Tarellians, more commonly known in the Imperium of Man as Tarellian Dog-Soldiers because of their snouts and their preference for working as mercenaries for other alien races, are a minor reptilian species of xenos found throughout the galaxy, but are of little consequence to its affairs. They most often are encountered as mercenaries for the Tau Empire, particularly when Tau forces face the Imperium because of the Tarellians' ancient grudge against Mankind as a species.
Tarellians are broad-shouldered reptiloids with narrow waists who are slightly shorter in stature than most humans.
The Tarellians possess a zealous hatred for Mankind above all other peoples in the galaxy because of the Imperium's decision to launch Exterminatus attacks upon the Tarellian homeworlds during the Great Crusade in the 31st Millennium, nearly wiping out their species in a horrific way through the use of virus-bombs. Billions of their kind were slaughtered in the most horrific manner possible and the Tarellian species never fully recovered from this terrible xenocide. The Imperium's actions, which was a standard response to a meeting with another intelligent alien race during the Great Crusade, destroyed the Tarellian potential to grow into one of the dominant races of the galaxy and created their eternal grudge against all servants of the Emperor of Mankind.
The latest blow to the remaining Tarellians was the destruction of another Tarellian civilisation that was devoured by the Tyranids' Hive Fleet Moloch as it advanced through the galactic north from the Kiltor Sector.
In more recent times, Tarellians have been frequently sighted fighting for the Tau Empire as mercenaries. The Tarellians have not been conquered or annexed by the Tau, nor do they hold to the ideals of the Greater Good. Rather, the Tarellians continue to serve the Tau as mercenaries and hold them to be excellent clients who always pay well and on time. As such the relationship between the two xenos races is more similar to which the Tau have developed with the Kroot.
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (3rd Edition), p. 116
- Kill Team (Novel) by Gav Thorpe
- Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), p. 29