have them “flee” or something. (especially spiders, it literally makes no sense for spiders and zombies to be best buds).

I’d probably also argue that “The Blob” doesn’t necessarily need to be a “it takes over everything it touches. The End.” Making it so “The Blob” only has an interest in specific organic tissue would probably lead to having less trouble explaining stuff like “why are zombies evolving so quickly but otherworldy creatures aren’t affected by it?”

I’d also say that [and correct me if I am wrong here, please], I vaguely remember seeing somewhere that “The Blob” and “Slimes” are not the same thing - I’d argue that “Slimes” should be hostile against Zombies and Ferals in that case. (or hostile against anything really).

Mi-go are not affected by the blob because they’ve bio-engineer themselves to counter the blob. The mycus is also evolved to overcome the blob (they can take over zombies) at least in the short term (the blob will probably kill them off eventually, long after all “normal” life is gone).

Giant animals shouldn’t be friendly to zombies, only zombiefied animals should be. Giant wasps are famously aggressive towards zombies (too), but unfortunately many other arthropods aren’t, for some reason.

Supposedly, the blob can only work within a structurally working framework which is then repaired and modified. Pulping causes sufficient damage that the pile of tissue isn’t worth the effort to revive as it would just be a big blob of flesh. Crawling zombies supposedly are the result of revival of humans that had their legs crushed, so the legs couldn’t be repaired.

As far as I understand, slimes were originally “blob representatives”, but have since been separated from the blob into their own faction, but not particularly well: there’s a lot of work left to do in that department. However, goo traps are extremely effective against extremely dangerous zombies. I agree blobs ought to be hostile to everything but themselves.

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Is that true regarding the pulping? I guess I never thought about it like that. It’s unusual that the dissoluted devourers seem to be just that though…

It makes me feel like pulping needs to be reworked or reworded a bit. Maybe it’s just that the repair process requires so much metabolic energy it leaves them open to the bacteria that would break down their tissue and essentially starves the blob’s ability to fight off the death of the host. The extreme trauma just tips the scales in a war between blob metabolism and degredation.

Or maybe it just accounts for making too many holes in the vessel, creating an unviable host? Hmm…

Probably this. It is stated in the design document that the player shouldn´t be able to kill thousands of zombies en even if you could something should happen. This is becease just becease a corpse is pulped doesn´t render it inert (also design document). It is however very clear that zombie meat at some point does become inert, either after the corpse is cut up and tainted meat simply rots away or after a long enough time has passed the corpse simply rots away en turns into a pile of bones.

This clearly indicates that the blob will probably try to repair or salvage whatever it can from a copse but a pulpe corpse is simply too damaged for it to repair before all of the tissues die off. But if enough pulped corpses are present than the blob can still salvage enough to do something with them.

As for the question if beetles or other creatures should be hostile to zombies depend on two questions:

  1. Are the zombies hostile to them?

  2. Are the zombies a viable food source for this creature?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes than that creature should be hostile to the zombies. Either becease it has learned that zombies will always attack it and the only way to survive is to flee or to fight too the death. Or becease it sees zombies or certian types of zombies as very easy and plentiful pray that don´t run away.

The second question is the hard one to answer. We know that zombies are much harder to stomach than normal animals. However they aren´t completely indigestible as we can mutate to actually digest them. This means that normal predators wouldn´t be able to eat zombies but I strongly suspect that dedicated carrion eaters certainly could. So anything from vultures to crocs/alligators and your carrion beetles would probably pray on zombies if given the oppertunity. Wasps, bees and ants seem to eat zombie as they are explicitly hostile to zombies and some species have been known to eat rotten meat and carrion.

Other gaint insects are oppertunistic and strong enough to succesfully hunt certain types of zombies. The question however is if they could actually eat the zombies. It is also a question if flies would lay their eggs in a living zombie or even a reviving one. If they do than they could potentially paracitice zombies by the larva eating more flesh than it can regenerate to the point that it might not even revive anymore.