Maalraas or Nighthunters were a non-sentient species of predatory quadrupeds. Nighthunters hunted in packs, using long claws and powerful fanged jaws to disable their victims. Using the Force to cloak themselves, making themselves nearly indistinguishable from the darkest shadows; only well-trained Jedi or Sith could recognize their silhouettes. Their bones were resistant to lightsabers. A population existed on the forest moon of Dxun in the Onderon system and possibly Onderon itself. Maalraas had huge fangs that protruded from their round heads and were possibly the ancestors of nighthunters. Maalraas hunted in packs primarily preyed upon cannoks, although if there were too many of them the cannoks could drive the predator away or even kill it. Maalraas were in turn preyed upon by the zakkeg. In 3951 BBY, Mandalorian warriors living on the moon found maalraas to be easy prey to such a degree that having to clear out a number of them was almost considered a chore.
Used as guard beasts, nighthunters were exported from their unrecorded homeworld by crime syndicates and other wealthy individuals willing to trade on the black market. By the time of the Clone Wars, they were thought to be extinct, but at least one still survived on Parein II 4. When the Jedi Knight Valin Draco was dispatched to the world, he was attacked by the beast and was nearly killed, until at last he won the upper hand. Nursing the wounded nighthunter back to health, he named it Crant, and kept it as a pet. Draco was seduced to the dark side during the Great Jedi Purge and joined the Inquisitorius, keeping Crant by his side the entire time. When Draco was sent to the Almas Academy to capture Jedi Master Vhiin Thorla, he ordered Crant to watch over the captured Jedi. While Draco was away, Crant was killed by members of the Alderaanian Resistance sent to free Master Thorla.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Darth Bane: Rule of Two
- Tales of the Jedi: The Freedon Nadd Uprising
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (see Maalraa)
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force