Chimera Ants (キメラ゠アント or
Chimera Ant queens possess an entirely unique method of reproduction known as Phagogenesis (
Due to this unique method of reproduction, each generation of Chimera Ants is profoundly different from the one that preceded it, and even individual Ants from the same generation exhibit profound genetic differences, which are expressed by their unique appearance: a fodder species/Ant hybrid, the former component depending on the queen's diet. Notably, regardless of their non-insect genes, many of them retain arthropod legs.
Thanks to the unique method of reproduction of the species, Chimera Ant soldiers often inherit advantageous traits of the fodder species the queen fed on. Should the prey in question be humans, the resulting Ants will be more intelligent than ones born from wild animals to different extents, stronger, have the ability to talk, learn and operate machinery such as firearms, and even the potential to use Nen. Conversely, some of the more primitive ones are capable of feeling aura without seeing it, possibly due to their superior affinity with nature. Higher-ranked soldier Ants are born with the ability to see aura.
Chimera Ants are capable of surviving decapitation for a whole day, so long as the head itself remains intact after it has been removed. However, this is not always the case for those born with human genes, including the Queen herself, who died as a result of having several organs destroyed by her son. Like all other living beings, they need to breathe, although the manner in which they do so varies with their genes.
It is unknown how ordinary Chimera Ants communicate. The Queen who drifted from the Dark Continent to the human world could issue orders telepathically, possibly with the aid of specific sound signals. Despite her high level of intelligence, however, the fodder species she feeds on affects the mental and communication abilities of her offspring, to the point that some of them may be unable to express complex concepts that an Ant with human intelligence would ordinarily be able to understand. Some soldier Ants born with human genes acquired the ability to speak while also retaining their telepathy, whereas Royal Guards (and, presumably, kings) lack telepathy altogether and can resort exclusively to verbal communication.
Chimera Ants, or at least the ones born with human genes, have the potential to recollect events that occurred to the individuals whose genetic material they ended up inheriting, to the point some of them consider themselves as being the exact same person reborn. These memories are the reason some of them were able to talk right after being born. The personality of the fodder human can affect a Chimera Ant to varying degrees, and many remember their former names. In some cases, Chimera Ants can recall everything about their past life, while in others the memories are only subconscious. Koala believes that this is made possible by the human soul surviving through the process of Phagogenesis. Having a strong will as a human being makes it more likely for one to be reborn as a Chimera Ant.
Hierarchy and Behavior
A Chimera Ant colony is organized into a military-like chain of command. At the top of the hierarchy is the Queen (
As the queen continues to produce more soldiers, she will divide them into three ranks, their numbers being inversely proportional to their degree of strength and authority, the few strongest ants become Squadron Leaders (
Later on, the Queen will spawn a small group of elites known as the Royal Guards (
Once the King is born, the Royal Guards will completely disregard any loyalty they had for the Queen and go into the Kings service, at which point, the Squadron Leaders will answer directly to the Queen once more. The King and his Royal Guards will then leave the nest to establish a territory of their own. It is the duty of the King to mate with females of other species in order to breed the next generation of Queens, ensuring the continued survival of the species. Over time, the Queen will spawn more Royal Guards and more Kings who will repeat the process. This will continue until the Queen's death.
After the Queen's demise, her underlings, starting from the Squadron Leaders, then spreading to the Officers as the chain of command breaks, become copycat Kings and leave the nest to conquer their own territory and spread their own seed. Some ants may become copycat Royal Guards instead and continue to serve under the higher ranked ant they served under while the Queen was still alive.
The giant Chimera Ant Queen who conquered NGL also produced a different type of ant on whose back where the amniotic sacs where the three Royal Guards incubated. Following her death, at least one of her Squadron Leaders reorganized his division: he split his Officers between a minority of Assistant Squadron Leaders (
When the giant Queen spawned soldiers with human genes, her offspring began to acquire a strong sense of individuality. This first manifested in their request to have names, a concept that ended up fascinating the Queen herself. Due to her often feeding off criminals from NGL, many of her subjects became vicious, hunting, torturing and killing humans for fun. The strength of the human ego ended up causing inner conflicts that in the long run undermined the chain of command.
Some of these human-ants also entered into the service of the King after the nest hierarchy fell apart when the Queen died. It is unknown whether or not this is unusual behavior for Chimera Ants.
