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"Teeth, claws, tentacles, spines – give me guns, oh Emperor give me guns! I know how to fight an enemy who attacks me with guns!"

— Captain Endolus at the Battle of Macragge

Some common Tyranid Biomorphs recovered from the battlefield

Tyranid Biomorphs are essentially biomechanical devices and artificially-induced genetic mutations of the Tyranid genome that provide another way to attack a foe beyond the Tyranid's natural weapons of teeth and claws or that alter an aspect or the metabolism of a Tyranid bioform to improve its speed, durability, or other physical traits.

Variants of these weapons are also sometimes used by the Brood Brothers and Genestealer hybrids in service to the various Genestealer Cults that infest Imperial worlds.

Close Combat Biomorphs

  • Bio-plasma - Bio-plasma is emitted by a potent, close-ranged Tyranid biomorph -- often engineered by the Hive Mind into Tyranid Carnifexes -- that can be unleashed in a short-ranged attack upon foes. With this biomorph, a Tyranid organism gains the ability to internally energise a form of organically-created plasma that can be vomited forth as a burning and blinding ball of incandescent green energy. Each ball of Bio-plasma has the equivalent force of a blast from an Imperial Plasma Cannon, but can be hurled a much shorter distance.
  • Bonesword - Boneswords are blades of living chitin that wear away and grow back. They crackle with the Hive Mind's psychic energy and are very effective against armoured units. Boneswords are also used by the servants of Genestealer Cults. Grown from the Genestealer Patriarch's osseous throne, these Boneswords are sentient weapons that thirst for the psychic energies of the cults' adversaries.
  • Claws and Teeth - These basic biomorphs are equipped on even the simplest of Tyranid organisms, such as Rippers. These razor-sharp claws and fangs allow Tyranids to rip apart their victims.
  • Crushing Claws - The obscene strength of these claws allows them to smash any foe.
  • Hypermorph Tail - Like Hybrid Metamorphs, some Genestealer Cult Aberrants mutate as a hive fleet approaches their Genestealer-infested homeworld. As these mutations take hold, the creature's spinal column extends into a muscular tail, tipped with a hooked barb sharp enough to slice through meat, bone and even infantry armour.
  • Lash Whip - Lash Whips are cords of muscle that move at lightning speed to slash prey. Some Tyranid creatures wield both a Lash Whip and a Bonesword as a deadly symbiotic combination. Favoured Genestealer Cult hybrids may also be blessed with this symbiotic pairing of bio-weapons, making them even more lethal at close quarters.
  • Rending Claws - The diamond-hard tips of these claws can tear through armour.
  • Scything Talons - Scything Talons are long, razor-edged claws of serrated chitin. Powered by whipcord muscles, they can stab, slash, and eviscerate victims with lightning-fast swipes.
  • Sharpened Claws - These claws are of extreme length and have been sharpened to a monomolecular edge. They are further enhanced by the presence of crackling psychic energies which run down their length.
  • Stone Crusher - This close-combat biomorph is most commonly encountered on the Stone-Crusher Carnifex. Designed for urban battles, the Stone-Crusher is rammed through a wall using the Carnifex's immense strength, then pulled backwards to wrench the entire structure down.
  • Tusks - Tusks are a large adamantium-laced chitin weapon that extends from the head of the Tyranid and allows them to initiate a devastating charge, often breaking through ranks of troops by smashing them aside.
  • Wrecking Ball - A Wrecking Ball is a large biomorph composed of hardened chitin utilised on massive Tyranid species like the Carnifex which use it to shatter armoured vehicles and crush ranks of infantry into bloody pulp.

Tail Biomorphs

The tails of some Tyranids are deadly weapons, from bony protrusions dense enough to cave in the side of a tank to stingers containing enough poison to kill whole regiments.

