Burnflies are classified as "Composite" in the classical biological taxonomy, as they are both "Insectile" and "Nocturnal". Tiny, bioluminescent, winged creatures, they are social but not hive organisms. Burnflies are trainable and long lived. They mate one to one, hunt in packs, and are found wherever moderate temperatures and an ample supply of prey smaller than themselves can be found. In most regions they are encouraged and welcomed; they control agricultural pests, add a brilliance to rural evening and morning landscapes, and are even used in some forms of modern art.
They are among our closest relatives in the animal kingdom despite the vast difference in size, their lack of prehensile thumbs, and their bioluminescence; they share our flexible abdominal carapaces, high-set composite eyes, and third external mandibles. Contemporary Cataclysmatologists suggest that our common ancestor lived as recently as -10,000,000 EC, rising shortly after the fall of the Avazian culture. Indeed, in some regions they are referred to as "Homonoculus Bugs", due to their physical likeness and clever (though sometimes mischievous) natures.
More important than providing clues to our biological history or protecting our crops, however, is the beauty and inspiration they provide. Alarius, late in his life, wrote this journal entry after watching Burnfly swarms at play above the falls along Cataract Road :
All reason, all my works, and every step along every sugro-nanit. They understand not a word, and care nothing for any of it. And this is as it should be. I am rewarded not for doing, but just for seeing.
--Joe Bowers 01:08, 11 Sep 2004 (EDT)
A "third external mandible?!" I've been wondering what the hell that thing was. --Morbus Iff 12:51, 11 Sep 2004 (EDT)