The jetdarter is a small, common, multicolored flyer from Darwin IV that comes in several different species and is the prime opportunistic scavenger of the planet.

One species is the brilliant-colored rainbow jetdarters, which can flash through foliage in small, scavenging schools.

Another species is the cobalt jetdarter, which (like any jetdarter species) makes polyhedral hives in plaque-bark trees (sometimes in trees that grow on the backs of keeled grove-backs).

Jetdarter Anatomy

The jetdarter retracts and folds its legs into aerodynamic trim for flight. Powered by the biological equivalent of a ramjet engine (with a bone-and-gristle turbine), this swift flyer sometimes reaches speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour.

In attendance to a large predator chasing down a smaller-sized prey animal (such as an arrowtongue chasing down thornbacks), a school of jetdarters will follow, the small flyers opportunistically sensing an imminent kill. When feeding on a carcass, a dozen or more jetdartes will gather, often leaving bloody tracks across the dead body's back. When a big predator approaches the carcass, they immediately take flight.

When a nest is disturbed, a stream of angry jetdarters will sometimes harass a perpetrator, diving and pecking at it.

The jetdarter itself is the main prey of the finned snapper.

Rainbow jetdarters