The Arcturans had translucent, chalk-white or reddish-gray skin, which formed heavy folds on their foreheads. They had large earlobes and small amounts of platinum hair. Arcturan native dress included a leather-and-fur tunic. (TOS reference: The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture; TOS novel: The Lost Years)
They were anarchical, lacking a government, though were also a militaristic race, with over 100 billion inhabitants spread across the system. Most Arcturans lacked a formal education, the majority spoke numerous languages, including Klingonese, Romulan language, and Standard, albeit with their own unique pidgin grammar. It was said that money was the language they understood best. (TOS novel: The Lost Years; TOS reference: The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
They regarded Klingons, Humans, and Romulans with equal contempt, though by the 23rd century the Arcturians were members of the United Federation of Planets. (TOS novel: The Lost Years; TOS reference: The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
In 2254 rogue Arcturans joined a Klingon backed brigand of Orion, Khodini and renegade Humans who attacked Starbase 13 in retaliation against Starfleet’s Project Pharos, a scheme to bring order to the Marrat Nebula region by building a giant galactic lighthouse. (EV comic: "The Fires of Pharos")
Quark and McHogue were members of an Arcturan chartered corporation that sold worthless stock certificates to species from nondeveloped planets. The pair were later banned from returning to the Arcturus system after their assets were seized in exchange for not being imprisoned. (DS9 novel: Warped)
- TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Motion Picture
- TOS comic: "Dilithium Dilemma"
- TOS comic: "The Real McCoy"
- TOS comic: "Double Bluff"
- TOS comic: "Husian Gambit"
- EV comic: "The Fires of Pharos"
- TOS novel: Web of the Romulans
- TOS novel: The Lost Years
- DS9 novel: Warped
- EV comic: "Our Dearest Blood"
- TOS reference: The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture