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- "Hey... You stay away, Mr. Bug! Shoo! Go get squished!"
- — Iza
Shadow Insects, also known as Twilit Parasites, are enemies from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
The Shadow Insects are the forms taken by the Twilight that has stolen the light of the Light Spirits across Hyrule. Like those native to the Realm of Light, they cannot be perceived by the naked eye. Only honed animal senses or spirits can see them when in the Twilight Realm. However, this invisibility is negated when they are dying or dead, as they can be seen without using honed senses in the brief instant before their bodies are destroyed.
They also have parasitic abilities, as seen during the battle with Ook, where one controls him from the top of his head. It is unknown whether this was complete control (thus implying intelligence), or merely aggravation. Notably, there is dark energy surrounding the Gale Boomerang during the battle, implying some empowerment.
Shadow Insects have an electric current running through their body and release sparks of purple and sometimes red energy sporadically, which can be seen without using wolf senses. They can also fly and run at great speeds, making them difficult to catch. Some Shadow Insects can burrow into the ground, requiring Link to dig them up. Their presence is only noted by the outline of the subterranean Insect moving around on the ground. Despite their immense importance, they are fairly weak, and can be defeated in one hit.
Once one is defeated, it releases one of the Tears of Light, which have the power to restore light to the spirits Faron, Eldin, and Lanayru. The Tears of Light have the added effect of making a Shadow Insect visible to those who become spirits in the Twilight, as shown by the horrified reactions of several characters.