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Planet of origin: Cardassia
Affiliation: Cardassian Union
The Dominion, 2375
Warp capable: 1925
Borg Designation: Species 2000
Classification: Reptilian humanoid
Environmental requirements: Class M conditions
Sexes: Male & Female
Distinctive Features:
Head and shoulder ridges

Malyn Ocett, a female Cardassian

The Cardassians were a quasi-reptilian humanoid species native to Cardassia in the Alpha Quadrant. The name means in their native language "People of Discipline". (ST - New Worlds, New Civilizations short story: "The Glories of the Hebitians")

They were a generally militaristic race. The Cardassian state, the Cardassian Union once occupied Bajor and later allied themselves with the Dominion before a crushing defeat that devastated their civilization. The democratic Reunion Project political group arose to power during the reconstruction process, with the authoritarian Directorate deciding for the time to play a part in the political process as an opposition party. (DS9 novel: A Stitch in Time)



The Cardassian appear to have evolved from a creature with both reptilian and mammalian traits. Standing roughly 1.8 meters tall, Cardassians tend to possess gray or grayish-green skin tones with shiny, black hair. Members of the race are barrel-chested and slightly heavier than Humans, a result of Cardassia's thicker atmosphere and slightly higher gravity. Elongated vertebrae covered in scaly plate sections extend along their necks. Segmented brow ridges extend down from the forehead and encircle the eyes, giving them a slightly "hooded" look reminiscent of a Terran cobra. An unsegmented ridge known as chufa extends upward from the tip of the nose to a spoon-shaped protrusion in the center of the forehead. Their thick skins and tough bodies allow Cardassians to tolerate pain better than most other species which meant that they possessed a higher pain threshold. (ST - Decipher roleplay module: Aliens)

The head and torso has an array of prominent ridges which are of cartilage construction and evolved as a defense against predatory attack. These ridges grow more prominent as young Cardassians develop through adolescence. Cardassians are a reptilian species but also have many features common to mammals, there skin is only scaled around their ridges and females have breast like protrusions on their chests. Cardassians have straight hair that varies in color from jet black to the less common dark brown. Males typically slick their hair back, while the females have more varying hairstyles. Unbetrothed Cardassian females have a cosmetic blue coloration in the dip of skin between ridges on their foreheads. (DS9 novel: A Stitch in Time, et al.)

The Cardassians possessed a unique enzyme which made them immune to infestation by the Bluegill parasites. However, this did not prove to be a method of making other species immune from possession as the enzyme had the side effect of dissolving the membranes present within other species bodies. As such, only the Cardassian race has proven to be immune to the Parasites infection. (DS9 novel: Unity)


Medical conditions



The early Hebitian people were deeply religious but the ages of hardship on Cardassia would shift the Cardassian people to more militaristic and expansionist views in order to survive. As such, the concept of religious beliefs were replaced with a patriotic duty in the state itself which results in many Cardassians being very loyal to their government which is seen as being omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent. (DS9 episodes: "The Wire", "Second Skin")

According to Cardassian beliefs, their race was raised to sentience from the swamps of Cardassia by their creators who watched over Ailam and Neroon; the first Cardassians. The Cardassians were gifted with both sentience and a soul by the creators who gave the race the umbilicus which marked their foreheads. (DS9 - Millennium novel: Inferno) Post-Oralian religion practiced the worship of the helmeted Galor. A type of demonic deity that symbolized power. This mythological, warrior being also inspired Cardassia Prime to launch the vessel class with the same name. Its shape, depicted in the hull form, with the insignia carrying the likeness, as well. (DS9 omnibus: Millennium)

Religion was a rare thing with the Cardassian government with suppression of certain groups such as the Oralian Way. After First contact with the Bajoran race, the Oralian Way was exterminated though fragments of it continued to exist secretly in their society. (DS9 novels: Day of the Vipers, Night of the Wolves) Following the collapse of the Cardassian Union in 2376, such suppression began to be lifted and the Oralian way began to grow in popularity. (DS9 novel: A Stitch in Time)

The Mogrund was a creature in Cardassian mythology. (DS9 novel: A Stitch in Time)

Family Life

A Cardassian's family is considered one of their greatest assets, with two or three generations living within the same household. Though this is an admirable trait, the Cardassians see orphans as outcasts and are often forgotten. (DS9 episode: "Cardassians")

