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Species of Tyranid

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A List of all known Tyranid species and sub-species.


Main article: Bio-ships
Name Description Images Sources
Dark Prowler A manta-shaped creature with leathery thick wings attached to a central cavity. The ship's central cavity contains two powerful acid-firing chambers, and hullgrinders line its wings.
Dark Prowler.jpg
Hive Ship Massive Bio-ships that form the heart of the Hive fleets, acting as nodes for the Hive Mind to direct the swarm around them and serving as starborne factories that churn out the endless Tyranid swarms.
Kraken Space-faring creatures which vary wildly in design and appearance. [7]
* Deathburner Kraken Armed with a huge acidic projectile launcher
Deathburner Kraken.jpg
* Doomripper Kraken Binds to a prey vessel with its giant maw and dozens of writhing tentacles.
Doomsripper Kraken.jpg
* Hellblaster Kraken Designed to make contact with the hull or shields on an enemy vessel and then discharge a massive amount of electronic energy, overloading the ships systems and weakening it beyond repair.
Hellblaster Kraken.jpg
* Ramsmiter Kraken Pierces the armoured hulls of enemy ships and then suck out all the digestible material inside while simultaneously vomiting broods of Genestealers and Hormagaunts into the vessel.
Ramsmiter Kraken.jpg
* Smeltfeaster Kraken Mentioned only by name. [7]
Narvhal Fulfills the essential role of allowing all the vessels of a Tyranid Hive Fleet to travel faster than light. [16a]
Prowler Drone Long-range scouts [7]
Stalker Drone Small defence ships which defend the Hive Ship.
Tyranid Drone.png
Razorfiend Cruiser A large cruiser that is aggressive in their attacks, storming out from the hive fleet in response to any threat to the massive Hive Ships.
Rebirth Vessel Launches smaller than usual Mycetic Spores, which seem to carry previously slain tyranid commanders [19][Needs Citation]
Void Fiend Resembling a sort of long organic spike, with digestive tubes and firing chambers running along its sleek body.
Void Fiend.jpg
Wardrone Small defence ships which defend the Hive Ship.
War Drones.jpg
Tyrannocyte ship-to-surface transport organism
N.B. - Italics indicate subspecies of a greater species.


Name Description Images Sources
Dominatrix Huge monsters symbiotically fused with a smaller (Warrior-sized) entity which acts as a psychic link to the Norn-Queen aboard her ship.
Dominatrix 1.jpg
Hierophant These are the equivalent of an Imperial Warlord Battle Titan.
Viciator A large bio-titan akin to Hierophants.

Warmachine Size Creatures

Warmachine Size Creatures
Name Description Images Sources
Cerebore A massive Tyranid transporter organism.[15]
Dactylis Long-range fire-power specialist organism.
Exocrine Bred as a long range tank hunter
Harridan Large winged creature. It carries Gargoyles into battle.
Haruspex A genus of assault spawn intended to rush at the enemy lines.
Hierodule The equivalent of a small Imperial Titan.
Scythed hierodule1.jpg
Malefactor One of the general variety of assault creatures. It can carry other broods into battle under its carapace.
Nautiloid Gigantic Tyranids carrying shells resembling that of a snail, its mid and rear limbs are fused into a psuedopod and lashwhip combination.
Viragon A huge tunneling Tyranid which looks like a huge Trygon.
Sporocyst Atmospheric terraforming organism.

Monstrous Creatures

Monstrous Creatures
Name Description Images Sources
Carnifex Carnifexes are hulking, powerful Tyranid creatures used as living battering rams.
Tyranid Carnifex2.jpg
* Old One Eye [a] A unique Carnifex with the ability to regenerate itself from mortal wounds.
Old One Eye mini.jpg
Dimachaeron Large hunter-killer predator
Harpy A Harpy is a large winged species of Tyranid comparable to a winged Trygon.
Hive Crone A large flying creature designed for air-to-air combat
Hive Tyrant Monstrous Tyranid creatures created to be commanders of the Tyranid swarm, they embody the Hive Mind completely and act as the primary Synapse conduit through which it enforces its will over lesser Tyranid creatures.
Tyranid Hive Tyrant 4th Edition 1.jpg
* Swarmlord A legendary Hive Tyrant created by the Hive Mind with the purpose of out-thinking the enemy and developing new strategies when standard Tyranid strategies of physical and biological adaption fail.
* Dagon Overlord [a] A Hive Tyrant used exclusively by Hive Fleet Dagon.
Dagon Overlord DWMX.jpg
Laius Horror
Laius Horror.jpg
[Needs Citation]
Magma Corer [10]
Malanthrope A rarely seen form of psychic Tyranid.
Maleceptor A highly psychic organism
Mawloc A huge worm-like Tyranid creature that acts as an outrider to the Tyranid swarm.
Mawloc 5th ed.jpg
Tervigon A massive Tyranid which serves as a living incubator capable of spawning Termagants.
Tervigon01 873x627.jpg
Toxicrene Mobile toxic spore producing organism
Trygon Huge Tyranid creatures, similar to giant Raveners.
* Trygon Prime A variation of the Trygon adapted to share a synaptic link with the Hive Mind, allowing them to influence lesser Tyranid creatures.
Tyranid Trygon.jpg
Tyrannofex A Tyrannofex is a monstrous battle-fortress species of Tyranid.
Tyrannofex01 873x627.jpg