Development and Reproduction
A Chimera Ant's life starts from an egg, which the Queen hangs from the ceiling of her shelter. When it hatches, a Chimera Ant will emerge in full adult form ready to work for the Queen. The Queen is the center of reproduction. In the event that she should die, reports state that male soldier Ants will break from the colony and become copycat Kings, trying to forcibly mate with females of other species to give birth to a new generation of Ants.
In the giant Queen's colony, this process started before her demise, when she lost her ability to procreate and was so badly injured, her soldiers (correctly) assumed that she would die soon anyway. It is not known if female soldier Ants could breed with males of other species, as the only known case that attempted to start her own colony was Zazan, who used her stinger and Nen abilities to turn humans into Chimera Ant hybrids instead of laying eggs like her mother.
The "Selection" is a method for producing soldiers that the Royal Guards serving under Meruem developed after developing human-like intelligence and gaining knowledge of Nen. This method entails manipulating humans and has them control their own aura in order to strike other humans. Humans targeted this way either develop Nen skills or die. Survivors are then enveloped in a special cocoon created by Shaiapouf and turned into human-Chimera Ant hybrids.
Types of Chimera Ants
- Condor: Colt
- Alligator: Alligator
- Mantis: Mantis
- Penguin: Peggy
- Turtle: Turtle
- Bull: Bihorn
- Panda: Small Bear
- Cheetah: Cheetu
- Frog: Frog
- Lobster: Bloster
- Scorpion (with Crocodile transformation): Zazan
- Chameleon: Meleoron
- Mosquito: Mosquito
- Centipede: Centipede
- Koala: Koala
- Spider: Pike
- Lion: Leol
- Rabbit: Hina
- Dragonfly: Flutter
- Armadillo: Baro
- Rhino: Rhino
- Pig: Pig
- Cat: Neferpitou
- Butterfly: Shaiapouf
- Unknown Magical Beasts: Menthuthuyoupi
- Wolf: Welfin
- Rat: Kite
- Dog: Dog
- Beetle: Boki and Pell
- Stag Beetle: Small Beetle
- Snake: Snake
- Owl (with Gorilla transformation): Hollow
- Bat: Bat
- Octopus: Ikalgo
- Aquatic Animal: Ortho Siblings
- Sharksucker: Remora
- Ant: Shidore
Mixed Chimera Ants
Unclear/Indeterminable Chimera Ants
Pouf's Human-Ant Hybrids
Classified as Magical BeastDeceased •
The "Sorting" (also called "Selection") is a project laid out by the Royal Guards and the first step towards world conquest. After installing themselves in the Royal Palace of East Gorteau, they manipulate the country's leader to announce a mandatory rally in the capital Peijin in ten days' time, which every single citizen, including the elderly, the infirm, and public servants, is forced to participate in. Once the whole population is gathered, starting from 12:00 p.m., the Royal Guards are supposed to awaken their Nen by force, using Neferpitou's Manipulation ability to concentrate aura into the fist of a puppet, striking each citizen. Survivors with the physical and mental capabilities to serve as soldiers will be placed into cocoons that will turn them into human-Ant hybrids and give them Nen abilities, in order to increase the quality of the King's food as well as to create a powerful army.
It was estimated that only 1% of the citizens of East Gorteau would survive the "Sorting", resulting in an army of 50,000 Nen users and the death of 4,950,000 people. Due to a large number of individuals to "sort", Neferpitou started the procedure as early as 10 days prior to the rally, starting from the eastern border and moving towards the capital. Due to Killua's and later Morel and Knov's interference, however, this remote "Sorting" had to be suspended after it produced 5,000 hybrids.
The main phase of the "Sorting", which was supposed to be carried out in front of the Royal Palace, never took place.
"Unification" is the second step of the Royal Guards' program. It consists in utilizing the army of 50,000 Nen-using hybrids created through the "Sorting" to conquer all countries in the Human Territorial Waters (the part of the world where humans live).
After being swayed by Komugi, Meruem resolved to allow the few humans deserving to live to survive in his future kingdom without unjust want. Impressed with Netero's efforts and power, and recognizing that the ego of humans makes them an unsuitable species to feed on, he later planned to institute a special preserve where humans could settle permanently, and to screen the quality and quantity of humans to consume carefully. Shortly prior to his death, Meruem seemed to rethink his ambitions completely, considering using his power to benefit mankind. His indecision makes it difficult to determine if he would have wanted to go through with it had he not been poisoned.
