Borcatu were small, bad-tempered scavengers originally found on the planet of Escabar. Their original habitat was the deserts of Serhan, in the northeastern part of the planet. Beginning circa 150 BBY, when the ports of Escabar were opened to interstellar trade, the creatures began to spread from their homeworld by stowing away on departing starships. By the time of the Galactic Civil War, they could be found on planets from the Core Worlds to the Outer Rim Territories. Though originally desert animals, they easily adapted to habitats ranging from lush forests to urban slums.
Borcatu had a scaly, thick hide which may have evolved to help resist sandstorms. They also have sharp teeth and claws, which they used to burrow or to defend themselves. They had a vicious temperament, biting anyone who came near them, and often fighting and cannibalizing one another when no other food source was available.
Eliminating a borcatu infestation was difficult. Their mottled, dark skin made effective camouflage, and their pups were only a few centimeters long. As they were originally desert-adapted creatures, their metabolisms were also highly efficient, and they left very little waste. This made them difficult to find—and their natural weapons and quick movements made them tough to exterminate when they were found. Capital ships could host dozens of borcatu without the crew being aware of the infestation.