  • Bone Mace
  • Prehensile Pincer
  • Thrasher Scythe
  • Toxinspike

Ranged Biomorphs

  • Acid Spray - A Bio-Cannon stores huge reservoirs of caustic digestive fluids used to break down organic matter at a rapid rate. This acid corrosion is sprayed over the victims, melting through their body armour with horrifying ease and reducing them to a puddle of liquefied flesh.
  • Barbed Strangler Weapons - These weapons fire seed pods that grow to maturity in seconds, spreading out hooked tendrils in all directions.
  • Bile Pod - This living ammunition is a parasitic creature which feeds off the toxins emitted by the poisonous glands of the Dactylis' cranium. In recent encounters, the Dactylis has shown the Tyranids' innate ability to adapt to any combat situation or tactical need -- its cranial glands have grown a variety of spore-generating colonies that can be used to produce a number of different types of deadly ammunition that can be chosen for their particular utility against specific classes of foe.
  • Bio-Cannon - This biomorph is among the largest weapons yet encountered on a Tyranid organism. They are often equipped on large Tyranid Bio-Titans such as Hierophants or Harridans. The Bio-Cannon is triggered by a massive electro-chemical shock that spews forth a hail of highly venomous and corrosive maggot organisms. These organisms then impact on the target, splattering a rain of bio-acid and poison that can melt through nearly any material in a matter of seconds and reduce the unfortunate victim to a steaming pile of bubbling goo.
  • Bio-Electric Pulse Weapons - As a Trygon moves, it generates a potent bio-static electric field that discharges with lethal effect when the Trygon sights prey. Trygon Primes have curved spines sprouting from their bodies which contain and amplify this energy.
  • Bio-plasma - Some Carnifexes can generate a roaring ball of bio-plasma within their bodies and vomit forth the resultant energy as an incandescent gobbet of fire.
  • Bio-Plasmic Cannon - This giant weapon can channel bio-plasma through a series of different ventricles to ensure the destruction of its prey, unleashing a vast ball of roaring energy through its central chamber, or firing several focussed streams of death through its surrounding barrels.
  • Cluster Spines - Some Tyranid bioforms have rows of quills imbedded in their carapaces that they can project a considerable distance.
  • Deathspitter - This multi-creature symbiote fires maggot-like organisms with corrosive innards. A spider-jawed set of fangs drags an organism from the weapon's brooding chamber and strips off its shell, before the Deathspitter reacts to the caustic flesh with a spasm, firing the maggot to explode in a shower of caustic slime against its target.
  • Devourer - These weapons fling worm-like parasites called flesh-worms that burrow into their victim's flesh and eat their way through its nervous system to the brain, rapidly destroying the victim's central nervous system, resulting in a painful but rapid death. The Devourers wielded by larger Tyranids teem with hives of brainleech worms, a more aggressive and voracious Devourer organism. When the worms are launched at the target, in a swarm of hundreds at a time, they either shatter against the target and spread acid and poison over it, or pierce the armour to burrow into the flesh or brain as their species type determines. The worms possess shiny black heads and are kept within the weapon, their activity triggered by a bio-electric surge that signals them to attack.
  • Drool Cannon - Drool Cannons fire gobbets of caustic digestive juice over their victims.

Thorax Biomorphs

Certain Tyranids have thoracic cavities that play host to swarms of parasites -- some of these minute creatures drain their victims' vital fluids, others emit an electrical charge which plays havoc with enemy vehicles, and others still nestle amongst the foe's armour before exploding in a horrific fashion. All Thorax Biomorphs are ranged weapons.

