The Loxatl are a loathsome species of particularly vile and inhuman intelligent xenos that resemble slimy-skinned quadrupedal reptiles, somewhat larger than a human male, that run close to the ground on four crooked limbs ending in wickedly hooked claws. They have broad, fanged heads, with yellow eyes (some varieties have been encountered with red, pupilless eyes), and a flickering purple tongue that constantly tastes the air. By nature they are an aquatic race and out of the water their sight, hearing and sense of smell are impaired. Instead they rely on their uncanny sense of taste and touch to hunt on land. They can often be found working as mercenaries alongside pirates and Renegades. Sightings of them have occurred as far apart as the Maelstrom and the Jericho Reach, but they have been most commonly reported operating in the Sabbat Worlds region, in service of the armies of the Blood Pact. The location of the Loxatl homeworld remains unknown, as are any higher aspirations of the race beyond profit and bloodshed. The Loxatl are a vicious species that fulfil the Imperium's worst expectations of xenos. Ongoing efforts by the Ordo Xenos are continuously made to find the point of origin of these loathsome creatures so that they can be exterminated. All encounters between Loxatl and representatives of the Imperium have been bitterly hostile. To date, the Loxatl have shown no evidence of influence or corruption by the Ruinous Powers, but they willingly serve alongside the Chaos Gods’ mortal followers and other enemies of Mankind.
Loxatl senses are dull tools. Out of water, their vision, hearing and smell are poor. Taste and an innate ability to detect vibration represent their primary senses. Loxatl make excellent scouts and trackers, as they can "taste" the presence of enemies from kilometres away and feel their location through the vibration of their heartbeat or footsteps. Extended dewclaws on their limbs enable them to run across walls or ceilings and climb on any surface, an advantage they fully exploit to strike by surprise from unexpected angles. Their presence is often given away by a distinctive smell of rancid milk and crushed mint, believed to be some kind of chemical secretion exuded by these xenos when in combat. This may be related to the preternatural swiftness and dexterity Loxatl exhibit or may serve as a communal warning reflex of some kind.
Loxatl seem to operate in small groups of related kin led by a single matriarch, possibly the only member of the group capable of bearing young. The group communicates with sub-sonic vibrations and, at close range, through iridescent patterning that they are able to flash across their skins. Loxatl are normally grey in colour but seem able to consciously shift their the pattern of scales on their body and colour at will. That they seldom do so indicates how little they rely on the visual spectrum themselves for identifying prey. Las-weapons have been reported to be less effective against Loxatl than solid projectiles, as their hides apparently provide them with a rudimentary form of photochromatic defence against laser emissions. No indications have been found of higher organisation than the kin-related brood of three to twenty individual Loxatl, but multiple broods will work together en masse with a high degree of cohesion. On occasion, a large of number Loxatl broods have used their unique capabilities to cooperatively infiltrate defences and stage surprise attacks, typically to open the way for a full-scale assault by their employers.
The Loxatl seem to possess no starships or starfaring technology of their own and rely on other xenos for transportation, specifically the Nicassar, Stryxis and Kroot. All Loxatl so far encountered have used unique weapons known as Flechette Blasters to Imperial troops. These are carried, along with ammunition bandoliers, on mechanical armatures strapped to their sinuous bodies. The Flechette Blaster is aimed and fired by a cybernetic implant analogous to a mind impulse device that has been wired into the Loxatl’s brain, leaving all four limbs free for climbing at all times. The blasters fire shotgun-like blasts of millions of monomolecular shards that shred through armour and leave terrible wounds in flesh. A common Loxatl tactic is for some members of a group to pin down an enemy while the rest climb into positions to catch the foe in a deadly crossfire.
- Chto - Brood command leader of the Loxatl broodpack sent to assassinate the reincarnation of Saint Sabbat on the world of Herodor during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade.
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pp. 68-69
- The Inquisition (Background Book), pg. 7
- The Sabbat Worlds Crusade (Background Book) by Dan Abnett, pg. 91
- Guns of Tanith (Novel) by Dan Abnett, pp. 3, 12-13, 101, 121, 156, 171-172, 177, 180, 183
- Sabbat Martyr (Novel) by Dan Abnett, pp. 34, 77, 112-113, 141, 150, 153, 163, 167-170
- Heroes of the Space Marines (Anthology), "The Skull Harvest" (Short Story) by Graham McNeill, pp. 6, 12-14