This meant that females were considered too important among their people to be allowed within the military due to the capability of carrying young. Marriage ceremonies were known as Enjoinments, which typically required the woman to return to relative safety while the male continued to serve. As such, females that had lost the ability to give birth were considered outcasts among their people. In such circumstances, the enjoinment ceremony was typically cancelled as part of tradition. When faced with such a fate, certain Cardassian women were known to have taken their own lives rather then continue such an existence though this was not always the case. (TLE - Terok Nor novel: Night of the Wolves)

All Cardassians receive intense mental training during childhood which helps them improve their memory and meant that they possessed an eidetic memory. (ST - Decipher roleplay module: Aliens)

Unlike Humans, Cardassians did not fear old age and in fact respected the wisdom and dignity such a position granted to the Cardassian in question. (DS9 episode: "Distant Voices") Advanced age is a sign of great dignity. Cardassians respect authority and age, usually equating the two. A junior will attach himself to an up-and-coming superior or already successful elder, assisting his chosen mentor in any number of tasks intended to further their career, and presumably furthering his own, as well. This can be dangerous, however, should the mentor's fortunes turn, as the apprentice makes a convenient patsy on which to blame everything.

The older a Cardassian, the more feared he is because he is likely to know many secrets and maintains an extensive, and hidden, web of connections. When a Cardassian dies, he leaves his secrets to his relatives so they can gain the benefit of his knowledge, use the information to preserve the family's fortunes, and exact revenge on his rivals. Family is very important to Cardassians, with several generations living under one roof. (ST - Decipher roleplay module: Aliens)


Cardassians were noted for their love of trickery and pranks that they played on both enemies as well as allies. They often did such jokes in order to gloat upon the misfortunes of others. (DS9 novel: Vengeance)

Within Cardassian society, men and women are treated equally and both are allowed to participate within the military. However, only men were drafted into service while women were given the optional choice to enter the military or not. Women often opted to enter the field of science working for the Science Ministry. (TNG episode: "Journey's End"; DS9 episode: "Destiny")

The Cardassian people tended to favor the triumvirate and tended to arrange things in groups of three. (TOS novel: Captain's Blood)

A typical Cardassian is xenophobic, arrogant and paranoid. They believe theirs is the greatest civilization in the universe; other, lesser species are intent on preventing Cardassia from taking its rightful place as the most powerful empire in the quadrant. (ST - Decipher roleplay module: Aliens)

Certain Cardassians tended to think their species were superior to other races. This was particularly the case with the Bajorans with many Cardassians claiming that they were victims to terrorist attacks while they were attempting to "uplight" the Bajoran people. This went as far as certain Cardassians claiming that the Bajoran race was genetically inferior, with studies claiming that their brains were not very advanced. (DS9 - Millennium novel: The Fall of Terok Nor)

The Cardassians valued efficiency, Cardassian mines were almost always on class M worlds, as the expense of excavating in other non-native environments was not cost effective. (DS9 novel: Devil in the Sky)



Foods and drink

See Cardasian cuisine.


See main article: Cardassian history.

The Cardassian First Republic existed during the latter part of the 21st century. (DS9 episode: "Destiny")

The Cardassians had entered space relatively near to future Federation space as early as the 2150s. And at least one Cardassian resided on Vulcan as early as the 2240s. (ENT episodes: "Dead Stop", "Observer Effect"; DS9 episode: "Destiny")

Nevertheless, by the early 24th century the Cardassians were still an unknown entity when initial moves were made to form diplomatic relations with the species. Within the next 20 years of the opening of official diplomacy, peace talks would fail, leading to the Federation-Cardassian War. (TOS comic: "Enter the Wolves"; Star Trek novel: Articles of the Federation)

The Cardassians later allied themselves with the Dominion, an act which would eventually cause disaster as the Dominion attempted genocide in the final hours of the Dominion War. On the wreck of Dominion-devastated Cardassia, a new democratic government arose. (DS9 episode: "What You Leave Behind"; DS9 novel: A Stitch in Time)

Later on, the Cardassians had revolted under Gul Kentar, who attacked the Federation's Reserve fleet while the Federation was counterattacking the Borg, built a technology that allowed Species 8472 to enter "our" realm. The Klingon Battle Fleet then brutally put down the rebellion, and Chancellor Martok personally killed Gul Kentar. (TNG video game: Armada II)

Alien perception

Cardassian cuisine was something of a unique taste; following the Cardassian withdrawal from Bajor, Quark had a great deal of foods and drinks, such as Kamoy syrup, which he found impossible to sell. (DS9 novel: Devil in the Sky)

A common slur used when referring to Cardassians is "Spoonheads". (DS9 novel: A Stitch in Time, et al.)