  • Flamespurt - The Pyrovore's flamespurt bio-weapon billows forth a blazing plume of fire, engulfing the Hive Mind's foes in a searing conflagration.
  • Flesh Hooks - Equipped on Lictors, these sharp barbs are attached to long ropy tendrils which are kept coiled close to the Lictor's ribcage, until they are fired by a powerful muscle spasm. The Lictor can use these hooks either to scale sheer obstacles or to snag luckless prey and drag it into the Lictor's waiting claws.
  • Fleshborer - A Fleshborer is a Tyranid Biomorph most commonly used by Termagants and Gargoyles. A larger hive-nest variation, a Fleshborer Hive, is used by Tyrannofexes. The Fleshborer is a compact brood nest for sharp-fanged borer beetles. These beetles are kept dormant once mature until the weapon is ready to be fired. When the weapon is fired through aggressive electrochemical stimulation, a frenzied borer beetle will hurtle itself forward with a single flick of its flea-like legs. The beetle then spends its remaining life energy in a few seconds, frantically boring through the armour, flesh and bone of the first thing in its path. Fleshborer beetles possess sensor spines to then help locate soft flesh. They are capable of secreting a potent digestive enzyme upon impact to help penetrate armour and flesh.
    • Fleshborer Hive - The Fleshborer Hive is a larger, seething colony of the very same Tyranid borer beetles found in a Fleshborer that is used by Tyrannofexes. The fanged creatures stored in the bloated sacs of the hive lay thousands of eggs that hatch and mature at an astonishing rate within the cavernous chambers of the brood nest. Indeed, the Fleshborer Hive must eject the beetles at regular intervals to prevent the Tyrannofex from bursting apart due to the mass of creatures birthed within it.
  • Grasping Tongue - This creature's clawed tongue grasps its chosen prey before yanking it bodily into its maw.
  • Impaler Cannon - Impaler Cannons propel osseous spines at such high velocities that they can punch through reinforced plasteel. At the base of each spine is a small creature known as a shard-beast that uses thin membranous fins to steer the spine towards its target.
  • Rupture Cannon - This weapon fires two different projectiles, launched in quick succession. The first is actually a bloated tick that bursts upon impact, showering the target in an oil-like substance. The second is a seedpod covered in a virtually indestructible biopolymer shell. As the seed smashes the target, it is coated in the viscous remains of the tick. When combined, these inert fluids rapidly dissolve the toughened shell of the seedpod which produces a massive explosion powerful enough to wrench even armoured vehicles inside out.
  • Ripper Tentacles - Ripper tentacles are a biomorph utilised by Mycetic Spores, which consists of thick ropes of tendon and corded muscle that reach out from a Mycetic Spore in search of prey. Drawn to movement, Ripper Tentacles can smash apart several foes in a single swipe, coil around a single victim and crush it to a bloody pulp or clutch around its quarry and drag it into the spore's fanged maw.
  • Shockcannon - Shockcannons fire large claws attached to ropes of sinew, which latch onto their target before delivering a powerful bio-electric surge that electrocutes any prey nearby and disables enemy machinery.
  • Spike Rifle - This bony, muscle-lined tube launches harpoon-like spikes.
  • Spine Banks - The explosive spine banks embedded in the carapaces of some Carnifexes can also be fired at the foe as the Tyranid charges.
  • Spinefist - This weapon-creature, typically carried in pairs, has a long tail that burrows through a limb to connect the gun's own air-bladder to the airways and vents of its host. A larger host will exhale great salvoes of spines, ripping through the flesh of anything caught in the blast.
  • Stinger Salvo - Stinger Salvoes are simple but effective biomechanical weapons that fire rows of metre-long, razorsharp spikes.
  • Stanglethorn Cannon - Stranglethorn Cannons are larger versions of the Tyranid Barbed Strangler. This heavier version of the Biomorph fires a larger and more aggressive seed pod. The tendrils grow at alarming rates, choking infantry. Sometimes a Stranglethorn Cannon will render lightly armoured vehicles ineffective by damaging the crew or weapons.
  • Strangleweb - This composite symbiote creature fires a sticky mesh of webbing that ensnares a victim. The web then quickly hardens to stop the target from breathing and cuts into the flesh as they struggle to free themselves. Those not crushed to death are usually left immobile for a time and are completely at the mercy of other Tyranid organisms.
  • Tentaclid - These living missiles seek out aerial prey, latching onto their targets with barbed fangs before emitting a massive bio-electrical pulse.
  • Venom Cannon / Heavy Venom Cannon - The Venom Cannon and Heavy Venom Cannon are large and heavy Biomorphs that fire out salvos of deadly, corrosive crystals. Most victims die from the impact or from the toxins carried by the poisonous crystalline fragments. The plating of some armoured vehicles may also be punctured by the crystals, with the splinters destroying the interior equipment and killing the crew members inside.

