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Chimera Ants (キメラ゠アント or キメラ()(アント)()()()()()()()(), Kimera Anto) are extremely dangerous insects designated quarantine level one. Also known as "Gourmet Ants" (グルメアント, Gurume Anto) due to carefully selecting their food, they have voracious appetites and can consume several times their own weight within a single day. It is not uncommon for Chimera Ants to devour their preferred fodder species to extinction.[1] In general, not even Chimera Ant queens become bigger than 10 centimeters, but gigantic Chimera Ant queens (over 2 meters tall)[1] can be found in the Dark Continent.[2] The Hunter Association classified the colony led by Meruem as a B level threat.[3]

BiologyEdit

77 - Phagogenesis

Phagogenesis

Chimera Ant queens possess an entirely unique method of reproduction known as Phagogenesis ((せっ)(しょく)(こう)(はい)()()()()()(), Sesshoku Kōhai), a term meaning reproduction through devouring. By eating other creatures, a Chimera Ant queen can impart the characteristics of ingested creatures onto the next generation of Chimera Ants it gives birth to. She can produce up to five Ants with one meal. To take advantage of the genes of a particular species, Chimera Ants have been known to feed until the fodder species is driven to extinction in its ecosystem. Humans are known to be extremely nutritious fodder for Chimera Ant queens.[1] 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,[4] which are expressed by their unique appearance: a fodder species/Ant hybrid, the former component depending on the queen's diet. Genes from multiple species can be mixed in the same Ant. Regardless of their non-insect genes, many of them retain arthropod legs.

HxH EP77

The Chimera Ant Queen with first generation soldiers

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,[5] possibly due to their superior affinity with nature. Higher-ranked soldier Ants are born with the ability to see aura.[6]

Much like snakes, Chimera Ants are capable of survive decapitation for a whole day until they die, which requires Hunters to destroy their head to kill them right on spot.[7] However, this is not always the case for those born with human genes,[8] including the Queen herself, who died as a result of having several organs destroyed by her son.[4] Like all other living beings, they need to breath, 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.[9] 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.[5] Some soldier Ants born with human genes acquired the ability to speak while also retaining their telepathy,[9] whereas Royal Guards (and, presumably, kings) lack the ability altogether and can resort exclusively to verbal communication.[10]

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.[4] In some cases, Chimera Ants can recall everything about their past life,[11] while in others the memories are only subconscious.[5] Koala believes that this is made possible by the human soul surviving through the process of Phagogenesis.[11] Having a strong will as a human being makes it more likely for one to be reborn as a Chimera Ant.[12]

Hierarchy and BehaviorEdit

Chimera Ant hierarchy

Chimera Ant hierarchy

A Chimera Ant colony is organized into a military-like chain of command. At the top of the hierarchy is the Queen ((じょ)(おう)()()()()()()()(), Joō), who hunts on her own until she produces a sufficient amount of soldiers to procure food in her stead. In the meanwhile, she keeps moving until she finds a suitable location to build a nest, after which she spawns hordes of Construction Ants ((けん)(ちく)(あり)()()()()()()(), Kenchiku Ari), where she remains until her death.[9] She produces a King ((おう)()()()()()()()()(), Ō) at regular intervals, who leaves the nest to mate with a female of another species and impregnating the next generation's Queen.[13]

Right below the Queen and King in the hierarchy are the Royal Guards ((ちょく)(ぞく)()(えい)(ぐん)()()()()(), Chokuzoku Goei-gun—lit. "Immediate Guard Force"), a handful of elite soldiers. Initially tasked with protecting the Queen, they are assigned to the King after his birth and leave the nest with him.[13] A Queen's appetite increases while she prepares to give birth to the Royal Guards, at which point she stops spawning Soldiers, and peaks while she is pregnant with the King.[14] Soldier Ants are organized in three ranks, their number being inversely proportional to their degree of strength and authority: directly under the Royal Guards, and, after the King's birth, the Queen, are the Squadron Leaders (()(だん)(ちょう)()()()()()()(), Shidan-chō), each in command of a group of Officers ((へい)(たい)(ちょう)()()()()()()(), Heitai-chō—lit. "Chief Soldier"), who in turn have authority over Peons ((せん)(とう)(へい)()()()()()()(), Sentō-hei—lit. "Combat Soldier") and Drudges ((ざつ)()(へい)()()()()()()(), Zatsumu-hei—lit. "Chores Soldier").[9] 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 spread their own seed.[15]

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.[9] Following her death, at least one of her Squadron Leaders reorganized his division: he split his Officers between a minority of Assistant Squadron Leaders (()(だん)(ちょう)()()()()()()(), Shidan-chō Hosa)[16] and a larger group of lower-ranked Captains.[17][18] Additionally, the Royal Guards created a whole new species of soldiers by turning living humans into Chimera Ant hybrids.[19] One of them had her emotions separated from her memories, for which she was labelled as an experimental specimen ((じっ)(けん)(へい)()()()()()()(), Jikken Heishi—lit. "Experimental Soldier").[20] A Squadron Leader exhibited a similar ability, although her hybrids did not acquire Nen abilities as a result of the process.[21]

