Cliffborer worms are parasitic, almost mindless, burrowing arthropods common throughout the galaxy. Cliffborers will usually grow from about 9 to 13 feet long. They flourished specially on the many planets that feature mainly arid and rocky climates, such as Tatooine and nearby Geonosis.

They are long, armored creatures who feed on razor moss and lichen, with a single pair of insectoid legs used primarily for locomotion. During mating season, however, these legs can be used as dangerous offensive weapons. A pair of cliffborers will guard their nest of two to twelve eggs until they hatch, after which they will abandon the young to fend for themselves. Many hatchlings will end up as meals for krayt dragons or dewbacks since their hides do not harden until they reached a meter in length, approximately one month after birth.

Though never proven, some xenobiologists surmised that cliffborers never stopped growing, and do not die from old age, proposing that in deep, secluded desert environments, worms can reach lengths upwards of 65 to 100 feet in length. It is also hypothesized that the sentient alien species known as the Riorian may well be related to the burrowing arthropods.

Economically, the tough hide of the cliffborer is a popular material for use in making sturdy boots.