Spore Mines

These weapons are used by the Tyranids as living, floating mines which explode if any non-Tyranid lifeform gets too close to one. Spore mines are grown deep inside a Biovore's body and are then launched via a powerful muscle spasm through the Biovore's dorsal aperture and hurled across the battlefield. An internal gas bladder in the Spore Mines inflates, allowing them to drift down towards the ground where they do not detonate upon impact but only when they sense the proximity of a non-Tyranid. They have been known to drift for solar days, weeks or even standard years until an unwary foe comes too near. Spore Mine biomorphs are all ranged weapons.

  • Spore Mine Cysts - Spore Cysts are found on larger Tyranids and are excretion pits for the creation of Spore Mines. The symbiotic relationship between creature and Spore Cyst is such that they cannot be separated once formed.
  • Spore Mine Launcher - The Spore Mine Launcher is a Tyranid Biomorph. Equipped to Biovores, the Spore Mine Launcher fires Spore Mines at its target, living bombs that blanket victims in acid, poisonous gas, and shrapnel-sized chitin spines. The Spore Mine Launcher is a large cannon-like organism mounted to the back of the Biovore, and the creature fires Spore Mines by activating a powerful muscle spasm which causes the launcher to spit a Spore Mine over great distances.

Armour Biomorphs

  • Armoured Shell - The largest Tyranid organisms are akin to walking battle tanks, with an armoured shell tougher than ceramite. Anything less than anti-tank weaponry patters harmlessly off these seemingly invulnerable monsters.
  • Bonded Exoskeleton - A Bonded Exoskeleton is a Tyranid Biomorph that increases the defensive potential of larger Tyranid organisms. A Bonded Exoskeleton is formed when every bone-like plate and chitinous segment of a bioform's exoskeleton is fused together to form a tough and virtually impenetrable sheathing which offers a similar level of protection to the ceramite used by Imperial Space Marines in their Power Armour. The most common Tyranid bioforms evolved to have Bonded Exoskeletons are Hive Tyrants, the Tyrant Guard, Tervigons, Tyranid Primes, Carnifexes, Trygons and Mawlocs.
  • Chitin - Even the most basic Tyranid life forms have tough leathery hides and a beetle-like carapace that covers the creature's vital spots. This chitinous material is tough enough to turn aside blades and even glancing small-arms fire. The outer body of a Tyranid is coated in a waxy slime that allows the organism to survive for short periods of time in a vacuum.
  • Extended Carapace - This type of biomorph forms when a Tyranid's carapace has grown and extended over time to cover the few vulnerable areas they might have still possessed.
  • Hardened Carapace - The creature's carapace is made of denser, strengthened chitin, able to absorb kinetic impacts that would shatter or punch through lighter armour.
  • Reinforced Chitin - The carapace plates of these Tyranid creatures continuously exude a sticky resin-like substance. These secretions quickly harden, creating an additional self-healing layers of ablative armour that offers the Tyranid greater protection against incoming attacks. This material has also proven effective in attenuating the worse effects of intense heat and radiation.
  • Toughened Exoskeleton - This biomorph takes the form of an exoskeleton of a Tryanid creature that has been enhanced through a toughening process which makes it more durable and able to resist more damage before failing.

