Right, as the chat often gets derailed by this one due to the closeness of the term for crawling skin and having sex, I figured I'd post it in here for a little while to see if there's anything else I can polish on this one before I hopefully release it to the wild.
Have I missed something or is this a bug that whenever there's one on you, you start to think there are more and more on you?
In short, yes. I'm trying to work out how to make the point of "You really don't want this on you for too long" a little more obvious, without giving it all away completely.
I'm normally a fan of strange, anomalous evolutionary defenses on otherwise normal animals, but this is a bit too far on the inexplicable side in the sense that it's just not coming off as interesting to me.
Also, "skin or fur" of the target… I know that you're saying that animals like dogs or cats are affected by this, but as I can't figure out in my head how does a dog or cat tell us that this is happening I have a bad mental image of furries at the Foundation.
Any suggestions on bringing it back into line a little more for it to work?
As for the animals, I figured a reaction similar to large amounts of scratching before it becomes unbearable and the animal freaks out in the way it normally would (as a terrible example, my Border Collie would simply start flailing around on the floor trying to get it off).
It is not related to furrys, as between that and the formication issue, I'd never get any feedback, ever.
Maybe it can "echo" the nerve impulses its contact with the animal causes? It might have some kind of sensors on it's feet that can read the electrical impulses coming from the animal it's on, and then broadcast it to affect other parts of the body.
Is it parasitic in someway? I don't think it would be inherently beneficial for a beetle to be on an animal, but if it wants to feed off or lay eggs on an animal, giving that animal a bunch of false starts might be worth doing.