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

Medium Size Creatures

Medium Size Creatures
Name Description Images Sources
Biovore Tyranid creatures who are bred to launch Spore Mines towards the enemy, they are the equivalent of the artillery of other species - includes some variations like Triovore and Protovore
Broodlord A Tyranid leader organism, regarded as the epitome of the Genestealer breed.
Broodlord 2.jpg
Hive Guard Tyranid species that defends the consumption buildings of the Hive Mind.
Hive Guard 5th ed.jpg
Lictor Creatures that act as specialist scouts and vanguards, roving ahead of the Tyranid swarm to seek out and locate potential prey.
* Death Leaper [a] A unique Lictor created as the ultimate weapon of terror
* Lictor Alpha A rare variant of the Lictor genus, possessing greater strength, resilience and abilities than those of its common variant.
* Mist Reaper [a] A unique form of Lictor, that is responsible for many disappearances on the planet Xian.
Mist Reaper.jpg
Mieotic Spore Large sacks full of bio-acid and toxins and contain smaller Spore Mines within them.
Mucolid Spore Air defense organism
Parasite of Mortrex [a] A bat-winged Tyranid creature that has a barbed tail tipped with a hollow tube, like a snake's fang, capable of implanting its still-living victims with Ripper parasites.
Parasite of Mortrex (Artwork).jpg
Pyrovore A species of Tyranid which pre-digests biomass to provide minerals and fuel for the Tyranid Hive Fleet. It can launch a searing fireball from its dorsal flamespurt bio-weapon grown into its own flesh.
Ravener A Tyranid species adapted for fast assaults, surprise raids and swift pursuits.
Ravener model 5th ed.jpg
* Ravener Alpha A member of the Ravener genus, engineered for fast surprise assaults and the leading of the surrounding swarm.
* Red Terror [a] A particularly deadly Tyranid Ravener, covered in a carapace the colour of blood, armed with sets of great scythe blades and a maw so wide it can swallow a man whole.
Red Terror model.jpg
Tyranid Warrior The synaptic foot troops of the Hive Fleets. Warriors are among the most important Tyranids in battle, as not only are they powerful and deadly creatures, they are synapse creatures, directing lesser creatures and forming the focal points of the Hive Mind.
* Tyranid Prime A highly evolved Tyranid Warrior considered to be the apex of the Tyranid Warrior strain
* Tyranid Shrike A member of the Warrior genus, possessing wings and capable of flight, serving as mobile Synapse Creatures and shock assault troops.
Tyrant Guard A species of Tyranid spawned for the sole purpose of defending a Hive Tyrant from harm.
Zoanthrope A species of Tyranid created solely to harness the potential psychic power of the Hive Mind, in effect a type of psychic artillery used in Tyranid planetary invasions and a synapse creature used to relay the commands of the Hive Mind to lesser creatures. Named subspecies include Horror Zoanthrope, Zoanthrope Screamer, Catalyst Zoanthrope, Biothrope
* Neurothrope Evolved version of the Zoanthrope able to leech the life force from its victims
* Doom of Malan'tai [a] A uniquely adapted Tyranid Zoanthrope that has the ability to feed not upon flesh and blood but upon the psychic energy and souls of its victims.
Doom of Malan'tai (Artwork).jpg


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

Smaller Size Tyranid Creatures

Smaller Size Tyranid Creatures
Name Description Images Sources
Cortex Leech Resembling Rippers, they leap onto the face of their victims and insert long feelers into their ears, nose and eyes. These feelers are capable of manipulating the new hosts brain forcing them to become a dribbling puppet under the sway of the Hive Mind.
Gaunt The genus for a number of the smaller Tyranid species - including Termagants, Spinegaunts, Hormagaunts, Deathgaunts, Hellgaunts, Nightgaunts, Terrorgaunts, Slashgaunts, Razorgants, Crucigants, Exegants, Malgants, Mortegaunts, Rendergants, Protogaunts, Pyrogaunts, Lashgaunts, Genogants, Toxigaunts and Gargoyles.
Tyranid Gaunts.jpg
[Needs Citation]
* Hormagaunt A subspecies of Gaunt armed with razor-sharp Scything Talons and move on powerful hind legs in a series of exceptionally fast, bounding leaps that appears as a skittering, insect-like gait.
* Spinegaunt A Gaunt species that is armed with Spinefists.
[Needs Citation]
* Termagant Fast, agile and cunning creatures of the Gaunt genus. While not very strong individually, Termagants will often overwhelm much more elite foes with superior numbers.
* Gargoyle A winged Gaunt species.
Genestealer A species of Tyranid used as the ultimate shock trooper. Their purpose is to advance ahead of a Hive Fleet and pinpoint potential planets for the Tyranids to devour. They can infect other species with their genetic material.
Genestealer b.jpg
* Ymgarl Genestealer A mutated form of Genestealers originally thought to be native to the moons of planet Ymgarl, notable in that they are among the first contacts mankind has ever had with the Tyranid race.
Ripper A small species of Tyranid which serve as the primary means of devouring bio-mass from a planet. They are the most numerous of Tyranid creatures, and in great swarms they can pull down and consume creatures many times their own size.
Tyranid Ripper.jpg
* Eel-like Ripper An are a unnamed variant of rippers designed to devour every lifeform on the planet's seas [19b]
* Sky-slasher Winged Rippers
Ripper wings.jpg
Spore Mine Living, floating mines which explode if any non-Tyranid lifeform gets too close.