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.[9] Due to her often feeding off criminals from NGL, many of her subjects became vicious, hunting, torturing and killing humans for fun.[22] The strength of the human ego ended up causing inner conflicts that in the long run undermined the chain of command.[23]

Development and ReproductionEdit

HxHep78

The Royal Guards in their eggs

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.[1] The Queen is the center of reproducing. However, in an unexpected event that the Queen dies or loses her ability to reproduce, known reports state that male soldier Ants will break from the colony and will try assume the role as a King. Then they will try to forcibly mate with the females of other species to give birth to a new generation of Ants.[15] It is not known if female soldier Ants can do the same and breed with males of other species, as the only known case that attempted to start her own colony was Zazan who preferred unconventional methods of reproducing soldiers by using her stinger on humans instead of egg-laying like her mother.[21]

The "Selection" is a new method for producing soldiers that the Royal Guards serving under Meruem developed after getting human intelligence and the knowledge of Nen. This method entails manipulating humans and have them control their own aura in order to strike other humans. Humans targeted this way either develop Nen abilities or die.[24] Survivors are then enveloped in a special cocoon created by Shaiapouf and turned into human-Chimera Ant hybrids.[20]

Types of Chimera AntsEdit

Mixed Chimera AntsEdit

Unclear/Indeterminable Chimera AntsEdit

Pouf's Human-Ant HybridsEdit

Meruem's ColonyEdit

     Deceased     Classified as Magical Beast

Chimera Ants
Royal Family
Royal Guards
Squadron Leaders
Officers
BatPortrait
Bat
Peons
Drudges
Pig
Pig
Unknown Rank


SortingEdit

The "Sorting"[25] (also called "Selection")[26] 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.[25] Survivors 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[27] as well as to create a powerful army.[24]

It was estimated that only 1% of the citizens of East Gorteau would survive the "Sorting", resulting in an army of 50,000 Nen user and the death of 4,950,000 people. Due to the 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.[24] Due to Killua's[10] and later Morel and Knov's interference, however, this remote "Sorting" had to be suspended[28] after it produce 5,000 hybrids.[27]

The main phase of the "Sorting", which was supposed to be carried out in front of the Royal Palace, never took place.

UnificationEdit

"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).[29]

After being swayed by Komugi,[30] Meruem resolved to allow the few humans deserving to live to survive in his future kingdom without unjust want.[31] 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.[23] 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.[32]

Due to the "Sorting" not being completed and the death of Meruem and the Royal Guards, the "Unification" project was never started.

PlotEdit

Chimera Ant arcEdit

Kite destroys a Chimera Ant colony in Kakin.[33]

An enormous injured Chimera Ant Queen is stranded on the shores of NGL. Initially feeding on bats, fishes, and crabs, she produces soldier Ants.[34] After feasting on two humans,[1] 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.[9]

Following Meruem's birth,[35] the majority of the Ants opt to abandon the Queen as they seek to establish their own kingdoms,[15] though some capitulate to humanity.[4] As they explore new lands, they come into conflict with various humans, including the Phantom Troupe,[21] 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.[36] 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.[37] However, the extermination squad sent to the Republic of East Gorteau wipes out the hostile Ants, while the remaining Ants accept a peaceful co-existence with humanity.[38]

13th Hunter Chairman Election arcEdit

When he was talking to Cheadle Yorkshire, Ging Freecss explained that when Netero blew himself up, 100 Hunter Association airships headed to East Gorteau without the knowing of the Zodiacs and the majority of the Hunters. Ging only manage 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.[19]

Dark Continent Expedition arcEdit

Ging arrives in the lair of Beyond Netero's expedition team and confronts Pariston. Ging explains that the government will answer to Beyond's taunt and send them to the Dark Continent. He orders Pariston to send in 5,000 Chimeras. He continues that he will start to "play directly". When Pariston sounds confident that Ging will join him, Ging answers that he wants to "play by himself".[39]

TriviaEdit

  • 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.[14][18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 18, Chapter 187
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 32, Chapter 338
  3. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 33, Chapter 346
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 215
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 189
  6. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 190
  7. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 193
  8. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 195
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 188
  10. 10.0 10.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 22, Chapter 234
  11. 11.0 11.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 32, Chapter 337
  12. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 20, Chapter 204
  13. 13.0 13.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 194
  14. 14.0 14.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 197
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 214
  16. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 23, Chapter 240
  17. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 23, Chapter 236
  18. 18.0 18.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 23, Chapter 238
  19. 19.0 19.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 32, Chapter 331
  20. 20.0 20.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 28, Chapter 294
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 22, Chapter 224
  22. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 192
  23. 23.0 23.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 28, Chapter 297
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 22, Chapter 230
  25. 25.0 25.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 22, Chapter 223
  26. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 29, Chapter 308
  27. 27.0 27.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 22, Chapter 246
  28. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 23, Chapter 243
  29. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 24, Chapter 256
  30. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 27, Chapter 287
  31. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 27, Chapter 288
  32. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 30, Chapter 314
  33. Hunter × Hunter - Episode 76 (2011)
  34. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 18, Chapter 186
  35. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 213
  36. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 217
  37. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 24, Chapter 259
  38. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 30, Chapter 318
  39. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 33, Chapter 342

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