While occlupanids are diverse and fecund enough to be encountered nearly world-wide, they are by no means the only microsyntheric objects to have settled on this particular ecological niche. Some have been found in similar habitats and locales, and in some cases have supplanted occlupanids entirely in the bread aisles of grocery stores.
From time to time many curious specimens have been donated to HORG, in order that our team of researchers could shed some light on their taxonomic status. While some are emphatically not occlupanids, many others in our collection exist in a liminal state of uncertainty, their admission into the halls of HORG hotly debated as new evidence is brought to light.
What follows is a collection of convergently-evolved microsyntherids and other objects the Synthetic Taxonomist might encounter in their studies across this globe.
Order Flexivexilla (“flexible flag”) comprises a motley collection of the many strange flapulous pseudoocclupanids that have been collected globally over the years. The divergent shapes nonetheless share some characteristics: Their integument is thin and oftentimes incredibly flexible, and they have a a near-universal affinity for plant life as a primary host. While some Flexivexillids (such as the famous Taxoflora longifolia) imitate the general shapes of elongated occlupanids, others have adopted bizarre mutations to better grasp everything from grocery produce to young sapling trees.
The status of this taxon is hotly contested, as many occlupanologists consider them to be only distantly related to occlupanids, thus putting them outside of the purview of HORG. Still others consider their relationship to the flexible Kirigami to be too close for cladistic comfort, and wish to bring them into the fold of the Occlupanidae. The image below showcases the dizzying morphological breadth of this order that inspires such caution and acrimony. A few notable collected Flexivexillae have been described, and added to the HORG archives.