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Horde of Alien Locusts

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"...a kind of giant space-going shark, a moving appetite, a vast, fast, terrible eating-machine which saw its purpose to be turning everything edible in the universe into shark shit."

The alien horde approaches. They don't necessarily enjoy giving us a Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong, or be The Virus and transform us, or what all... they're simply driven into adding biomass by whatever means necessary and as fast as possible.

Because the only purpose they have in life, the be-all and end-all of their existence, is their insatiable hunger, the conversion of all organic matter in the universe into more of them. They don't do diplomacy, because you don't bargain with lunch. This is, of course, always cause for a Bug War.

Most Locust Hordes use, or are, Organic Technology. However, Nanomachines can also become a Horde — the (in)famous "Grey Goo" scenario.

Compare To Serve Man and the slightly less extreme (as in, they are intelligent and only want inorganic resources) Planet Looters, and do not directly confuse them with Insectoid Aliens and Hive Mind, who may or may not be this trope. The Horde of Alien Locusts is a common way to set up a Guilt-Free Extermination War or Creature-Hunter Organization, since it's a fight between a group that wants to eat everything and the groups that don't want to be eaten. Not necessarily related to Giant Space Flea from Nowhere. Related to The Swarm and Planetary Parasite. Nearly always also an Explosive Breeder.

The trope is based, of course, on real-life locusts, which can totally destroy vast areas as they madly consume whatever they can before starving back to a sustainable population size. However, locusts are not actually an example, as the trope involves forces, species, or technology acting in an exaggerated parallel of real-life locust behavior. Both real and fictional locusts tend to be a Snowballing Threat as they multiply.

A certain twist has become popular in recent years where it is implied that the Horde is itself desperately fleeing from something even worse.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Gauna come across this way to the Knights of Sidonia, though their true end goal is not known. What is known is that they react with hostility to the lances that are their Kryptonite Factor, and attack anything that uses the power-source that most Sidonian technology runs on.
  • The Vajra from Macross Frontier are space-adapted monster bugs that attack without explanation. It ultimately turns out they're not out to destroy the Frontier fleet, but rather on a misunderstood rescue mission since they see Ranka as one of their own because she can communicate via fold waves through her singing. The whole image of a Horde of Alien Locusts was conjured by the conspirators from the Frontier and Galaxy fleets to hide their true goals, to take over the Vajra fold communication network and use it to control the galaxy.
  • Vandread has this for the Human Race of Earth, who kill entire planets of people that have colonized elsewhere so they can harvest them for their organs.

    Audio Plays 

    Comic Books 
  • Annihilation: The Annihilation Wave is a interdimensional invading force made of thousands of starships and an army with countless Arthrosian "bugs".
  • The Eternals: We're eventually given a counterpart to the Celestials in a form of these known simply as the Horde. Just as Celestials evaluate and cull planets whose lifeforms' evolution have grown too stagnant the Horde devours worlds where the variety represented by the Deviants is too rampant.
  • Marvel Zombies: The comic turns the protagonists into this, as a horde of ravenous zombies.
  • Michael Moorcock's Multiverse: The antagonist served by the the forces of Law is the Original Insect - a creature which consumes entire planes of reality in order to process them into Singularity.
  • Ms. Marvel: In Ms. Marvel (2006) #5, Ms. Marvel fights Warren Traveler, a dimension-hopping sorcerer. He intends to maroon her on an alternate Earth where a Horde of Alien Locusts descends upon the planet (in about five minutes...) and picks it clean in minutes.
  • Paperinik New Adventures: The Evronians are a mix of this and The Empire. They're a nomadic empire who travells from planet to planet, taking all the resources they can and draining the inhabitants of emotions until they become enslaved husks, then moving on to the next one. They have a fair bit more understanding of tactics than your typical horde, however, as they have been known to pull of We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill on civilizations that may have a chance to resist. They are also not the only Evronian Empire out there, as an empire typically splits in two when population becomes a problem. There is an unknown number still out there.
  • Shakara: The Succubi are a bee-like hive species who travel all over space with their 'cosmos crafts' to devour entire worlds. Shakara the Avenger drops by to return the favor.
  • Space Ghost: The comic miniseries has Zorak as the leader of a planet-ravaging horde of man-sized alien mantises.
  • Ultimate Marvel: The ultimate version of Galactus combines this trope with Planet Eater. And this later becomes even worse when Galactus himself comes to the Ultimate Universe, and merges with his alternate selves. So now you have a Planet Eating Horde of Alien Locusts empowered by cosmic magic that allows them to eat anything and everything, and eat it faster.
  • Warriors of PLASM: The Org of Plasm featured in Jim Shooter's short-lived Defiant Comics title was a world-sized organism that had to feed to remain healthy. Its natives, the Plasmoids, used organic spacefleets to conquer other worlds and mulch their ecosystems into "gore for the Org."

