The parasitic smoolk split from its ancestor, the green smoolk, to take advantage of the newly evolved towering stiltbulb. With the massive stiltbulb 'forests' covering much of Mason's sole landmass, it wasn't that difficult for some smoolk spores to land on the roots or bulbs of the larger flora. The higher elevation provided by the stiltbulb's roots gave the smoolks more sunlight, and thus the stiltbulb-dwelling smoolks prospered. Over time, they developed a parasitic relationship with their host, their proto-root strands latching on to the roots and drawing out nutrients from them. As small as they are, the lost nutrients don't affect the stiltbulb hosts that much. As they were above the ground, they abandoned their detritivore diet, the parasitism being a better and more constant choice. They also a specialized their cells further, becoming more coherent and gaining specific spore-stalks for the release of spores, which are their primary method of reproduction. Their toxicity prevents them from being eaten by any herbivores, such as the grasping teci.