Support Biomorphs

  • Acid Blood - The alien blood spilt from certain Tyranids is so corrosive that it can eat through ceramite armour and dissolve flesh in mere moments.
  • Acid Maw - The maws of some Tyranids constantly drip with acidic bile.
  • Adrenal Glands - An Adrenal Gland is a Tyranid Biomorph that is commonly developed in the frontline creatures of a Tyranid swarm. Adrenal Glands massively increase the production of adrenaline within a Tyranid bioform, and also saturate their host's bloodstream with other chemicals that boost the creature's metabolism to a hyperactive state of frenzy. This allows the organism to move more swiftly and attack with greater strength. The most common Tyranid bioforms found with Adrenal Glands are Hive Tyrants, Tervigons, Tyranid Primes, Tyranid Warriors, Genestealers, Termagants, Hormagaunts, Rippers, Sky Slasher Rippers, Tyranid Shrikes, Gargoyles, Harpies, Carnifexes, Trygons, Mawlocs and Tyrannofexes.
  • Adrenaline Sac - The Adrenaline Sac is a special container for excess adrenaline which the bioform can use to temporarily enhance its senses, abilities and physical attributes. It does not contain enough adrenaline for extended use and will require refilling after a single use.
  • Blinding Venom - Some Tyranids spit caustic venom at their prey's eyes.
  • Chameleonic Skin - Chameleonic Skin allows Lictors to alter their skin colour to blend into any environment and become all but invisible to the naked eye.
  • Containment Spores - These curved spines are displayed down the length of a Trygon Prime's body that allows the creature to contain and focus their natural build-up of electrical energy to a greater degree than a standard Trygon.
  • Enhanced Senses - Tyranid bioforms' Enhanced Senses are represented by a large grouping of antennae which Imperial autopsies have shown to have created areas of neural meshing which indicates that the Tyranid bioform has essentially become a mobile appendage to its own weapon. Some bioforms have a different version of Enhanced Senses in which the Tyranid organism has highly developed and sensitive sight, smell and hearing. These abilities enable it to locate hidden enemy units much more effectively, often finding even those outfitted with special technology intended to keep them unseen.
  • Frag Spines - Frag Spines are studded along the spines of some Carnifexes, composed of explosive Spine Banks or other similar short-range Bio-Morphs that launch as the Carnifex rampages forward and forces their prey to take cover or be shredded with hundreds of chitinous shards.
  • Implant Attack - An Implant Attack is a Tyranid biomorph that is comprised of hollow fangs, barbed stingers, or serrated claws that are capable of inflicting massive internal injuries to a victim and bleeding them to death in seconds, as well as injecting the target with fatal toxins.
  • Leaping - Tyranid bioforms outfitted for leaping take large, bounding steps towards enemy lines and can close for combat more quickly. Hormagaunts, Tyranid Warriors and Rippers are the only Tyranid species able to use Leaping.
  • Optic Membranes - The bioform's eyes have been modified with an extra membrane which can cover the eyes momentarily, allowing it to avoid being blinded by sudden flashes of light.
  • Regeneration - Some Tyranids have the ability to recover from horrendous wounds and injuries that should have proven fatal.
