Obviously, out of universe having these alien species would be a huge headache for make-up and financial drain in terms of production costs, but is there an in-universe explanation? Tellarites and Andorians are founding members of the Federation, so it surprises me we don't see them more often. I know Vulcans were founding members as well, but their relative absence has been explained.

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    i think that similar to the vulcans, the andorians at least, prefer to do their own thing, maybe in part BECAUSE the vulcans are doing their own thing, since we see they are highly competitive with the vulcans.
    – Himarm
    Jul 20, 2015 at 14:31
  • Don't Andorians have a fairly low population?
    – TZHX
    Jul 20, 2015 at 15:04
  • @TZHX in enterprise they were on multipul planets and had a fleet that rivaled the vulcans (which was large enough to deter most aggressors) so it at least appeared that the were a prospering people, however population was never really brought up.
    – Himarm
    Jul 20, 2015 at 15:47
  • It seems that the Federation Starfleet grew out of Earth's Starfleet and Space Probe Agency, and has remained a primarily human institution out of inertia as much as anything else. Novels have portrayed member fleets such as the Andorians as being subordinate to Starfleet. Also in novels, Riker's USS Titan is portrayed as the first human-minority starship in Starfleet, aside from all-non-human vessels like the Constitution class USS Intrepid.
    – Politank-Z
    Jul 20, 2015 at 18:09
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    I think it's been brought up in various series before something to the effect that humans are naturally more curious than most species and thus most other races are content to let humans do most of the exploring on behalf of the Federation.
    – BBlake
    Jul 20, 2015 at 18:36

5 Answers 5



Not meaning to take Nate Watson's point, but they suffered a serious population problem; they had great difficulty in replenishing the species:

From an initial population of 3 billion, there were only 90 million Andorians by 2376 (DS9 novel: Andor: Paradigm)



Considering that the majority of Starfleet Vessels we see are human-dominated, it may be due to climate:

Tellarites found Human room temperature to be cold, indicative of a higher body temperature. (ENT: "Babel One")



It seems that another reason may be mutual distrust of one another:

Despite years of co-existence with the Tellarites, the Andorians were known to hold hostile relations with this founding Federation member race.


This is supported by Ambassador Gral, a Tellarite:

Ambassador Gral recalled being aboard a Tellarite cruiser as they drove "those blue demons" back into their own territory by force. (ENT: "Babel One")


  • Didn't see this answer until now. Very interesting, +1!
    – Praxis
    Jul 31, 2015 at 23:10

The ships that we see have human centric populations as I imagine it is easier to have ships with races very closely matched environmentally.

In the DS9 baseball episode (Take me out to the holosuite) we see that the Vulcan captain has a (primarily) Vulcan crew, which makes sense as Vulcan is hotter than Earth, with higher gravity. Hard to keep common areas suited to all in that instance.


In the Andorian's case, the reason is biology. As of the time of the Enterprise relaunch novels, the Andorian population was declining, partially due to their reproductive process. Because of this, their population was so low, they'd naturally be rare on starships.

As an additional effect, this probably meant that Andorians were less likely to join Starfleet, because of the high redshirt death rate. Why join an organization with a high death rate, when your people are in a population decline?

Regarding the Tellarites, I don't have much of an answer for them. The closest answer I can come up with is that Tellarites are short. You're less likely to see them, simply because you see over them. It's not perfect, but it's an answer.


Andorian Defense Force was very much in service in 2375. It was part of the 5th Fleet which was a standing fleet, tasked with defending the Core worlds in the Andorian Sector.

The Tellarite no longer operated a military after the founding of the Federation. The Tellarites are usually behind the famed engineering in the Federation, as cited by the Dominion, "The famed starfleet engineers that can turn rocks into replicators", was actually directed at the Tellarites.

Vulcans maintained a Science Fleet, mostly working spiritual beliefs surrounding their logic philosophy.

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    Do you have sources for any of this information? Or is it speculation on your part? May 14, 2016 at 9:51

The answer may be more obvious than some of these awesome possibilities. Are we sure the ships are human centric or hybrid centric. In several of the shows we travel to the distant future and seen a human looking humanoid with a combined Federation species DNA sequence. Daniels in Enterprise when asked if he was human answered more details or less. Human DNA and therefore human features may be genetically dominate as we see in the Augment series in Enterprise. When they explain Klingon looked human for a spell because human DNA was used to cure a disease that threaten their Empire and was dominate.

  • 1
    I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.
    – Valorum
    Feb 23, 2017 at 23:35

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