|Environment||Oceans between Oragma and Maura|
|Reproduction||3-gendered egg laying|
|Feeding Behavior||Omnivorous filter-feeding|
|Distinctive Features||High trimorphic|
|Skin Color||Varies by gender|
|Creator||Somarinoa, based on work by Wylietrout|
Patchlungs are large organisms indigenous to the planet Gamila, related to the Patchbacks. Whereas the Patchbacks fly above the great Purple Forests of Maura, the Patchlungs instead have adapted to life in the shallow seas and oceans surrounding the areas between Oragma and Maura. Unable to breathe underwater, they must occasionally surface to fill their blue patch organ with "air" before diving again; a specialized flap has evolved to shut off their airway from their stomach so that they may continue to filter-feed. When they return to the surface they expel unused air through the holes lining the sides of the organ -- these have one-way valves to prevent them from drowning.
Patchlungs are notable for their heavy sexual trimorphism.
The Deposits are by far the largest of the three genders in the Patchlung. They appear quite similar to the Patchbacks, though their fins have become heavier and lobed to aid in pushing liquids. Their upper lip is also hooked and the inside of their mouths are a purplish-red. This gender spends most of their lives alone in the deeper ocean. During the months leading up to the breeding period however they begin stocking up food within their flatron organ, slowly mixing it with their own DNA. When the time comes they swim towards the shallow seas and gather together in pods -- usually as few as 20 but sometimes in groups of up to 100 or more. Here they meet with the second gender, the Transport.
Once their part of the mating process is accomplished, they return to the open ocean.
Deposit fry will swim out to sea once they have reached a juvenile stage, where they will fry and find an adult Deposit. If they do they will congregate under its fins and use its drift to stay in close contact with it. Should they fail to find a Deposit they will instead school together, though these schools often fall prey to a variety of predators.
The Transports have developed into poor swimmers. They are more adapted than the Deposits, and their open mouths have elongated into a semi-prehensile proboscis. During the majority of the year they can be found anywhere between the heavily populated reef-like areas and the continental shelf, where they use their large fins as makeshift limbs to steady themselves. Here they stick their proboscis down crevices and filter out plankton hidden within.
During the beginning of the breeding season, the Transports will use three sensory organs extending off their proboscis to detect the sonic "pings" of Deposits. They will then swim en masse towards any Deposit they detect; as they are poor swimmers this may take a week or so, and during this time they will not waste time feeding. However upon reaching a Deposit they will use suction pads on the underside of their fins to temporarily attach to the sides of the Deposit's head, and use the fleshy fringe around their own head to anchor themselves even more securely. From here they will unfurl their proboscis and stick it into the mouth of the Deposit and feed on the food/DNA mixture which the Deposit will begin to regurgitate. Because they live in the ocean instead of the sky, the proboscis is necessary to facilitate the species to waste as little of this slurry as possible.
Fully satiated, their stomachs distend and make them appear bloated. They will make their long trip back to the groves of aquatic plants closer to shore. During this time they will coat the food slurry in a protective shell casing. Once they arrive in the aquatic groves, they will meet with the final gender: The Host.
Transport fry will eventually make their way to the reef-like areas, where they will hide among the numerous crevices. While adult Transports will feed indiscriminately in here, few Transport fries are cannibalized as they can stick to the surface and avoid the suction of the adult's proboscis. Even so, some are still inadvertently consumed.
The Hosts are perhaps the most adapted of all three Patchlung genders.
During the breeding season, they will come into contact with the traveling Transport gender, which has arrived in the area to pass on their 'egg'. As the egg is larger than the Transport's proboscis, it will expand to let the egg slip out properly. The Host will then consume this 'egg' and return to the depths of the aquatic grove; the Transport will return to its own habitat for another Gamilian year.
For the next three Earth months, the Host will keep the makeshift egg in a specialized pouch organ inside its own body where it will continue to grow and develop. Their swimming skills help keep them safe. Once 3 months has passed the Host will regurgitate small, live fries. All three genders appear similar at this stage, but as they mature they will slowly shift into their final gender appearance. At a certain time they will migrate to their habitats.
Host fry will hide among the foliage of the grove until they are too large to lay on the leaves, at which point they will instead start swimming freely.