  • Scuttlers - Some Tyranid bioforms have been made more intelligent and capable of greater stealth, as they can make use of terrain to creep closer and closer to the enemy before the initial attack is launched. Genestealers and Gaunts are the only Tyranids able to take the ability.
  • Symbiote Rippers - Symbiote Rippers is a type of biomorph in which a living carpet of Rippers is laid down over terrain which Tyranid organisms walk over. This squirming organic carpet can shuttle large numbers of different Tyranid organisms, forming a tide of biological death that can cross almost any geographical obstacle to reach the foe.
  • Thornback - Thornback is the nickname given by Astra Militarum troops to Tyranids who possess Biomorphs in the form of large blade-like chitin protrusions from their carapace. Thornbacks are often seen charging into ranks of enemy troops using pure body mass as their primary weapon and simply impaling any enemies they come across on their "thorns."
  • Thorax Swarm - The Thorax Swarm is a Tyranid biomorph in which a large, bloated chest cavity is filled with swarms of small parasites. These creatures erupt from openings in their host organism's chest to drown the enemy in a deadly cloud that chews out eyes and crawls down throats. Different types of small creatures may make up these swarms, including:
    • Electroshock Grubs - Electroshock grubs are part of a Thorax Swarm and emit powerful bolts of electricity that arc among themselves as their constantly writhing segmented plates produce electrostatic energy. Anything caught in this energy is reduced to charred remains.
    • Desiccator Larvae - Desiccator Larvae are part of a Thorax Swarm and can latch on to an enemy and within only seconds suck every drop of moisture from their victims, leaving behind only a dry, desiccated husk.
    • Shreddershard Beetles - Shreddershard beetles are part of a Thorax Swarm and once released, instinctively crawl into any nook or crevice on their victims' bodies, such as those between armour joints. They are covered in needle-sharp spines and cannot live for long outside their host, but as they die they explode, covering their victims in a hail of deadly, chitinous needles.
  • Toxic Miasma - This Biomorph consists of vents sprouting from the backs of some Tyranid creatures to release toxic gases comprised of microscopic algal formations into a prey world's atmosphere, most notably the Venomthrope species. Even brief exposure to the miasma gases can cause a victim to choke to death on its own blood.
  • Toxin Sacs - Toxin Sacs are a Biomorph consisting of parasitic glands containing small mites which attach to a Tyranid creature and secrete poisons into the host organism's existing Biomorphs or coat poison over the host's claws, fangs and talons, while the parasite feeds on the host in return. The poisons vary wildly from necrotic venoms to toxins capable of boiling a victim's blood while still in their veins. All of the deadly poisons are swimming with Tyranid phage cells.
  • Venom Sac - This biomorph modifies a Tyranid organism by adding a sac full of corrosive venom beneath its claws and fangs, making its attacks all the more deadly to lightly armoured enemies.
  • Wings - The forelimbs of some Tyranid organisms have been mutated into leathery wings that allow them to move much more swiftly over long distances by flying or gliding. Some organisms also develop more than one set of wings or a lightened exo-skeleton to assist with flight.