This article uses material from the "Cardassian" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010
(Redirected to Mirror universe cultures article)

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

See also: races and cultures and mirror universe



The Aenar were an Andorian ethnic subgroup with a history of enmity towards Andorians. In Star Trek: New Empire, they aided the Terran Empire's conquest of Andoria, hoping to gain advantage over the Andorians, to mixed results. They later aided the Terran rebellion, but again suffered at the hands of the second empire, which decimated most of the Aenar between late 2385 and early 2386, in response to the actions of Shran ch'Rothress. By 2386 the Aenar had been exiled from Andoria and driven to the brink of extinction. (Star Trek: New Empire)

In another timeline the Aenar were a pacifist race who opposed the Empire's war with the Klingons and won over a large number of Vulcans. Earth exterminated the Aenar, leading Andorians to join the rebellion (partial conjectural mirror universe timeline).


A male Andorian

In 2155, an Andorian male crewmember, possibly a conscript, worked aboard the ISS Avenger at the helm. He was killed while aiding fellow non-Terrans under Soval in an attempt to destroy the USS Defiant. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")

Presumably, the Andorians were conquered by the Terran Empire. See also Untaken Treks.

In Star Trek: New Empire, after being freed from Terran Empire rule, Andoria became part of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. By the 2370s however, Andorians resented the Alliance (Klingons in particular). Many supported and fought with the Terran rebellion against the Alliance, then joined the Imperial Union of Planets afterwards. (Star Trek: New Empire)


Kira Nerys, a female Bajoran

The Bajorans were a race conquered by the Terran Empire. Bajor became a sovereign member of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance following liberation by Alliance forces; some Bajorans, however, joined the Terran rebellion (DS9: "Crossover", "The Emperor's New Cloak" et al.); in A Debt of Honor Bajor's vedeks had sheltered many of the rebels on Terok Nor, often at great risk to their own lives. In Star Trek: New Empire, Bajor betrayed the Alliance and joined the Imperial Union of Planets.


The Bartokians were subjugated by the Imperial Union of Planets in 2385. (Star Trek: New Empire)


Betazoids once tried to use their abilities for personal gain in the Terran Empire, but because the Empire distrusted telepaths, met with stiff resistance. They joined the Alliance until the late 2370s. Foreseeing the Alliance's demise, they switched sides and joined the Imperial Union of Planets. Betazoid dissidents tried to engineer Betazed's secession from the IUP in 2385, but were unsuccessful. (Star Trek: New Empire)


The Bolians were heavily subjugated by the Terran Empire. In the late 24th century they joined the Imperial Union of Planets. (Star Trek: New Empire)


See: Borg (mirror).


Very little is known about the Breen of the mirror universe. Intendant Kira once told Benjamin Sisko that Breen icicles were warmer than Jennifer Sisko. (DS9: "Shattered Mirror")


Caitian in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Federation universe)

Caitians served aboard Imperial starships of the late 24th century. (Star Trek: New Empire)

It was never clear whether they formally belonged to the Imperial Union of Planets.


Elim Garak, a male Cardassian

The Cardassians were a founding race of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. (DS9: "Crossover", et al.)


Odo, a male Changeling
In the mirror universe the Bajoran wormhole remained undiscovered as late as 2375. Thus Changelings and other species native to the Gamma Quadrant remained unknown to peoples of the Alpha Quadrant, with the exception of Odo, who was killed on Terok Nor during a workers' revolt in 2370. (DS9: "Crossover")
Probably, Odo was, like his counterpart, one of "the hundred" and was found in the Denorios belt.


The Cygnians were once ruled by the Terran Empire, then later became a member race of the Imperial Union of Planets. Several served in the Imperial Starfleet. (Star Trek: New Empire)

This race was identified as the lavender-skinned species seen in "Journey To Babel" (TOS), although canon does not confirm this.


Phlox, a male Denobulan

Denobulans were a slave race of the Terran Empire. Phlox served aboard the ISS Enterprise as ship's doctor. Denobulans were not part of the rebellion against the Empire, as it was not in their nature. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")

Fen Domar

The Fen Domar were one of the latest members of the massive Alliance of Independent Governments by 2387. Their ships made up a small proportion of the Alliance's military fleet and many saw action during the war against the New Terran Empire. (Star Trek: Pioneer (PNR): "A Mirror, Shattered", "Infinite Empires")


Quark, a male Ferengi

The Ferengi were, for the most part, seen as far more compassionate and less greedy than their counterparts in the "primary" universe, often paying for this compassion with their lives. The Terran Empire ravaged their homeworld in the 23rd century (Star Trek: New Empire), while in A Debt of Honor Ferengi dilithium shipments helped the Alliance defeat the Empire. The Alliance oppressed them during the 2370s and some Ferengi were members of the rebellion. (DS9: "Crossover", et al.)

