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Hive Node

Joined 25 December 2008

Hey! My name is Hive Node (I guess that is actually just an alias though...), and I've been interested in Warhammer, specifically 40k, for about 12 years.

Since I've started I've avildly collected Tyranids, and stuck with them through thick and thin. Recently I've been flirting with the idea of a new army, perhaps I'll start an Eldar Corsair army when Imperial Armour 11 comes out.. other armies I've been looking at are Astral Claws and Iron Snakes.

Besides working on the Lexicanum, I also help administrate a little website called which is mostly Tyranid fan-forum.

I really enjoy writing homebrew rules, mostly Tyranids, but I enjoy the odd deviance as well. Check them out:


Main article: Bio-ships

Creatures resembling spacecraft yet made of flesh and bone; their bodies can surpass the sizes of even Imerial cruisers.

  • Kraken
    Organisms perfectly adapted to swimming through the cold void of space.
    • Ramsmiter Kraken
      The most common type of Kraken, they are adorned with spiny beaks, spines and probosci. When attacking a ship they will suck out all organic matter while simultaneously injecting vanguard organisms. 4: pg.14, 14
    • Doomripper Kraken
      Dangerous Kraken with maws filled with writhing tendrils. Their main objective is to get into close proximity of enemy vessels and entangle them with these tentacles. 4: pg.14
    • Hellblaster Kraken
      The rarest of all Kraken. Similar to a Trygon their bodies are wreathed by electrical energy, when they come in contact with other ships they unleash a powerful bolt that overloads shields and electrical systems. 4: pg.14
    • Smeltfeaster Kraken
      Not much information is know about this species of Kraken. 14
    • Deathburner Kraken
      A species of Kraken that are able to fire huge acidic projectiles. 14
  • Leviathan Hive Ship
    Leviathans are huge creatures thought to be the epicenter of Tyranid activities. These vessels have the huge Norn Queen primogenitor beasts bound inside their hulls. 14
  • Narvhal
    These bio-ships have little in the way of bio-weaponry and a relatively thin carapace. By monitoring a large array of sensory input the Narvhal can open compressed-space tranist corridors to transfer parts of the Tyranid fleet long distances. 4: pg.19
  • Prowler Drone
    These ships often rove far ahead of Tyranid fleets. They carry payloads of Genestealers, Lictors and other vanguard organisms that are utilized to seed planets. 14
  • Razorfiend Cruiser
    These ships are represented by a mix of young hive ships and overgrown escort drones. It is theorized that they receive nourishment from the Hive Ships they protect. 14
  • Stalker Drone
    Heavy and slow when compared to other Tyranid drones. Hive Ships often rely on them as a last line of defense. 14

Gargantuan Creatures

These are gigantic creatures, which are capable of rivalling the size and stature of the largest Imperial titans.

Cerebore Artwork
Nautiloid Artwork
Viciator Artwork
  • Cerebore
    Large Tyranid creatures with a slug-like body and a large head plate. The Cerebore’s front-most set of appendages are lash whip-like tentacles. 13
  • Dactylis
    Long-range support organisms. They have elongated forearms that are used to fling the Bile Pods created within their bodies.
  • Dominatrix
    Huge synaptic creatures that symbiotically bound to a smaller (Tyrant-sized) entity. They are psychically connected to the Hive Mind, and act as supreme commanders on the battlefield. 4: pg.21
  • Exocrine
    A Tyranid capable of long-range barrages. Its forelimbs are fused together to form a cannon-like weapon-symbiote.
  • Harridan
    Large winged Tyranids. They commonly carry broods of Gargoyles into battle. 4: pg.42, 5: pg.86
  • Haruspex
    Large assault spawn intended to rush at the enemy lines. They are capable of releasing gouts of strong acid.
  • Hierodule
    The Tyranid equivalent to a super-heavy battle tank.
  • Hierophant
    Large spider-like Tyranids perched upon four slender limbs. They are the Tyranid equivalent to Warlord Battle Titans. 5: pg. 80, 8: pg.148
  • Hydraphant
    Similar in shape to Hierophants. These are the largest Tyranids capable of planetary deployment.
  • Malefactor
    A transporters organism capable of carrying broods to the front lines. They’re armed with large fragmentation spines.
  • Nautiloid
    A Tyranid creature with a slug-like body, adorned with a giant, armoured snail-like shell. The Nautiloids first set of appendages are a small pair of scything talons, its second and third set seem to be fused with its body but form groupings of lash-whip like tentacles. 13
  • Norn Queens
    Enormous creatures bound to the insides of Hive Ships. They are responsible for producing and manipulating the multitude of Tyranid organisms. 3: pg.27, 4: pg.45
  • Viciator
    Large Tyranid creatures that appear to be a variant, or atleast akin to Hierophants. Their carapace is matted in spines and they carry a large underslung Devourer weapon-symbiote. 13
  • Vituperator
    What a Hydraphant is to a Hierophant, a Vituperator is to a Harridan. They are the largest Tyranids capable of atmospheric flight.