Bio-Titan Weapons

Close Combat

  • Rending Claws - These are massive versions of rending claws that are only used by gargantuan Tyranid bio-forms like Bio-Titans.
  • Razor Claw - Razor Claws are deadly hand-to-hand combat weapons carried by Tyranid Bio-Titans to enhance their already formidable fighting power. Razor Claws resemble gigantic crab claws, but this basic evolutionary design has been made more lethal by bonding a mono-molecular edge to them so that they can slice through armourplas and ceramite. Razor Claws are also implanted with frag spines like those mounted on Haruspex and Malefactors, and these increase the Bio-Titan's short-range firepower against infantry and light vehicles.
  • Scything Talons - These are massive versions of the chitin scything talons found on smaller Tyranid bio-forms.
  • Stinger Salvo - Stinger Salvos are used against infantry and lightly armoured vehicles at close range. The Stingers themselves are fans of long, needle-like protuberances which contain a vein of lethal corrosive venom. The stings are segmented and when the Bio-Titan directs a pulse of venom into them the tips are launched with tremendous velocity. This reveals the sharp tip of the next segment of the needle and makes it ready for firing. Salvos of the high velocity Stingers are short-ranged but devastating, riddling targets with slivers of bone and corrosive poisons.


  • Bile Launcher - Bile Launchers work by belching a jellied lump of cankerous slime which is corrosive enough to burn through flesh and bone in seconds. Armoured targets may last a little longer than others but even they will collapse into piles of pitted and rusted metal within a few Terran minutes. Worse still, the Bile Launcher can have a considerable splatter radius if it strikes its target. These smaller droplets of acidic slime are unlikely to damage battle tanks but they can still kill foot soldiers who fail to take cover.
  • Bio-Cannon - Bio-Titans commonly carry large, triple-orificed symbiote weapons which appear to function in a similar manner to the Bio-Cannon mounted on an Exocrine. The heavy cords of muscle that ridge the barrels of the cannon accelerate its ammunition of chitin shells to a speed at which they punch through armour as if it were cardboard. A hardened penetrator core at the centre of the shell penetrates the target in a small explosion of shrapnel and carries the spores of a pernicious slime fungus into it. Large targets that sustain a hit from a Bio-Titan's Bio-Cannon are often rotted from the inside out within minutes of impact.
  • Cluster Spines - Cluster Spines are similar to the Frag Spine implanted onto Haruspex and Malefactors for close range, anti-personnel work. They are fired by a muscular contraction and use explosive cellular expansion to detonate on impact and spray razor-sharp chitin plates over the target area. The cluster spines implanted onto Bio-Titans are larger, more densely packed and fire in groups to achieve maximum saturation of the target.
  • Pyro-Acid Spray - Pyro-Acid Spray is undoubtedly one of the most fearsome weapons in the Bio-Titan's arsenal. The spray fires a triple jet of highly corrosive acids which melt through plascrete and steel like wax. The interaction of the acids also produces a great release of heat, such that the jets ignite as they leave the nozzles of the spray and the target area is quickly covered in licking flames and explosions where the burning acid has swept over it.
  • Spore Pods - Many Bio-Titans carry swollen pods of virulent spores implanted into their chitinous limbs. When they explode, the air around the Bio-Titan is filled with deadly spores which will pierce the surface of anything warm they touch and send burning, threadlike growths shooting into it. Bio-Titans use nerve impulses to detonate the pods, either as an intense cloud in a small area or as a broad bank of spores to sweep a larger area. Though each Spore Pod is emptied when it is used, a single Bio-Titan carries enough Spore Pods to last for an entire battle.

Tyranid Bio-Ship Biomorphs

  • Bio-plasma - Bio-plasma is a Lance-like weapon utilised by Tyranid Bio-ships that fires energetic plasma produced by organic rather than technological means.
  • Feeder Tentacles - Many Tyranid bio-ships have huge tentacles which they use to "feed" on planetary atmospheres, and which can also be used to punch through the hull of a voidship to allow the Tyranid organisms within to assault the enemy.
  • Massive Claws - Tyranid vessels are terrifying in combat at close quarters. Not only are they packed full of bio-engineered killing machines, often the ships themselves have specially-evolved claws designed to rip through the armoured hull of its target, or crushing mandibles that latch onto the bio-ship's prey and then slowly but inevitably tear through decks and gantries.
  • Pryo-acid Battery - These Tyranid weapons are a kind of voidship Weapons Battery utilised by Tyranid Bio-ships, which work by launching compact organic shells containing virulent toxins and pyro-acids. These can cause considerable damage on impact, but it is the release of their ravening payloads into the confines of a ship that can prove the most deadly. Any ship hit by a pyro-acid weapon has a chance that the acid will continue to eat away at its hull due to the caustic nature of the bio-agents.
  • Spores - Tyranid Bio-ships do not have weapons turrets or Void Shields in the normal sense, and instead rely on emitting a constantly replenished physical barrier of spore clouds. Every spore is a Pandora's box of viral compounds, acids and even nucleonic mutagens capable of eating through hull armour with alarming speed. The combined effect of the millions of spores produces an ablative armour effect as they absorb weapons fire and ordnance directed at the bio-ship they surround.
  • Ordnance - Some Tyranid ships may have launch bays or Torpedo batteries. Tyranid Bio-ships may only launch boarding torpedoes, fighters and assault boats, or rather their biological equivalents in the form of giant hull-boring worms, ether-swimming brood carriers, protazoid enzymes, ravening limpet mines and the like. It is also possible for a Tyranid hive fleet to make use of such ordnance independent of launch bay-equipped vessels.


The Bio-Artefacts of the Tyranids are symbiotic organisms of incredible rarity. Only one of each of the following Biomorphs is usually found in each Tyranid force, as there is only thought to be one of each of these items in existence, or so the indigenous races of the galaxy hope...