Tiny Tyranid Creatures

Tiny Tyranid Creatures
Name Description Sources
Fleshborer beetle Insatiable beetle-like organisms living within and fired from Fleshborers. [16ee]
Flesh-worm Worm-like organism with shiny black heads fired from Devourers. [4][16ee]
Scataphagoid Small beetle-like organism responsible for cleaning the respiratory tracks of Hive Ships [1]

Tyranid Flora and Bio-Structures

Tyranid Flora and Bio-Structures
Name Description Sources
Barbed Thermotropic Vine They spawn from the vast clouds of spores that Tyranids plant during the beginning stages of a planetary harvesting. [9][10]
Broodhive Broodhives are a large network of Tyranid plants that tunnel underneath the surface. [9]
Brood Nest Brood Nests provide Tyranid invasion forces with instant reinforcements. Hidden safely underground, Tyranid creatures are nurtured inside the brood nests. [Needs Citation]
Capillary Tower Tyranid plants that reach the upper atmosphere (and beyond). They link up with hive ships in low orbit, and then pump the biomass upwards to the waiting biovessels. [9][10]
Magma Vent Tyranid plants that burrow deep into the planetary crust releasing the gases trapped in this planetary layer. [9][10]
Mycetic Spore Large, living shells used to transport Tyranid creatures from Tyranid Hive Ships to a planet's surface. They could be considered the Tyranid equivalent of an Imperial Drop Pod. [10][16w]
Reclamation Pool One of the final stages of 'Tyraniforming' a planet, used to convert consumed bio-mass into a form utilisable by the Hive Fleets. [9][10]
Spore Chimney Pump out alien spores which not only pollute the atmosphere but also quickly alter the native fauna. [9][10]
Vitrified Plant [9]

Genestealer Cult Forces

These creatures are linked to Genestealer Cult infestations.[1]

Genestealer Cult Forces
Name Description Images
Genestealer Patriarch A Genestealer Patriarch is the founder and leader of a Genestealer Cult.
Genestealer Magus Highly Psychic Genestealer Hybrids, they act as figureheads for the Cult.
Genestealer Primus War leader
Acolyte Hybrid First and second generation Genestealer offspring
Hybrid Neophyte Third and Fourth generation Genestealer offspring
Hybrid Metamorph Late generation Genestealer offspring used for war
Genestealer Familiar Psychic constructs of a Genestealer Magus
Genestealer Aberrant Hulking mutants

Theorized Tyranid Species

These are creatures that the Magos Biologis believe exist, but for which there is no physical evidence.

  • Norn-Queens are believed to be the mysterious female counterparts to the Hive Tyrants. They lead the Tyranid swarms and direct the evolutionary paths to take. They invariably stay aboard their Hive Ships.

Tyranid Descendants

These are species that the Magos Biologis believe may be species that evolved from Tyranid that were left behind from failed Tyranid invasions.

Forgotten Fleets

Possible Tyranid Descendants

Previous Edition Tyranid Forces

These are species associated with the Tyranids only in earlier editions of WH40K. In game terms they are no longer part of Tyranid armies.

  • Grabber-Slashers[11] are destructive warrior assassins that appear to share certain biological traits with Orks. They are very muscular and aggressive creatures, capable of propelling themselves by their tails alone. Uniquely, they contain a type of algae within their blood that allows them to synthesize the genetic material of their victims and use this to mutate their form.
  • Zoat [Needs Citation]
  • Hunter Slayer (renamed Termagants) [Needs Citation]
  • Squig Swarm (became Ripper swarms) [Needs Citation]
  • Shroud-Spinner[11]
  • Mind-Slaver[11] - exists in current canon as Cortex Leech
  • Mind Slave - non-Tyranid creatures controlled by the Hive Mind through the Mind-Slaver. [Needs Citation]
  • Hive Lord - described in the 1st edition WH40k Rulebook as the acting agents of the Hive Fleet's ultimate ruler, they were analogous to the current Hive Tyrants. [Needs Citation]

See Also