Due to the "Sorting" not being completed and the death of Meruem and the Royal Guards, the "Unification" project was never started.
Chimera Ant arc
An enormous injured Chimera Ant Queen is stranded on the shores of NGL. Initially feeding on bats, fishes, and crabs, she produces soldier Ants. After feasting on two humans, she prioritizes humans as her food. She moves on to another lair deeper in NGL while her minions hunt enormous quantities of humans to satisfy his voracious appetite.
Following Meruem's birth, the majority of the Ants opt to abandon the Queen as they seek to establish their own kingdoms, though some capitulate to humanity. As they explore new lands, they come into conflict with various humans, including the Phantom Troupe, and the Hunter Association sends exterminators after them. Meruem and his Royal Guards settle in the Royal Palace of East Gorteau, usurping control of the country from Ming Jol-ik. Taking advantage of its authoritarian policies, they lure the civilian population in order to conduct a Selection process. Several former Squadron Leaders end up serving Meruem. However, the Extermination Team sent to the Republic of East Gorteau wipes out the hostile Ants, while the remaining Ants accept a peaceful co-existence with humanity.
13th Hunter Chairman Election arc
When Ging Freecss talked with Cheadle Yorkshire, he explained that when Netero blew himself up, 100 Hunter Association airships headed to East Gorteau, acting unbeknownst to the Zodiacs and the majority of the Hunters. Ging only managed to gather this information due to his acquaintances with the pilots and mechanics in the Hunter Association. Those Hunters picked up around 5,000 hybrid human-beast cocoons that the Chimera Ants have left behind. Every single creature in the cocoons can use Nen and they have probably all hatched by now. Pariston wants to play with them in a "big garden" or potentially setting the framework for the next Hunter Exam in which candidates will have to fight Chimera Ants who know how to use Nen to gain a Hunter License.
Dark Continent Expedition arc
Ging arrives in the lair of Beyond Netero's Expedition Team and confronts Pariston. He guesses that depending on how the Hunter Association responds to Beyond's provocation regarding the Dark Continent, Pariston may send in 5,000 Chimera soldiers.
- In the official databook, the species name also appears as "Chmera Ant[sic]".
- Although there are several Chimera Ants with distinct recollections of their human components, only Leol and Ikalgo have shown to retain conscious memories of their animal part.
Anime and Manga Differences
- In the 2011 anime adaptation, Kite destroys a normal Chimera Ant colony in Kakin before meeting the giant Ant specimens later in the story.
- Many fans compare Chimera ant with Xenomorph from Alien universe for the method of its reproduction by inherits certain characteristics from its host organism.
- Phagogenesis has something of a real-world counterpart known as horizontal gene transfer, which entails the transfer of genetic material between organisms through means other than traditional reproduction. Horizontal gene transfer occurs mainly between single-celled organisms, but at least one parasitic vine, Boquila trifoliolata, seems to be capable of altering the appearance of its leaves to mimic its host (perhaps with the assistance of a microorganism, although research into this is still ongoing).
Translations around the World
|Members||Chimera Ant Queen • Meruem (King)|
|Members||Menthuthuyoupi • Neferpitou • Shaiapouf|
|Squadron Leaders||Alligator • Baital • Bihorn • Bloster • Cheetu • Chiona • Colt • Gaftz • Goran • Leol • Meleoron • Octopus • Peggy • Pokoro • Reikei • Small Bear • Turtle • Welfin • Yunju • Zazan • Zem|
|Officers||Baro • Bat • Boki • Carabid Beetle • Centipede • Flutter • Frog • Gorilla • Gun-toting Ant • Hina • Hollow • Ikalgo • Koala • Mosquito • Ortho Siblings • Pike • Rammot • Rhino • Small Beetle • Snake|
(Peons & Drudges)
|Inzagi • Maenole • Pell • Remora • Taragetter|
Pig • Shidore
|Unknown Rank||Gyro • Kite • Palm Siberia|
|Captains & Officers||Baro • Carabid Beetle • Frog • Hina • Ikalgo • Ortho Siblings • Rhino|
|Drudges & Peons||Remora • Shidore|
|Officers||Bat • Hollow • Koala • Snake|
|Soldiers (Peons)||Inzagi • Maenole • Taragetter|
|Officers||Centipede • Mosquito|
|Officers||Boki • Gorilla • Gun-toting Ant • Pike • Small Beetle|
|Drudges & Peons||Pell|