  • The Maw-Claws of Thyrax - During the destruction of Thyrax, the dread beast that spearheaded the assault bore a symbiotic pair of fang-lined pincers. These terrible claws tore apart and consumed the bodies of those brave enough to stand against the monstrosity, absorbing their memories and assimilating greater knowledge of its prey.
  • The Miasma Cannon - The Tyranids utilise all manner of biomechanical weapons, but none that have earned more dread than the Miasma Cannon. Unlike other Venom Cannons, this weapon fires gobbets of toxin-laden slime so virulent that it reduces squads of soldiers into shapeless puddles of organic goo in seconds. Whether vomiting noxious fluids in great torrents or liquefying targets in gouts of acid, the Miasma Cannon has been responsible for deaths beyond counting.
  • The Norn Crown - First named by Inquisitor Kryptman, the Norn Crown is a unique parasitic organism that clings to the armoured crest of the host organism's head with dozens of tendrils. Burrowing needle-like cerebral bores directly into the brain of its host, the Norn Crown forms a neuro-synaptic link that acts as a hyper-conduit for the Hive Mind. Through this abhorrent union, the Hive Mind's indomitable will can pour forth to augment and control the hordes of lesser Tyranids that scuttle in the leader-beast's wake.
  • The Reaper of Obliterax - The Reaper of Obliterax was first encountered amongst the re-emergent Tyranid swarms of Hive Fleet Jormungandr. A deadly biomechanical weapon resembling a Bonesword, this sentient blade is commonly wielded alongside a Lash Whip. The Reaper discharges highly concentrated bursts of destructive energy, and even the lightest blow can result in the blade's target being rent asunder.
  • The Ymgarl Factor - The Ymgarl Genestealers have long been a cancerous blight on the worlds of the Imperium. Their insatiable voracity is legend amongst those that have had the misfortune to encounter them and live. Now, dark rumours have surfaced of another Tyranid leader-beast that appears to share the unfathomable adaptability of the Ymgarl Genestealers.

Hive Mind Psychic Powers

  • Dominion - The Tyranid uses its prodigious psychic strength to channel and amplify the will of the Hive Mind.
  • Catalyst - Through its synaptic conduits, the power of the Hive Mind reaches out to infuse the organisms under its control, invigorating their systems with such unnatural vitality that they can ignore the most grievous of wounds.
  • The Horror - The terrifying psychic presence of the Hive Mind radiates from a synapse creature, flooding the minds of the Tyranids' enemies and causing them to quail and panic.
  • Onslaught - A synapse creature reaches out its mind and seizes control of the lesser creatures' weapon symbiotes, guiding their fire whilst simultaneously driving the swarms towards the enemy at a breakneck pace.
  • Paroxysm - The Hive Mind debilitates its enemies by triggering every nerve and pain receptor in their bodies, overwhelming their senses with wracking fits of agony.
  • Psychic Scream - Through its vassal organism, the Hive Mind unleashes a piercing shriek of undiluted psychic energy that shreds the minds of those caught in the wake.
  • Warp Blast - The Tyranid organism taps into the raw power of the Hive Mind, unleashing it as a blast of pure Warp energy that arcs from its cranium and vaporises its prey.

See Also

  • Tyranid Psychic Powers


  • Battlefleet Gothic - The Hive Fleets: Tyranid Vessels, pp. 84-85
  • Chapter Approved: The Second Book of the Astronomican (2001), "Tyranid Monstrosities - A Guide to Spawning," by Pete Haines, pg. 100-101
  • Codex: Genestealer Cults (8th Edition), pp. 102-104
  • Codex: Genestealer Cults (7th Edition), pp. 98-100
  • Codex: Tyranids (6th Edition), "Bio-Artefacts of the Tyranids," pp. 88, 91, 167-185
  • Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pp. 41, 46, 48, 50, 82-84, 86-95
  • Codex: Tyranids (4th Edition), pp. 31-33
  • Codex: Tyranids (3rd Edition), pp. 6, 8-9
  • Codex: Tyranids (2nd Edition), pp. 52, 66-67
  • Epic: Hive War (2nd Edition) by Andy Chambers, pp. 56, 64-66
  • Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pp. 216-217