From ROI Wiki

The Talgians are a Xenopoid type lifeform that exist naturally as small, worm like, sentient fungi who, individually, possess very little cognitive ability or intelligence of their own. However, being what they are, the Talgians have the ability to link together with one another to form large "hive" colonies, each of which becomes a singular entity of superior cognitive ability, which is created by joining together their individual minds into a collective "hive mind" of sorts, allowing many Talgian colonies to possess equal, or even greater cognitive, and intellectual ability, than those who are their galactic neighbors.

These "hive" colonies also provide the Talgians with an important advantage in both mobility, and swiftness, increasing the speed by which they can move about to many hundreds of times that of an individual Talgian. Hive colonies also give the Talgians the ability to hunt in packs, giving the colonies the ability to take down, process, and consume much large prey than they could on their own. The hives also allow the Talgians to escape a much wider range of threats and dangers, and do so far easier, than they could on their own. And, while the Talgians prefer to live in large, communal hive colonies, each member of the hive fully retains its own individual identity, personality, and sense of self.

This, in turn, allows the colony, as a whole, to function more efficiently, and effectively, as this permits parts of the community to disagree with the whole, and even split off, as needed, in order to go in a different direction than the collective. By allowing this, it creates a type of democratic rule within the colonies, and a freedom of choice that the hive benefits from. This individuality also allows the hive to divide up work among its members, which helps to greatly improve both productivity, and efficiency, when handling difficult tasks.