Tenublians are an alien species- a cross between a jellyfish and squid.
The naturally float in the vast dense atmosphere of Tenube, a gas giant in the outer region of the Larger Magellanic cloud. Males leave their his homeworld to seek adventures across the Local Group, which means among the action-loving humans in their Milky Way Galaxy. If they survive they will one day return to mate with higher ranked females.
Tenublians have a bulbous body-sac with fins and ribbons, much like a jellyfish or squid of old Earth 1.0. They can flutter the ribbons down their side to move through the air.
Tenub's skins are their most versitile organs. They "breathe" by direct absorption, gain energy from photosynthesizing starlight and by electrical transfer, and camoflage thanks to the reflectin in every cell. Polyps can make their entire bodies clear through, althrough larger Tenublians struggle to hide their internal organs includung their brain lobes. They can achieve most colors of the visible spectrum including in patterns. They can pull their skin into rugged textures.
Tenub hide is tough, as well, enabling them to resist vacuum for a limited time, and high or low pressure atmospheres.
Filled with various air bladders, Tebub lungs extract the lighter gases from their blood flow, for storage in internal bladder sacs, enabling them to float above the ground even on higher gravity worlds. They can jet these gasses out for rapid movements in any direction.
Flat ribbon-like tendrils hang beneath Tenub bodies. Prehensile, they are used to ensnare prey creatures. Filled with blastocytes of different functions, tendils can poison the prey with paralytics. Other blastocytes target the nerve network, allowing a Tebublian to direct the muscular activity of the prey.
The Tenub can thus force a flying prey to maintain it's altutude while the jelly conumes only the specific body parts it wants to digest. Sated, the jelly will release the prey husk to fall into the lower atmo of the planet. Experienced jelly's have been known to take over even sentient creature's bodies, at least temporarily directing them to walk or work.
Tenublian males are how every alien (to them) encounters the jelly-squid species. With four or more powerful tentacle-arms, the Tenublians are known for being strong, fast, mobile, flexible, and extremely intelligent.
Budded off from the central brainstem, they grow one brain lobe for each major tentacle. These are networked together, allowing those with four or more lobes to easily exceed a human's potential mental capacity and abilities, and thus IQ. (It is considered unfair to compare a standard human IQ with those of other alien species' which have the advantage of networked minds.)
For this reason, starship's visiting Tenube are often met with a roster of prospective jelly crewmen. The jellies hire on as navigators, typically, because they can process and manipulate NaviComps quickly to calculate and compensate for the drift of stars far faster and more accurately.
Ships which can calculate their own jumps faster can bump up the cue at wormhole stations, avoiding delays while the station crunches the jump coordinates for them. The larger ships with professional bridge officers will have their own wormhole drives. The Merchant Marine Academy has passed entire classes of Tenublian cadets on navigation study paths.
The Tenulblian life cycle is truly alien.
Polyps float free in the clouds of their gas giant, after being released to the winds by their mothers. Polyps have a low survival rate due to predations by the many filter-feeding creatures of Tenube.
Growing larger, the polyps tendrils allow it to snare protein sources, such as planktyns, a category of small creatures floating in the winds. Given enough protiens, the polyp develops its first squidlike tentacles. Cannibalization is a common way Tenubes size-up.
Upon growing two tentacles, the polyp is considered a young male, although they have yet to grow fertile sex organs. It sets out to explore the many cloud layers, eddies, and storms of its world, seeking more food and adventure in gathering it.
Upon growing it's third and fourth tentacles, the Tenublian begins developing true male organs and characteristics. Since the advent of contact with alien species, Tenub males often join visiting starship crews and sail off for even greater adventures.
Those who return with the greatest storied careers can mate with higher ranked females. Or so they say.
The Tenublian mating process is horrific for other species to watch or contemplate. Much larger in size, the relatively huge and powerful females bite and tear the male into their individual component arms with their brain lobes attached. These segments are absorbed and integrated into the female's body. The fresh gonades included in each arm-brain segment, is used to inseminate the egg sacs put out by the female's central ovary cluster.
The fertilized eggs are relased into the winds, and the life cycle is complete. The former male has now integrated into as many female hosts as he had tentacles, usually six or eight, sometimes more. In this way he passes on his life experiences to his female mate, who now hosts his brain lobe, now integrated into her network mind as one of her own lobes.
Females are notoriously huge, often mistaken by alien starship crews as clouds. Their grand size helps assure no predation, even by Tenube's largest denizen's, the sky whales. With so many stinging tendrils and the ability to take mental control, whale's who encounter Tenublian females often become prey themselves to the point the whale's instincts now urge them to avoid a female Tenublian's airspace at all costs.