The Thornback Crawler is a small insect species that can be found roaming in the Dangerous Dunes and Forgotten Forests biomes. It can be identified by its spiny, dark red abdomen, triangle-shaped tail, and six long legs. Its body is covered in a thick and spiky exoskeleton that protects it from the harsh desert environment. It has four tentacle-like organs that it uses to feel and detect small organisms from the ground, which it will then drag into its small mouth. The Thornback Crawler is a skittish AI that will flee from other creatures and players, as it has no means to defend itself except its exoskeleton.
This AI is the currently the most ideal food source for hatchlings and young dragons. Thornback Crawlers spawn in three different sizes and are able to provide food for smaller dragon species of all ages. They are currently the easiest prey to find in the game.
Thornback Crawlers are highly toxic, and eating too many can cause a dragon to become sick to the point of damage. In order to avoid becoming too sick, eat only a couple of Crawlers at a time, and sleep in between eating to reduce the effect of the toxins.
The Thornback Crawler is the first custom AI that was introduced with the open beta update. It can be compared to the Bulbous Spined Scrab.