First Federation

In 2387 the First Federation was a tyrannical power located on the edge of Terran space. They employed slave labor. Many soldiers from the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance were imprisoned here when the New Terran Empire took shape. (Star Trek: Pioneer (PNR): "Dark Reflection", "A Mirror, Shattered")


Slar, a male Gorn

A Gorn named Slar was a slave master working for the Tholian Assembly. He was in charge of the workers assigned aboard the USS Defiant until the crew of the Enterprise took it over. Slar was seen as untrustworthy of humans and vicious when it came to dealing with them. He was ultimately killed by Jonathan Archer. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")

Some Gorn worked in various capacities both in and out of Starfleet in the late 24th century. See: Sselraan, Ssslon. (Star Trek: New Empire)


Tharn, a male Halkan

Like their counterparts (TOS: "Mirror, Mirror"), the Halkans were a peaceful race, avoiding violence at all costs. In "A Debt of Honor" their pacifism became a role model for Spock's reform efforts, but it led to Spock's being overthrown by the Imperial Starfleet.

This appeared to be one of the rare examples of races being virtually identical in both universes.


A founding race of the Alliance of Independent Governments.


One of the Iroids, Imirissen, served on board the ISS Imperia in 2386. (Star Trek: New Empire)


Worf, a male Klingon

The Klingons were a founding race of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. (DS9: "Crossover", et al.)

In Star Trek: New Empire, the Klingons were virtually wiped out by 2386, robbed of political and military power after years of siege by the Imperial Union of Planets. Klingon resistance cells continued to operate, however, often in collusion with Romulans. (Star Trek: New Empire)


The Kzinti fired on a Vulcan ship that visited Earth to find out what had happened to their survey ship two years earlier, forcing humans and Vulcans to become uneasy allies. Vulcan's subsequent war with the Andorians allowed Earth to come out from under Vulcan's shadow (partial conjectural mirror universe timeline).


The Lokirrim are a distant species from possibly the Delta Quadrant. Some of them have travelled to the Alpha Quadrant by the end of the Terran Rebellion. They are a relatively neutral species, having no political position due to the fact they come from so far away. The most use the Lokirrim are to others are as targets for pirates and looters.

In 2382, Aeon Ryku stole a Lokirrim vessel, the Chimera, from Pelios Station and converted it to his own use in the Terran Empire's Starfleet as the ISS Descent. (Star Trek: Shattered Universe: "Rising Empire")


The Naish were known for their love of wealth and splendor. A Naish dilettante visited Risa in 2385. (Star Trek: New Empire)


A female Orion

An Orion female crewmember, possibly a conscript, worked aboard the ISS Avenger. She was killed while aiding fellow non-Terrans under Soval in an attempt to destroy the USS Defiant. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")

It is not stated, but implied that the Terran Empire annexed the Orions by 2155. Another theory is that the Orion Syndicate were allies. Either way, the Empire presumably discovered some sort of protection against the Orion females' pheromones, or they lack the pheromones in the mirror universe.

In the late 24th century, Orions commonly served in Starfleet, while others led lives as pirates. (Star Trek: New Empire)

In Star Trek: New Empire, the Empire indeed suppressed Orion females' pheromones, via prescribed medical injections. This was a requirement of all Orion females in Starfleet service.
In another timeline Vulcans attempted to use mind-melds to control the Orion women, but this had the unexpected effect of suppressing their ability to give off these pheromones (partial conjectural mirror universe timeline).


The Remans served as soldiers in the Romulan Technocracy, to which they supplied Reman warbirds. Their status following the fall of Romulus to the Empire remains unrevealed. (Star Trek: New Empire)

In Star Trek: New Empire, Remans were classified as genetically engineered offshoots of the Romulans.