Monstrous Creatures

Massive organisms used to crash into enemy lines, break fortifications and topple tanks and vehicles.

  • Carnifexes
    Large carapaced creatures. Often utilized as living battering rams.
    • Bile-beast
      A Carnifex variant likened to a bilogical factory; capable of pumping out acids and toxic spores. 3: pg.47
    • Screamer-Killer
      A close combat oriented species of Carnifex. Their namesake comes from the sound the grinding paltes in their throats create as they generate bio-plasma. 1: pg.19, 3: pg.47
    • Shovel-tusker
      Carnifexes with large sets of tusks, they tend to charge vehicles in an attempt to flip them. 3: pg. 47
    • Stone-Crusher
      Carnifexes that have huge pairs of wrecker claws, or wrecking balls. They have thick, bony projections growing from their carapace that are used to pull fortification walls down. 15: pg.71
    • Thornback
      A type of Carnifex that has blades and spines growing out of its armour. It uses these to crush and gore infantry. 3: pg.46
    • Venomspitter
      A carnifex variant that excels in long-range combat. It weilds to venom cannon weapon-symbiotes. 3: pg.46
  • Harpy
    Winged Tyranids similar to Gargoyles. They commonly drop Spore Mines on enemy formations. 4: pg. 43
  • Hive Tyrants
    The Tyranid equivalent to a Commander. The have latent psychic capabilities and an un-parallel connection to the Hive Mind.
    • Acid Tyrant
      A Tyrant variant with acidic blood equipped with a Venom Cannon it uses to shower death on it’s enemies. 3: pg.35
    • Swarm Tyrant
      A Hive Tyrant variant that wields a large Fleshborer weapon-symbiote and is able to spawn Rippers. 13
  • Magma Corer
    Tyranids almost exclusively created for burrowing through a planet and releasing pent-up gasses trapped beneath the crust. They often die in the process. 7
  • Malanthrope
    Large floating Tyranids similar to Zoanthropes. They use their tendrils to drag corpses into digestive sacs on their bodies. 5: pg. 90
  • Mawloc
    Worm-like Tyranids. They are able to receive a large array of sensory information that allows them to ambush enemies from below ground. 4: pg.51
  • Tervigon
    Large creatures that birth Termagants. They remain active within bio-ships and act as sentries. 4: pg.52
  • Trygon
    A creature with a large snake-like body. They are capable of discharging static electricity in the form of a powerful arc. 4: pg.50, 5: pg.88
    • Trygon Prime
      Trygons that share a strong synaptic link with the Hive Mind. Containment Spines run along their body to better harness their electrical abilities. 4: pg.50
  • Tyrannofex
    Giant creatures that carry immense bio-weapons. Their bodies contain chambers that are homes to dozens of different smaller organisms. 4: pg.53

Medium Sized Creatures

Warrior creatures that travel between the legs of the larger Tyranid organisms sowing terror and death.

