Silithid are an intelligent insectoid race that have grown in strength and power in recent years. They first appeared in the region called Silithus, but have since founded colonies in neighboring areas, usually far from native settlements. They sometimes prove impartial to travelers, but defend their territory ferociously from invaders.
Scholars disagree on the origins of the Silithid. Some believe they are an offshoot of the arachnoid Nerubians, an insect race that mostly dwells in the northern regions of Azeroth. Others believe they are a new race heretofore unknown on Azeroth, possibly having arrived from another world elsewhere in the Twisting Nether, much as the orcs once did. Still others posit that they are servants of the qiraji, and that their presence in Southern Kalimdor is a harbinger of the qiraji invasion.
Before the Great Sundering, Kalimdor, the ancient continent of eternal starlight, was a nurturing mother to all of its creatures. At the continent's center was a mysterious lake of incandescent energies, the Well of Eternity. It was the true heart of the world's magic and natural power. From this magical ether the Silithid were born. As the fallen Old God C'Thun recognized their appearance, he attempted to sunder the world that it once held in its merciless grasp. The Old God created avatars from the Silithid in its own image. These avatars were eventually known as Qiraji. Sapient and with thousands of years the Qiraji worked feverishly to build a force capable of laying waste to the world that would betray their god with the Silithids as their minions.
To a humanoid's eyes, silithid are enormous bugs, most of man-size or larger, with powerful natural weapons at their disposal. They do not seem to use tools, although they do build structures out of natural materials using their bodily secretions.
Silithid are capable of communicating by touching antennae to one another. They can also send simple messages to larger groups by sending out chemical signals in the air. Individual silithid possess a certain level of animal cunning, but are unintelligent. They exist to serve the hive, and are specialized in their roles. Wasps attack, tunnelers dig, reavers defend, swarmers train, queens lay eggs, and so on. A silithid instinctively gives its life for the colony.
Silithid can range in size from a normal insect to gigantic. Size seems to depend on how long the Silithid are allowed to develop in their egg stage. It appears that size is also directly correlated with colony size.
Most scholars agree that a silithid begins life by hatching from an egg. At this point the young silithid is a broodling — a larval state as yet unspecialized for any role in the hive. Eventually, the broodling encases itself in a cocoon and changes into its new form — a wasp, reaver, swarmer, or possibly some other as-yet unknown type of silithid. While silithid haven’t been a visible part of the world long enough for anyone to accurately gauge their lifespans, some researchers think that after achieving adulthood, a common silithid can live for up to 5 years, although queens can survive for decades.
|Silithid queen||Egg layer.|
|Silithid larva||Young silithid that have yet to molt into their adult forms.|
|Silithid colossus||Huge battle creatures with brutal strength.|
|Silithid reaver||The hive's primary defenders.|
|Silithid wasp||The very aggressive, flying attack troops of the silithid.|
|Sand reaver||Unknown, probably tunnel diggers.|
|Sand worm||Worm-like creatures with burrowing claws digging through most kinds of soil.|
|Silithid scarab||Worker caste of the Silithids, who are generally not aggresive unless they are attacked.|
|Silithid worker||Worker caste of the Silithids, who are generally not aggresive unless they are attacked.|
|Silithid Creeper||Very aggressive scorpid-like creatures.|
|Silithid Swarmer||Carrying young silithids.|
|Silithid Protector||Crab-like creatures protecting the hive.|
|Silithid light||Produces light to iluminate the dark caves.|
|Silithid pill bug||Produces light to iluminate the dark caves.|
The Silithids burrow their underground hives all over southern Kalimdor. All of Silithus is under their control, and they have hives in Feralas, Tanaris, Un'Goro Crater, and the Shimmering Flats. They've even been sighted in small numbers in The Barrens. Most of these locations are deprived of water, and Silithid have been spotted at water posts in Tanaris. Perhaps their survival or nutrition relies heavily on water.
The silithids build structures out of natural materials using their bodily secretions. Silithid hives are immense, alien affairs with towering antenna-like spires jutting out of the earth. In the maze of tunnels below, the creatures raise their young, tend to their wounded, manage food storage, and fend off invaders.
- Gorishi — Un'Goro Crater
- Zukk'ash — Feralas
- Centipaar — Tanaris
- Hazzali — Tanaris
- Swarming Pillar Hive — Silithus
- Rustmaul Digsite — Thousand Needles
- Field of Giants Hives — The Barrens
- Vekniss — Temple of Ahn'Qiraj
|Specialization (upon taming)|
|The Silithid eats|
|The Silithid comes with|
|All pets come with|
Though hunters can respec their pet silithid into Ferocity or Tenacity, they are inherently Cunning. In addition to the abilities that come standard with all pets (, , ) and those given to their natural or retrained specialization, all silithid are given the following:
The subspecies below can be tamed by hunters.
- Damaged purple
- A H [Boss]
Mobs with level numbers are tamable.
- A H [48 Rare]
- A H [Boss]
- A H [54 Rare]
- A H [47 Rare]
- A H [47-48 Rare]
- A H [42 Rare]
- A H [60 Rare Elite]
- A H [Boss]
- A H [Boss]
- A H [48 Rare]
- A H [Boss]
- A H
- Main article: Qiraji battle tank mounts
There is also a , which can only be obtained during the War of the Shifting Sands. It is usable outside the instances, thus rare sightings of these mounts outside Ahn'Qiraj are possible.
One theory is that the avatars C'Thun created from the Silithid were the Aqir, with the Qiraji and Nerubians later splitting off and evolving differently. Another is that the Silithid and Aqir are in fact one in the same, and C'Thun directly created the Qiraji from the Aqir. But despite evidence to support it, the latter is often dismissed due to an argument of intelligence and its controversy.
Silithid are possibly inspired from the movie Starship Troopers, in which insects (called Arachnids) battle with future humans in space. Many silithid features are very similar or identical to the movie's insects:
- the Silithid reaver is almost identical to the "warrior" type in the movie
- both appear to live underground and dig tunnels in deserts
Further evidence exists at Bootlegger Outpost in Tanaris. There is a quest involving capturing a Silithid and return to the camp to study it, and as the player return with the insect, one of the NPC's mind-reads the insect and says, "It's afraid, it's afraid !" This is exactly what one of the characters in the end of the movie did and said.
Similar suggestions have been put forth about the Zerg from Blizzard's Starcraft series. Blizzard has also claimed that they derived inspiration from Starship Troopers for Starcraft; the movie and Starcraft were in production at roughly the same time, and share many similarities.
It has also been suggested that both Warcraft and Starcraft were derived from the Warhammer and Warhammer 40k franchises (which are themselves derived from Lord of the Rings and Starship Troopers respectively), making the tyranids another potential source for inspiration.
The silithids' hives show similarities to the works of surrealist artist H.R. Giger, and are possibly inspired by his work.
- / Patch 4.0.1 (12-Oct-2010): New special ability added, Qiraji Fortitude.
- / Patch 3.0.2 (14-Oct-2008): Become tamable.