Richtor's species

A member of this unnamed humanoid species, known for black spiral-shaped pupils, served aboard the ISS Arcadia in 2385. (Star Trek: New Empire)


The Romulans appeared to be uninvolved in the conflict between the Terran rebellion and the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. The primary Benjamin Sisko, portraying his mirror counterpart, indicated to Jennifer Sisko that he would visit the Romulans in an attempt to gain their support. This was, in actuality, a ruse to explain his return to Deep Space 9. (DS9: "Through the Looking Glass")

In Star Trek: New Empire, the Romulan Technocracy became the governing regime of the Romulans as the result of a disastrous clash with the Terran Empire. By 2386 Romulus had joined the Imperial Union of Planets. (Star Trek: New Empire)

In Star Trek: Pioneer (PNR) continuity, there never existed a Romulan Empire in the mirror universe. Instead the Romulans formed the Romulan Star Republic, a much less xenophobic and territorial power. In 2390 the New Terran Empire planned to conquer the republic. (Star Trek: Pioneer (PNR): "Infinite Empires")


The ISS Enterprise had contact with the Suliban by January 2155, acquiring a cloaking device from this species. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")

The circumstances of the encounter went unrevealed.


Terev, a male Tellarite

The Tellarites were apparently conquered by the Terran Empire sometime before 2155 and some had joined the rebellion against the Empire. Malcolm Reed and Phlox tortured a Tellarite crewman named Terev in the agony booth as a demonstration of the device for ISS Enterprise captain Maximilian Forrest and Commander Jonathan Archer. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")

In Star Trek: New Empire, the Tellarites later joined the Imperial Union of Planets.


Jonathan Archer, a male Terran

In the mirror universe, humans were filled with fear and suspicion when a Vulcan scout ship landed on Earth to initiate first contact. The humans slaughtered the Vulcan crew and used the technology within to create an interstellar empire. This Terran Empire lasted almost three centuries until it was overshadowed by the equally vicious aspirations of Klingons, Cardassians, and Bajorans. Although many races in the mirror universe harbored hopes of forming a peaceful alliance to protect civilization, Terrans were rarely found among these rebels due to the wealth and safety afforded by their violent expansionist policies.


A Tholian

There appeared to be no open hostilities between the Terran Empire and the Tholians in 2155, though the Tholians were known to annex systems close to their space. A single Tholian starship was no match for an NX class vessel like the ISS Enterprise (NX-01) though several of these vessels were capable of destroying such a vessel, particularly when employing a Tholian web. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")

It's unclear what the long-term consequences were for a Terran Empire ship invading Tholian space, stealing the Defiant, and destroying several of their ships.


Jadzia, a female Trill

It is unclear which side (if any) the Trill government took in the conflict between the Alliance and the rebellion. A number of individual Trills, such as Jadzia, joined the rebellion, while others such as Ezri Tigan sought to remain non-aligned. (DS9: "Through the Looking Glass", et al.)

In Star Trek: New Empire, Trill symbionts were not revered, but seen as parasites, under the belief that "joining" was a form of mind control. A war early in their history eradicated most of the symbionts. By 2385 the planet Trill had joined the Imperial Union of Planets. (Star Trek: New Empire)


A founding race of the Alliance of Independent Governments.


Soval, a male Vulcan

In 2063, when the Vulcans made first contact with Earth, Zefram Cochrane shot the first Vulcan to set foot on Terran soil. The Terrans stormed the T'Plana-Hath and studied Vulcan technology. Eventually, the Terran Empire was able to conquer the Vulcans. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")

By the 2150s, Vulcans were considered slaves to Terrans and not treated as equals. A number of Vulcans and Vulcan ships rebelled against the Terran Empire. By 2267, their attempts seemed to have been unsuccessful, although it appeared that Vulcans such as Spock were treated with more respect and feared by some Terrans. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", TOS: "Mirror, Mirror")

In the 2370s, Vulcans served as slaves to the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. Several were seen fanning the Intendant on Terok Nor. (DS9: "Crossover") Some Vulcans, such as Tuvok, joined the Terran rebellion. (DS9: "Through the Looking Glass")

Jonathan Archer mentioned humans turning the tables on the Vulcans' invasion force. This might have been an assumption based on Archer's paranoia (or government propaganda).

In Star Trek: New Empire, Spock's reforms, which became known as "Spock's folly", led to the destruction of the Terran Empire and the enslavement of humans, earning Vulcans a negative social stigma. Although many supported and fought with the Terran rebellion, they were widely regarded with loathing and suspicion in the Imperial Union of Planets, which they joined purely to avoid destruction at the "new Empire"'s hands. In this continuity, the Alliance ravaged Vulcan much as it had Earth, albeit not quite as badly. (Star Trek: New Empire)


The Xindi fought in a conflict with the Terran Empire sometime prior to 2155. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly", Parts I & II)

Seen in the opening credits for those episodes.

Mirror universe cultures article at Memory Alpha, the canon Star Trek wiki.

This article uses material from the "Mirror universe cultures" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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