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Chimera Ants

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Chimera Ants (キメラアント, Kimera Anto) are fictional species of insects that appear in the Japanese manga series Hunter × Hunter by Yoshihiro Togashi.

Background

Chimera Ants are extremely dangerous animals that come from the "outside" world and are ranked first among insects that should be quarantined. Also known as the "Gourmet Ant," they have voracious appetites and can consume several times their own weight within a single day. In every nest, one Queen Chimera Ant exists to produce more Ants in order to ensure the success of the species. Chimera Ant Queens possess an entirely unique method of reproduction known as Phagogenesis (摂食交配, Sesshoku Kōhai), a fictional 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. 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.[1]

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 Ant, initially protected by the three Royal Guards. Under them are thirty-six Squadron Leaders, who each command four or five Officers, each of whom in turn are in charge of ten to fifteen Drudges.[2] The later a Chimera Ant is born by the queen, the stronger and higher ranking it is in their hive. After enough Ants have been produced to form a colony, the Queen Ant focuses all her efforts on giving birth to a King Ant. Upon his birth, the Royal Guards solely follow the commands of the King, who leaves the nest to find various creatures to mate with and impregnate in order to create the next Queen Ant.[3]

Although normal Chimera Ants are the size of large insects (with a Queen capable of growing to a maximum length of 10 centimeters), the NGL story arc begins with the introduction of a Chimera Ant Queen over two meters tall. The core conflict of the arc arises when the Queen starts to feed upon humans, after discovering the nutritional value of humans to be far superior to that of other prey.[4] As a secondary effect, the Ants born by the Queen also become more intelligent and humanoid shaped while retaining traits of various animals consumed by the Queen. Newer generations of Chimera Ants are capable of using both human speech and a form of telepathy to communicate.[5] In contrast, the earliest generation ants and the Queen may only use telepathy while the Royal Guards are wholly incapable of it. Chimera Ants are also capable of surviving wounds that would be fatal to a human and can regenerate damage to their body within a day if their heads are not destroyed.[6] The later generation of Ants produced possess a great degree of individuality, as a result of the Queen's mostly human diet (shown when the Ants request permission from the Queen to give themselves names)[7]. Several of these Ants also possess memories from the lives of the humans eaten by the Queen, in the form of personality or knowledge of language and other subjects.[8] Having a strong will as a human being makes it more likely for one to be reborn as an ant.

Development and Reproduction

A Chimera Ant life starts from an egg. When it hatches a Chimera Ant will emerge in full adult form ready to work for the Queen.[9] The Queen is the center of reproducing. However, in an unexpected event that the Queen dies or loses its ability to reproduce, known reports states that male soldier ants will break from the colony and will try assume the role as a King Ant. Then they will try to forcibly mate with the females of other species to give birth to a new generation of ants.[10] 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 the Queen Ant.[11] The Selection is another unique phenomenon for reproducing soldiers that the Chimera ants gained after getting human intelligence and the knowledge of Nen.

Biology

A Chimera Ant is an insect but with human/animal features. Their appearance is something of a human-animal hybrid depending on the Queen's diet. Aside from their unique appearance, there are also a few things that make Chimera Ants easily identifiable: the inability of some of the Chimera Ants to completely lose their insectoid joints and their one track mind of acquiring prey to slate their hunger.  

Types of Chimera Ants

Mixed Chimera Ants


Chimera Ants
Royal Family
Queen Portrait MeruemPortrait Neferpitou Portrait Shaiapouf Portrait YoupiPortrait
Queen Meruem Neferpitou Shaiapouf Menthuthuyoupi
Kite(ant) Template
Kite
Squadron Leaders
Alligator Portrait Bihorn Portrait Bloster Portrait Cheetu Portrait2 Colt Portrait
Alligator Bihorn Bloster Cheetu Colt
Leol Portrait Meleoron Portrait Peggy Portrait Turtle Portrait Welfin Portrait
Leol Meleoron Peggy Turtle Welfin
Yunju Portrait Zazan Portrait Div3 Portrait Div4 Portrait Div5 Portrait
Yunju Zazan Chimera Ant Panda Chimera Ant Octopus ?????
Officers
BokiPortrait CentipedePortrait Flutter Portrait Hina Portrait Frog Portrait
Boki Centipede Flutter Hina Frog
Ikalgo Template MosquitoPortrait PikePortrait Rammot Portrait OrthoPortrait
Ikalgo Mosquito Pike Rammot Ortho Siblings
Soldiers
BaroPortrait BatPortrait Bombardier Beetle Chimera Ant Gyro Template 0863
Baro Bat Bombardier Beetle Gyro Inzagi
Koala Portrait 0862 HollowPortrait Palm Clarvoiyance PellPortrait
Koala Maenore Hollow Palm Siberia Pell
Pig RemoraPortrait RhinoPortrait 110 - Shidore Snake chimera ant face
Pig Coburn Rhino Shidore Snake
106 - Taragette
Taragette


References

  1. Hunter × Hunter manga Volume 18, Chapter 187 : Behavior, The Queen and King's reproduction method.
  2. Hunter × Hunter manga Volume 19, Chapter 194 : Chimera Ant Hierarchy.
  3. Hunter × Hunter manga Volume 21, Chapter 214 : Chimera ant soldiers reproduction method.
  4. Hunter × Hunter manga Volume 21, Chapter 215 : Queen ant and the soldiers have completely different morphologies and can be classified as different species.
  1. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 18, Chapter 187
  2. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 194
  3. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 194
  4. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 18, Chapter 187
  5. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 188
  6. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 193
  7. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 19, Chapter 188
  8. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 215
  9. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 18, Chapter 187
  10. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 214
  11. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 22, Chapter 224

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