A Gaunt is the basic infantry bio-form of the Tyranid race. They are normally very numerous in the Hive Fleets of the Tyranids and are used to swarm the enemy. Often entire broods of Gaunts are used by the Hive Mind to expend the enemy's reserves of ammunition killing such low value and easily replaceable targets. After the Gaunts are slain, the far more powerful Tyranid synapse creatures may attack in relative safety. Gaunts are divided into a number of subgroups such as Termagants and Hormagaunts which are bred for different combat specialties, although all Gaunts share the feature of being small and agile. A brood of Gaunts usually consists of twelve of the savage xenos, though there may be up to thirty.
Termagants serve as the Tyranid's standard foot troopers. They are armed with the Fleshborer biomorph, which fires a living beetle which buries into the target's flesh. They are designed for ranged combat, and many Termagants have the Enhanced Senses biomorph. All Termagants in a brood may be outfitted with the Devourer biomorph.
Hormagaunts are the standard assault unit of the Tyranids. They are armed with scything talons, which are large, scythe-like claws and can leap exceptionally fast. These claws easily cut infantry to ribbons, and are a force to be reckoned with.
There are many other little-known sub-species of Gaunt which include the following:
- Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pg. 70
- Codex: Tyranids (4th Edition)
- Imperial Armour Volume Four - The Anphelion Project