Ork In Progress



Some common Tyranid Biomorphs recovered from the battlefield

Tyranid Biomorphs are essentially biomechanical devices and 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 of a Tyranid bioform that may improve its speed, durability, or any other physical trait.


The most common Tyranid Biomorphs include:

Close-Combat BiomorphsEdit

  • Bio-plasma - Bio-plasma is a potent close-ranged Tyranid Biomorph -- often engineered by the Hive Mind into Tyranid Carnifexes -- that is capable of unleashing a potent short-ranged attack upon their 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 plasma has the equivalent force to a blast from an Imperial Plasma Cannon, but can only be hurled a short distance.
  • Bonesword - Boneswords are blades of living chitin that wear away and grow back. They crackle with psychic energy and are very effective against armoured units.
  • Claws and Teeth - These basic biomorphs are equipped to even the most simplest of Tyranid organisms, such as Rippers. These razor-sharp claws and maws of fangs allows them to rip apart their victims.
  • Crushing Claws - The obscene strength of these claws allows them to smash any foe.
  • Lash Whip - Lash whips are cords of muscle that move at lightning speeds to slash their prey. Some Tyranid creatures wield both a Lash Whip and a Bonesword as a deadly symbiotic combination.
  • 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.
  • Sharpened Claws - These claws have been sharpened with an extreme length to a monomolecular sharpness and are further advanced by the presence of crackling psychic energies running down them.
  • 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 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 utilised on large Tyranid species such as a Carnifex which can shatter armoured vehicles and crush ranks of troops into bloody pulp.

Tail BiomorphsEdit

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 BiomorphsEdit

  • 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 its victim 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 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 Weapons - These weapons fling worm-like parasites 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 worm.
  • Drool Cannon - Drool cannons fire gobbets of caustic digestive juice over their victims.

Thorax BiomorphsEdit

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.

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 to 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 Weapons - The fleshborer is a compact brood nest for sharp-fanged borer beetles. When the weapon is fired, 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. The fleshborer hive is a seething colony for the very same beetles, but 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.
    • Fleshborer Hive - The Fleshborer Hive is a seething colony of the very same Tyranid borer beetles found in a fleshborer. 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.
  • 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.
  • Pryo-acid Battery -
  • 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 -
  • 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 imbedded 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 weapons that fire rows of metre-long, razorsharp spikes.
  • Stanglethorn Cannon - Stranglethorn cannons are larger versions of the Tyranid Barbed Strangler. This heavier version fires a larger and more aggressive seed pod. The tendrils grow at alarming rates, choking infantry. Sometimes a Stranglethorn cannon will take out lightly armoured vehicles 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 Weapons - Venom cannon and heavy venom cannon are large and heavy bio-weapon that fires out salvos of deadly corrosive crystals. Most of its victims die from the impact or from the toxins carried by the poisonous crystalline fragments. The plating of some armored vehicles may also be punctured, with the splinters destroying the interior equipment and killing the crew members inside.

Spore Mine WeaponsEdit

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 when they sense the proximity of a non-Tyranid. They have been known to drift for days, weeks or even years until an unwary foe comes too near.

Spore Mine biomorphs are ranged weapons:

  • Spore Mine Cysts
  • Spore Mine Launcher

Armour BiomorphsEdit

  • Armoured Shell
  • Bonded Exoskeleton - A Bonded Exoskeleton is a Tyranid Biomorph that increases the defensive potential of larger Tyranid organisms. Bonded Exoskeleton is formed when every bone-like plate and chitinous segment of a bioform's exoskeleton is grown and fused together to form a tough and virtually inpenetrable 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, Tyrant Guard, Tervigons, Tyranid Primes, Carnifexes, Trygons and Mawlocs.
  • Chitin
  • Extended Carapace
  • Hardened Carapace
  • Reinforced Chitin
  • Toughened Exoskeleton

Biomorph UpgradesEdit

  • 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
  • Binding Venom - Some Tyranids spit caustic venom at their prey's eyes.
  • Chameleonic Skin -
  • Containment Spores -
  • Enhanced Senses
  • Frag Spines
  • Implant Attack
  • Leaping
  • Optic Membranes
  • Regeneration - Some Tyranids have the ability to recover from horrendous wounds and injuries that

should have proven fatal.

  • Scuttlers
  • Symbiote Rippers
  • Thornback
  • Thorax Swarm
  • Toxic Miasma - Some creatures emit toxins to poison a prey world's atmosphere.
  • Toxin Sacs - These parasitic glands secrete vile fluids, coating the Tyranid's claws, fangs and talons with a lethal variety of alien poisons.
  • Venom Sacs
  • Wings - The forelimbs of some Tyranid organisms are in fact leathery wings.


The bio-artefacts of the Tyranids are symbiotic organisms of incredible rarity. Only one of each of the following items may be chosen per army – 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 Norn Crown - First named by Inquisitor Kryptman, the Norn Crown is a unique parasitic organism that clings to the armoured crest of the host creature’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 Miasma Cannon - The Tyranids utilise all manner of bio-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 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.
  • The Reaper of Obliterax - The Reaper of Obliterax was first encountered amongst the re-emergent Tyranid swarms of Hive Fleet Jormungandr. A deadly bio-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.

Hive Mind Psychic PowersEdit

  • 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 the synapse creature, flooding the minds of the Tyranids' enemies and causing them to quail and panic.
  • Onslaught - The 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, 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 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 AlsoEdit


  • Codex: Tyranids (6th Edition), "Bio-Artefacts of the Tyranids," 88, 91, 167-185
  • Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pp. 46, 83-84, 86-95
  • Codex: Tyranids (4th Edition), pg. 31
  • Codex: Tyranids (2nd Edition), pg. 52
  • Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pp. 216-217


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