An alpha quadrant species2, the Tholians are one of the relatively few major non-Humanoid races in our section of the galaxy. In appearence they are multifaceted solids1 with two upper limbs and six lower ones.3 They are accustomed to a very high temperature4, and are comfortable in well over two hundred degrees celsius. Anything less than one hundred and fifty degrees is very painful to a Tholian, and temperatures below one hundred are fatal within seconds. All Tholians has aspects of both male and female physiology, and gender pronouns should not be used when talking to or about them.3 Tholians tend to be agressive, territorial and extremely punctual beings who do not welcome intrusions into their space.
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The USS Enterprise encountered the Tholians in 2268 whilst it was investigating the loss of the USS Defiant in an interphase region. The Tholians demanded an explanation for the Starship's presence, and initially agreed to allow the Enterprise to remain in the area. When the ship was unable to provide proof of the Defiant's presence in the area the Tholians attacked the ship. The Enterprise proved militarily superior to the Tholian vessels, but was almost trapped within one of the forcefield webs - a system designed to enclose a vessel within a network virtually unbreakable strands.1
In 2353 the Tholians attacked and nearly destroyed a Federation starbase, killing all but one of its complement.5 As recently as 2355 tensions remained high enough that Starfleet routinely trained against Tholian warships in simulations.6 Tensions remained sufficiently high that it was feared that they might become involved in the Klingon civil war,7 but eventually relations with the Federation were established and in 2371 a Tholian Ambassador visited Deep Space Nine.8 A Tholian observer was present at the ill fated Antwerp conference on Earth in 2372 when a bomb destroyed the conference hall.9 Tholian silk is highly prized and difficult to obtain.10
Tholians are capable of emitting communications signals directly from their body, though these can only be detected over a very small range.3
In 2155 the Tholians of the Mirror universe used a tri-cobalt device to open up an interphase rift, hoping to use a distress call to lure a ship from a parallel dimension - and even another time - through to their own space so that they could capture it. The plan succeeded, and the Tholians captured Starfleet's USS Defiant.3 However, before they were able to make use of the ship the Mirror NX-01, ISS Enterprise, was able to capture the Defiant. The Empire benefitted greatly from the advanced technology of the Federation starship.11