Thunderstorms are not the only lightning Pheromosa must dodge, for its most prevalent predator, Irozei, uses its Electric typing to its full advantage. Irozei earns its codename from the shape and function of its mouthparts, among other aspects of its strange biology. Its typing and needle-sharp features seem ill-suited to its habitat. The current hypothesis holds that Irozei's ancestors originated on the cold, dry, stormy peaks of the planet's mountain ranges and migrated to the desert regions when mountain-dwelling prey species went extinct.
At first glance, one would expect Irozei's pointed feet to sink right into the sand. Wherever possible, Irozei freezes groundwater to skate across a solid surface. By taking advantage of the composition of of the sand, they can levitate millimeters above the surface by supercooling their ceramic exoskeletons and magnetizing the minerals in the ground. Observation of juveniles and even neonates has revealed the same behavior, and so it is assumed that Irozei know the move Magnet Rise from birth.
By minimizing friction with ice, levitation, and a streamlined body, Irozei can hurtle across the desert at speeds nearing 170 kilometers per hour. Its leg muscles are a solid bundle within its exoskeleton much like Pheromosa's, though there is a much higher ratio of slow-twitch muscles. As a result, it takes longer to accelerate to top speed, but it can maintain it for longer as well. Once it has reached top speed, it can also tuck in its legs and glide using momentum alone, resting its limbs until it needs another burst of speed. It is the fastest pursuit predator known to science.
Irozei's prey of choice is Pheromosa. Their four sharp eyes have incredible depth perception and a knack for picking out the tiniest of motions against the sand. Once they spot a Pheromosa, the chase begins. They run them down for miles at blistering speeds with the goal of exhausting the Pheromosa to the point where it can run no longer. As soon as the Pheromosa tires and decelerates, the Irozei pushes it even further by chilling the area to well below freezing and striking the area with Thunderbolts to force the Pheromosa to dodge. Eventually the bug collapses, completely drained, and the Irozei paralyzes it with Thunder Wave and feeds. Its needle-sharp proboscis pierces through the shell of its prey and releases an enzyme that liquefies the prey's insides, which it sucks out until the prey is an empty husk. Although thoroughly adapted for the hunt, Irozei are omnivorous and will gladly plunge their probosces into plants, fruits, and flowers when available.
Though fast and powerful, Irozei is just as fragile as its prey in the defensive department. Any Pheromosa that chooses fight over flight is a threat. A single kick can shatter its ceramic carapace, which cannot grow back after the Irozei has lived beyond its final molt. With its innards and muscle exposed, it's practically already dead, and so it will use its electricity to short out its own brain to cut short its suffering. Irozei that die in this manner are cannibalized by other Irozei, most often by their children, siblings, or mates. In captivity, specimens display an impressive degree of intelligence, passing object permanence tests, the mirror test, word recognition, and command training. It is possible that this cannibal practice could be a funerary ritual.
Irozei hunt alone, but live and breed in groups. A pack can consist of a single mated pair or up to three family generations. Individuals mate for life, and the mating season occurs twice for each of Ultra Desert's 457-day years. Using electrical signals and magnetoreception, packs converge into vast colonies situated in sandstone caves and canyons. Here, young Irozei leave their packs to find mates. Eggs are laid one at a time, and the colony doesn't disperse until every last one of them has hatched.
Hatchlings are incredibly vulnerable; their carapaces are soft and must be fired gently using heat generated by adult's electricity. Despite the heat requirements to solidify their shells, they are still Ice-types and can be injured by overheating. Babies rely on adults for food. Adults store a nutrient-rich sludge of previous meals in their crop for their young. While the hatchlings are still young, their parents seek out healing berries to add to the mix so that they can survive the firing process. As they molt and grow larger, juvenile Irozei learn how to fire their own shells and hunt alongside their parents until they're ready to strike out on their own into the white dunes.