Morphology and Physiology
The Atarsids are akin to large, sentient arachnids, who dwell to the rimwards of Starmourn, scattered on the five lush and resource-rich garden planets of The Shimea System. Despite their grotesque appearance to many humanoids, these hairy creatures have a sophisticated culture, advanced technology, and a corner on the interstellar fabrics market (their race invented/produces most of the Fabrisilk in the galaxy).
At peace after many centuries of interplanetary war, the Atarsid have formed a complex and fair democratic government (The United Atarsid Nations) that has lasted for several decades now. Though extremely short lived (about 15-20 standard years), this race tends to produce a higher than average percentage of thinkers and inventors.
All juvenile atarsids are female, only developing male sex organs by necessity, which usually happens (if it's going to happen) at around five years old, but can happen at any time in their life. If this change happens at the transition to adulthood (which is encouraged in a percentage of the population and considered an honor), it somewhat halts the development of the rest of their bodies. For this reason, adult male atarsids tend to be lighter and more agile while female atarsids have heavier bodies, shorter legs, and metasomas that are lighter, shorter, and thicker. Both sexes are coated in a thick layer of hair, which varies from black, brown and dark, muted colors right through to a rose or amber hue. They are also equipped with a stinger, which in females is filled with a nasty toxin, but which diminishes greatly in males. Females also sting at faster rates and are much more feisty and likely to attack if threatened. Males tend to be very chilled out.
Not a huge amount is recorded about the history of the Atarsids, except that their government is known as the United Atarsid Nations and that they suffered greatly as the Cleax tore through their systems during the Third Cleax Invasion. They are prominent, however, in that after that invasion, they established the Hon-En-Tur Exaltation to perfect cloning technology and replace their population via cloning. Now, the Hon-En-Tur Exaltation is the premiere cloning operation in Starmourn.
They are often allied with the Y'saari, and as the two races run cloning and money respectively, together it is often said that between them they hold all of the power in the sector.