Unknown, possibly insects
Sand cloud in appearance
|Out of universe information|
- "Alien entity, cloud, bugs, whatever it is we're calling them."
- —Tamara Johansen
The Dust bugs are microscopic insects native to a desert planet in an unnamed galaxy several billion light years from the Milky Way. They were the first alien species encountered by the Destiny expedition.
The dust bugs, individually, are too small to see with the naked eye. In large groups, they look like a floating cloud of sand. Properly nourished, they breed quickly, able to grow from a small group to a visible cloud within a few days. Their primary source of nourishment is water, which they can consume at a rapid pace. In tandem with their reproduction rate, a small group that stowed away on Destiny was able to consume 45,000 liters of water (roughly 45 tons) within days. They can also survive without any oxygen.
The dust bugs are normally docile, usually just feeding on whatever source of water they can find. They seem to be curious, examining any creatures they meet. However, they can be dangerous if provoked. When Cpl. Gorman fired his weapon at a swarm, it surrounded him and covered him in lacerations which proved fatal. Though not clear, they may be telepathic on some level, as Lt. Matthew Scott had visions while following a swarm. The same swarm also seemed to recognize him during their second meeting, forming themselves into a smiling face while hovering over him. (SGU: "Air, Part 3", "Water")
Sometime before first contact with the Destiny expedition, they seemed to have dried out the desert planet, which was once believed to be flourishing with life. They encountered the expedition in 2009, while a team was searching for lime to repair the CO2 scrubbers on board Destiny. Lt. Matthew Scott was initially the only known person to see them, though he was believed to have been hallucinating. He tested their intelligence and appetite by pouring water into the sand and watching while they moved to absorb it. He followed them, eventually coming upon a dry lake bed which held the lime he needed. When Scott collapsed from heat exhaustion, the bugs burrowed into the sand by his face, releasing water which revived him. (SGU: "Air, Part 3")
When Scott returned to the ship, a small number came with him, having clung to his clothing. They quickly started to breed by consuming the ship's water supply, draining nearly 45,000 liters without revealing their presence. The swarm eventually grew to a visible size. As the crew attempted to track them, the bugs mortally wounded Cpl. Gorman after he provoked them by firing his weapon at them. Eventually, the creatures were successfully lured into a water barrel, which the crew then threw through the Stargate to the Hoth planet. Upon arriving and escaping the barrel, they seemed to remember Scott and hovered around him, almost affectionately, as he lay asleep. They were able morph into a face and smiled reassuringly at Scott before flying off to explore their new home. (SGU: "Water")
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