  • Biovore
    A strange lump-shaped Tyranid. They use powerful weapon-symbiotes grafted to their backs to barrage Spore Mines over long distances.
  • Broodlord
    A creature similar to Genestealers, they’re larger and more ferocious. They also wield considerable psychic abilities. 3: pg.36, 4: pg.40
  • Hive Guard
    Covered in tough armour and nearly blind. They’ll stand motionless for long periods of time as they wait for an enemy to stray to close to the bio-structure they’re protecting. 4: pg.47
  • Lictor
    A special adaptation of the Warrior genus. They have chameleonic scales that allow them to turn virtually invisible against any background.
    • Lictor Alpha
      A unique Lictor variant encountered in sub-sector Aurelia. It uses its camoflague to ambush and disrupt enemy infantry. a, 11
  • Meiotic Spore
    Bloated sacks that resemble large Spore Mines. Often used to combat enemy aerial defences. 5: pg.94
  • Pyrovore
    With little to no intelligence the Pyrovore exists to pre-digest biomaterial. When hurt it will spray a highly corrosive acid out of its wounds. 4: pg.49
  • Raveners
    A special adaptation of the Warrior genus. They have been evolved with serpentine bodies and shovel-like claws, perfect for tunnelling through the earth.
    • Ravener Alpha
      A unique Ravener variant encountered in sub-sector Aurelia. By burrowing through the earth, it is able to create strategic tunnels that other Tyranids can use. a, 11
  • Tyranid Warrior
    The main warriors of a Tyranid swarm. They use their synaptic abilities to bolster smaller Tyranid creatures.
    • Tyranid Huntsman
      Huntsmen are an adaption of the Tyranid Warrior genus that fights using their enhanced senses and devourers, before ripping the enemy apart with their rending claws. 3: pg.37, 13
    • Tyranid Prime
      The evolutionary apex of the Warrior strain. They are often seen leading lesser Tyranid Warriors into battle and can be likened to a veteran commander in terms of skill. 4: pg.36
    • Tyranid Shrikes
      A winged adaptation of the Tyranid Warrior. Their ability to utilize the will of the Hive Mind ensures that it reaches even the high-flying Harpies and Gargoyles. 4: pg.36, 5: pg.78
  • Tyrant Guard
    Blind and nearly invincible. The will of the Tyrant Guard is completely overthrown by the Tyrant it is guarding, and it will go to insurmountable odds to protect its master. 2: pg.10, 3: pg.36, 4: pg.35
  • Venomthrope
    Serpentine Tyranids kept aloft by lighter-than-air gases trapped in bladders beneath their carapace. They’re covered in long groping tentacles and spew a noxious fog from their back vents. 4: pg.45
  • Zoanthrope
    A highly psychic Tyranid organism resembling a floating brain. It is able to utilize the powers of the Hive Mind to hurl powerful bolts and blast of energy. 1: pg.22, 2: pg.15, 3: pg.44, 4: pg.44

Unique Tyranid Creatures

Strange Tyranid creatures not often seen in battle, or thought to be completely one-off mutations.

  • Deathleaper
    A specialized form of Lictor associated with Hive Fleet Leviathan. Specifically created to be terror weapon and seed an enemies mind with paranoia and fright. a, 10, 4: pg.59
  • Doom of Malan'tai
    An adaptation of the regular Zoanthrope. It has the unique ability of being able to suck the souls and life force out of the bodies of its prey. a, 4: pg.58
  • Laius Horror
    A strange Tyranid resembling a Carnifex mixed with a Trygon. It employed a unique technique of hiding its gigantic body within the body of a smaller host only to later explode out in a shower of blood and gore. a, 6
  • Old One Eye
    A legendary Carnifex that had one of its eyes burned out by a plasma round. It has accelerated regeneration abilities. a, 2: pg.34, 4: pg.57
  • Parasite of Mortrex
    A unique Tyranid organism seen on Mortrex. The tail of the Parasite has an ovipositor embedded on it that can inject Ripper larvae into the body of a host. 4: pg.60
  • Red Terror
    A mysterious beast encountered on Devlan. It had the ability to swallow men whole, and is described as being anywhere between the size of a Ravener and a Trygon. a, 2: pg.33, 4: pg.37
  • The Swarmlord
    The very pinnacle of the Tyranid form. The Swarmlord can be killed over and over again, though the Hive Mind will just resurrect it in a new body. a, 4: pg.56
  • Tremorbeast
    A variant on the Trygon strain. The Tremorbeast is said to have eaten Warsmith Kolvax of the fortress world Forgefane. a, 9
  • Von Ryan’s Leaper
    An offshoot of the Hormagaunt species. Not much information is know about the creature. a, 2: pg.37

Small Sized Creatures

Tyranids that are the size of a man or smaller, deployed in large swarms that form a living carpet of chattering teeth and claws.

