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Chimera ant queen 2011
Chimera Ants
Kanji

キメラ(アント)

Kana

キメラ゠アント

Romanji

Kimera Anto

Statistics
Primary Ability

Phagogenesis

Located in

Human World[1]
Dark Continent[2]

Debut
Manga Debut

Chapter 186

Anime Debut

Episode 76 (2011)

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" 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

Chimera Ant Queens possess an entirely unique method of reproduction known as Phagogenesis ((せつ)(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 insectoid joints.

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.[5] 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

In every nest, one Queen Chimera Ant exists to produce more Ants in order to ensure the success of the species. A Chimera Ant colony is organized into a military-like chain of command. At the top of the hierarchy is the Queen, who hunts on her own and remains on the move until she has found a suitable place to nest. While she searches, she continuously gives birth to soldier ants in order to consume bigger, more abundant prey[9] so she can spawn even stronger drones and become pregnant with a King without the fear of predators.[1] Once she has found a suitable site, she produces a horde of construction ants to build a fortress in which she remains until her death. While she is pregnant with the King, her appetite increases.[9] Soldier ants are reorganized in ranks based on their strength: at the top is a handful of Squadron Leaders, followed by Officers who in turn have authority over Peons and Drudges. Then, she gives birth to a small number of even more powerful soldiers, the Royal Guards, ranked between the Squadron Leaders and herself. When a King is born, the Royal Guards are assigned to him and leave the nest with him as he mates with females from various species and impregnates the next Queen. Then, the Queen gives birth to new Royal Guards and Kings, while Squadron Leaders and lower-ranked ants remain in her service until she dies.[13] After her 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.[14]

When the giant Queen spawned soldiers with human genes, her offspring began to acquire a strong sense of individuality. This first manifsted 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.[15] The strength of the human ego ended up causing inner conflicts that in the long run undermined the chain of command.

Development and ReproductionEdit

HxHep78

The Royal Guards in their eggs

A Chimera Ant 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.[14] 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.[16]

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.[17] Survivors are then enveloped in a special cocoon created by Shaiapouf and turned into human-Chimera Ant hybrids.[18]

Types of Chimera AntsEdit

Mixed Chimera AntsEdit

Meruem's ColonyEdit

     Deceased     Classified as Magical Beast

Chimera Ants
Royal Family
Royal Guards
Squadron Leaders
Officers
BatPortrait
Bat
Soldiers
Pig
Pig


PlotEdit

Chimera Ant arcEdit

Kite destroys a Chimera Ant colony in Kakin.[19]

An enormous injured Chimera Ant Queen is stranded on the shores of NGL. Initially feeding on bats, fishes, and crabs, she produces soldier ants.[20] 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,[21] the majority of the Ants opt to abandon the Queen as they seek to establish their own kingdoms,[14] though some capitulate to humanity.[4] As they explore new lands, they come into conflict with various humans, including the Phantom Troupe,[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25]

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.[26]

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".[27]

TriviaEdit

  • In the official databook, the species name also appears as "Chmera Ant".

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 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 5.3 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 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 188
  10. 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. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 194
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 214
  15. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 192
  16. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 22, Chapter 224
  17. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 22, Chapter 230
  18. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 28, Chapter 294
  19. Hunter × Hunter - Episode 76 (2011)
  20. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 18, Chapter 186
  21. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 213
  22. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 22, Chapter 224
  23. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 217
  24. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 24, Chapter 259
  25. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 30, Chapter 318
  26. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 32, Chapter 331
  27. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 33, Chapter 342

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