As a parody of the super soldier questions and as an efficient way of organizing these questions I will now start this series of questions about Pseudo-Arthropod Primates.

Previous questions from this thread.:

Pseudo-Dragonfly Wing Rib Muscles

Exoskeleton Mimicking Armor Plating

As an overview of what these creatures exactly are: well, they aren't any more related to arthropods than you or me. Just think of armadillo armor placed on primates to make a humanoid arthropod look alike.


Okay so I want to put Robber Fly mouth parts on a human, so my question is what kind of human equivalent of these mouth parts could functionally be engineered?


  • cut through flesh and bones with ease
  • inject the robber fly toxin and enzymes to break down flesh
  • ability suck out the goopy insides

2 Answers 2


"Evolution is the process of old genes learning new tricks."

Let's start with the only known venomous primate.

  • Slow lorises have two toxic compounds that they are capable of delivering: their cytotoxic saliva, and brachial gland exudate (BGE) that contains high amounts of allergens.
  • Combined, they can cause necrosis and anaphylactic shock.

  • The brachial gland is on the inside of the upper arm, and slow lorises combine the toxins by licking the area while grooming.

  • The method of injection is a modified lemuriform toothcomb.



Let's look at a robber fly.

  • They also have two toxic compounds: their hydrolytic enzymes in their saliva, which begins dissolving cells for the robber fly to suck up, and various neurotoxins.
  • Combined, these toxins cause necrosis and paralysis.
  • Both toxins are produced by the fly's saliva glands.
  • The method of injection is a needle-like hypopharynx that sits above the fly's food canal within a highly sclerotized proboscis. (You can see the proboscis... moving... at 0:40 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sEBPj_UtTM )

So how do we get from the first to the next?

  • You don't need the BGE. Not a lot is known about slow loris saliva, but we can either assume it's cytotoxic because it's also hydrolytic, or we can evolve it so that that's the case.
  • You'll have to evolve a paralytic neurotoxin.
  • You'll have to evolve glands within the mouth that produce the neurotoxin.
  • You'll have to evolve the toothcomb into a hypopharynx that's separate from the food canal (the food canal is the part of the mouth with the tongue, that goes down to the stomach, etc).
  • Since toothcombs are on lower jaws, the hypopharynx will actually be under the food canal, within the proboscis, instead of above it.
  • Sclerotization is the process of covering chitin (what exoskeletons are made of) with hardened keratin proteins, similar to horns or fingernails in mammals. In your primate, the bones of the upper and lower jaws would evolve into the separate "straws" of the food canal and hypopharynx, respectively. The "straws" would then be fused together into a single proboscis by a hardened keratin, "horny" material that would cover and protect the proboscis.
  • The needle-like hypopharynx would be made of dentin, and depending on the muscular structure of the lower "straw-jaw," might be retractable when not in use. In either case, I would make them rather short: no longer than one sixth the length of the proboscis itself. You can see how long the proboscis is in relation to the rest of the head here:



Mouth parts with your requirements could be based off of a snake's fangs (for injecting toxin). There would be long fangs, but not too long to be structurally weak. More canines could be added (with similar placement to human canines) for piercing flesh and bones. The fangs could also be used to rip said flesh and bones, with a tube in the center to deliver the venom. The creature would have a tongue, I would assume, because you are making a "scientifically semi-valid pseudo-arthropod primate." The tongue helps with the sucking of the 'goopy insides'.


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