Virtual/alife phylum/superclade found almost everywhere in the Known Net.
What began as simple virtual pets of the Information Age would eventually, in time, become one of the predominate phyla of the the Known Net.
Historians have many reasons to believe that the VirchMon were first created somewhere around they year 80 a.t., starting out as simple "intelligent" pets, companions and virus guards for frequent net-users.
The original VirchMon were originally copied from the old Animes of Pokemon, Digimon, Monster Rancher and Yugioh Duel Monsters, as well as the Neopets card game. A cheaters way of designing virtual pets was one of the complaints against the Shizuon megacorporation that created them in the first place, but nobody really cared, mainly because most buyers wanted VirchMon that resembled the monsters that their grandparents and great-grandparents use to collect. "That was the original idea", representatives of Shizuon claimed, "that we would recreate the so-called Pet Monsters of our grandparents and bring them into the Virtual Age." Needless to say, the VirchMon took the world by storm, and Shizuon became one of the wealthiest MegaCorps of its time.
Yet over the centuries, during the Interplanetary Age and onwards, they grew smarter and smarter. It was during this time that some of these VirchMon began creating their own domains on the Net, independent Digital Communities, free from human influence, while most preferred to stay with their human companions. However, during the Technocalypse, millions upon millions of VirchMon were wiped out, with the exception of the independent VirchMon communities in space, which fortunately, held members of all of the original VirchMon clades.
During the Dark Ages and Federation era, the VirchMon helped rebuild the digital universe of the Net and as they did so, their population grew to incredible proportions. At the same time, new VirchMon clades arose and prospered with their brethren. Then, as mindkind began colonizing the Galaxy, the VirchMon quickly followed them, setting up and creating their own virchworlds and settling them like pioneers. They now inhabit literally billions of virchworlds and have formed millions of polities, empires and civilizations.
Surprisingly, the "original" VirchMon clades are now the most common and numerous of the VirchMon and they are the most proud to be VirchMon. The VirchMon now consists of nearly one hundred thousand distinct clades, most of which are sometimes mistaken for alife, ranging from sub-turing to superturing grade.