  • Cortex Leeches
    Organisms resembling Rippers but with elongated claws. Using these specialized talons they can take over the nervous systemof a host organism by inserting them into the orfices of the creature. 12, 13
  • Gargoyles
    An offshoot of the Gaunt genus. They have been adapted to have thick leathery wings and a Fleshborer weapon-symbiote. 1: pg.24, 2: pg.14, 3: pg.43, 4: pg.42
    • Nightgaunts
      A variation on the Gargoyle species. These creatures are winged and attack with scything talons. 2: pg.39, 13
  • Gaunt
    The most common foot trooper of the Tyranids. They’re highly adaptable with a large variety of weapon-symbiotes.
  • Genestealers
    Terrifying close-combat monsters. They’re commonly seeded into Space hulks so that they can infect any would-be explorers.
    • Ymgarl Genestealers
      Originally thought to be a native denizen of the moon Ymgarl. They’re highly adaptable, able to change the physiology of their bodies within moments. 3: pg.17, 4: pg.61
  • Hormagaunt
    An offshoot of the Gaunt genus. They have been adapted to have a swift bounding gait and scythe-like talons.
    • Deathgaunts
      A variation on the Hormagaunt species. These creatures have toxin sacs. 2: pg.39, 8: pg.147
  • Ripper Swarms
    Voracious snake-like Tyranids. They flood the field of battle after it has been conquered devouring any and all biomass within reach.
    • Sky-slasher Swarms
      Rippers that have developed with leathery wings. Often flying among the larger Gargoyles and the giant Harpies. 4: pg.55
  • Spore Mines
    Organisms resemblng little less than floating sacks covered in dangling tentacles. When anything non-Tyranid comes within close proximity they explode violently.

Tiny Sized Creatures

Small organisms that are often used as ammunition or supportive weapons by larger Tyranids.

  • Borer Beetle
    Vicious beetle-like creatures with sharp fangs and flea-like legs. When shot out of the fleshborer they reside in, they consume their remaining life energy in order to chew through all manner of objects. 1: pg.55, 2: pg.8, 3: pg.30, 4: pg.81
  • Desiccator Larvae
    Tyranid organisms with sharp, hollow fangs. They latch onto their victims, and suck all the liquid from their bodies. 4: pg.82
  • Electroshock Grub
    Small segmented worm, that create static electricity when they move. This energy arcs between small swarms burns everything in their path. 4: pg.82
  • Flesh-worms
    Small parasitic larvae that live within the Devourer weapon-symbiotes. When shot at a target they begin to voraciously bite and chew while releasing digestive enzymes, devouring the hosts nervous system. 1: pg.56, 2: pg. 8, 3: pg.30, 4: pg.81
    • Brainleech Worms
      A larger and more aggressive variant of the flesh-worm. Typically residing within the Devourers carried by the largest Tyranid organims. 4: pg.81
  • Shard-beast
    Sharp spine-like creatures symbioticly attached to the Impaler Cannon bio-weapon. When fired, they're ripped off the weapon, and have a few seconds of life to use wing-like flaps of skin to steer themselves to a target. 4: pg.47
  • Shreddershard Beetle
    Tiny beetle-like creatures covered in serrated needles. They exploded upon death, throwing spines in every direction. 4: pg.82

Other Tyranid Creatures

These creatures are either from older editions of Warhammer 40,000, or existed in spin-offs and background literature. Generally there is little know about the creature, or it has fallen out of flavour with the rest of the Tyranid forces.

Advanced Space Crusade

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader

Forgotten Fleets


  • a: These species are possibly one-off mutations or an experiment by the Hive Mind that has not been widely utilized.