|Environment||Temperate and warm swamps|
|Images of stirges|
Source: Pathfinder Bestiary, pg(s). 42
A stirge, sometimes called a bloodbug or bloodseeker, is a cat-sized flying monstrosity with four bat-like wings, insectoid legs, and a large, needle-like proboscis that can drain the blood from a living host.
Habitat and ecology
Stirges nest in wetlands, near stagnant pools, and in abandoned buildings. A stirge nest is typically a foot-wide mass of mud and twigs, and the creatures rarely hunt far from their nesting area.
Stirges feed exclusively on blood and are especially drawn to large animals, such as livestock. While solitary stirges are timid beings and will flee from attackers, they are social creatures and often live in large groups referred to as clots. Stirges in a clot are often much bolder than solitary ones, and if a solitary stirge finds a potential meal it will emit a high-pitched keening to attract the rest of the group.
Stirges are often reviled by farming communities due to the damage their predations cause to livestock, although a folk aphorism says that the presence of stirges is a sign of a healthy herd. However, some isolated settlements keep captive stirges as pets and for dubious medical practices, such as drawing away bad humors or testing blood for poisoning. Worshippers of gods of disease and parasites often view stirges as sacred creatures and freely allow them to drink their blood.
Some boggard tribes cultivate stirge nests around the edges of their territories. In addition to using them as a deterrent against intruders, boggards also harvest the pelts and bones of animals killed by the stirges and consume the bloodbugs themselves, which are eaten after being fed the blood of specific creatures and drained of their last meal to make an additional jellied dish.
- Paizo Staff. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, p. 260. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-183-1
- Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Mark Seifter, et al. (2019). Pathfinder Bestiary (Second Edition), p. 42. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-170-2
- James Jacobs. (December 1, 2008). Beasts of the Black Blood, Paizo Blog.