Thresher maws are subterranean carnivores that spend their entire lives eating or searching for something to eat. Threshers reproduce via spores that lie dormant for millennia, yet are robust enough to survive prolonged periods in deep space and atmospheric re-entry. As a result, thresher spores appear on many worlds, spread by previous generations of space travelers.
The body of a thresher never entirely leaves the ground; only the head and tentacles erupt from the earth to attack. In addition to physical attacks, threshers have the ability to project toxic chemicals and emit bursts of infrasound as a shockwave weapon.
The Alliance first encountered threshers on the colony Akuze in 2177. After contact was lost with the pioneer team, marine units were deployed to investigate. The shore parties were set upon by hungry threshers, and nearly the entire assault force was killed. Alliance forces recommend engaging threshers with vehicle-mounted heavy weapons.