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 are currently under the control of the Old God C'Thun[1] They sometimes prove impartial to travelers, but defend their territory ferociously from invaders.[1] (MG 121)


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.

Yet others posit that they are servants of the qiraji, and that their presence in Southern Kalimdor is a harbinger of the qiraji invasion.[1] (MG 121)

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 over 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.


The silithid were created from the qiraji by the Old God C'Thun.[2] The qiraji, in turn were an evolution of the aqir race that had been spawned by the Old Gods in the days of the Black Empire and then forced to hide in Ahn'Qiraj after the Aqir and Troll War.[3]


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.[1] (MG 121)

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.[1] (MG 121)

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.[2]


Some castes of the silithids.

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 silithids have not 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.[1] (MG 121)

Name Role
Silithid queen Egg layer.
Silithid larva Young silithid that have yet to molt into their adult forms.
IconSmall SilithidColossus.gif Silithid colossus Huge battle creatures with brutal strength.
IconSmall SilithidTank.gif Silithid reaver The hive's primary defenders.
IconSmall Silithid.gif Silithid wasp The very aggressive, flying attack troops of the silithid.
IconSmall SandReaver.gif Sand reaver Unknown, probably tunnel diggers.
IconSmall SandWorm.gif Sand worm Worm-like creatures with burrowing claws digging through most kinds of soil.
IconSmall Beetle.gif Silithid scarab Worker caste of the Silithids, who are generally not aggressive unless they are attacked.
IconSmall SilithidWorker.gif Silithid worker Worker caste of the Silithids, who are generally not aggressive unless they are attacked.
IconSmall Scorpid.gif Silithid Creeper Very aggressive scorpid-like creatures.
IconSmall Scorpid.gif Silithid Swarmer Carrying young silithids.
IconSmall Crab.gif Silithid Protector Crab-like creatures protecting the hive.
IconSmall Larva.gif Silithid Grub Unknown.
Silithid light Produces light to illuminate the dark caves.
Silithid pill bug Produces light to illuminate the dark caves.


Locations of the silithids.

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.


Questionmark-medium.png This section concerns content that is potentially inaccurate.


A part of the Rustmaul Digsite silithid hive.

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.[1] (MG 121)

Each of the three hives in Silithus has a crystalline prism in it. They are apparently a means for the Qiraji and other unknown entities to communicate various messages to the Silithid.[3]

Major hives

Minor hives

Hunter pet

Specialization (upon taming)
Cunning Cunning
The Silithid eats
Inv mushroom 11.png Inv misc food 18.png
The Silithid comes with
Ability druid rake.png Ability hunter pet silithid.png Inv misc monsterclaw 09.png
All pets come with
Spell shadow burningspirit.png Ability physical taunt.png

Note: Silithid are an exotic beast, only tamable by beast master hunters with [Exotic Beasts].

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 ([Growl] and [Avoidance]) and those given to their natural or retrained specialization, all silithid are given the following:


Icon-time.svg This section concerns content that is out-of-date.

The subspecies below can be tamed by hunters.

Silithid Ravager.jpg


Princess Yauj.jpg
Note: "Damaged" types have an exposed brain.

Damaged purple

Gorishi Worker.jpg



Mobs with level numbers are tamable.

Vanity/Battle pet


Main article: Qiraji battle tank mounts

Qiraji battle tank mounts rare drops in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj. They come in several colors: [blue], [red], [green], and [yellow] and can only be used inside the instance.

There is also a [Black Qiraji Battle Tank], 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.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.


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[citation needed]; 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 changes


See also

External links

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