    Comic Strips 
  • Dan Dare: The story 'The Red Moon Mystery' featured "space bees" that would strip planets of organic life.

    Fan Works 
  • Hands: The Changelings already give off this vibe. This story takes it further by actually making them aliens, who go from world to world, feeding on the emotions of whatever species they find. Prior to Equestria, they tried to invade Earth. Humanity fought back, and destroyed their Hive.

    Film — Animated 
  • The Cy-Bugs in Wreck-It Ralph, which are capable of assimilating objects they eat, for example, turning into a gun when consuming a gun. And they are not only programmed to fill this role in their home game, but they do it if given the opportunity to jump games as well.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The invading aliens in Independence Day are a mix of these and Planet Looters. President Whitmore even explicitly compares them to locusts after a brief telepathic connection to one. The sequel gives more specifics about what they're after: they want to dig to the planet's center and harvest the molten core. The beginning of the movie shows the end result of one of their invasions, a planet that looks like a burnt and smashed egg shell.
  • The Boglodites in Men in Black 3 move from planet to planet to consume everything on it. Possibly a deconstruction; the Boglodites' lifestyle also leaves them incredibly vulnerable, with the entire species dying out when Agent K protects the Earth with the ARC Net.
  • The flying Bioraptors of 1999's Pitch Black have apparently driven all life on the rest of the planet to extinction, to the point that they start killing off and eating each other en masse by the end.
  • Species II: A disgraced former scientist speculates that the aliens operate like this, having wiped out all native life and destroyed the ecosystem on Mars billions of years ago and are now trying to do the same to Earth.
  • Ultraman Cosmos 2: The Blue Planet has the Scorpiss horde, an entire race of winged, scorpion-locust hybrid kaiju who travels from planet to planet, turning every world they invaded into a total wasteland. Prior to the events of the movie, the Scorpiss destroyed the homes of the aquatic-based Gyashi Aliens, forcing a handful of survivors to flee to planet Earth and take refuge in Earth's oceans, and early in the film, protagonist Musashi on a space mission re-visits Planet Juran from the TV series, only to realize it's been devastated by the Scorpiss horde.


  • As one might guess from the page quote, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon features an alien race nicknamed the Cockroaches who embody this.
  • The Vermicious Knids in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator are said by Willy Wonka to have caused the extinction of life on the Moon, Venus, Mars and many other planets. They are unable, however, to survive the friction caused by entering Earth's atmosphere.
  • The Swarm of Night of The Chathrand Voyages is what happens when this trope meets Eldritch Abomination. An innumerable horde of tiny black insect-like spirits, its purpose is to patrol the borders of the underworld to prevent the dead from troubling the living. When released into the living world, however, it's drawn to massive killings (like mass battles) in progress, finishes them (by killing everyone there who's still alive) and drawing energy from that to increase its size. Once it reaches critical mass, it can eat a whole planet. The Big Bad released it to do just that, since the destruction of a world was the test his God of Evil patrons demand of any mortal to be judged worthy of elevation to their number.
  • Chrysalis (RinoZ): The appearance of even a single monster ant generally prompts a rapid response in force from humanity's protectors, because of the ants' ability to grow exponentially, turning all the biomass they find into hundreds of eggs per day — some of which can hatch into queens, allowing them to lay faster, spread further, and hatch more queens...past ant swarms have depopulated countries before they were stopped. And then they find out that the latest ant colony has gained sapience.
  • The Vord of Codex Alera are a Captain Ersatz of the Zerg in a lot of ways, including this trope. Their Hive Mind is, unlike some other examples, based on queens who personally direct their brood, with the Vord becoming more or less animals (some even surprisingly docile) when not being directly controlled or if their queen is killed. The heroes are able to take advantage of the fact that the queen has a limited focus and is unable to direct the other vord at once. The queen's attitudes towards anything but other Vord (and sometimes other Vord) can easily be summed up as "assimilate and eat". It should also be noted that while killing a Queen effectively decapitates their Vord swarm, this is easier said than done, as each Queen is terrifyingly fast and tough and able to tear through fully armored humans like tissue paper, and this is before they learn how to furycraft.
  • The Ifrits of the Corean Chronicles are a slow-acting version of this, leaning toward Planet Looters. They create bridges between their current world and a new one, which is terraformed and then populated with all forms of life. They produce beautiful civilizations and art. The catch? The entire time, they're feeding on the Life Energy of the world. Within a few centuries or millennium, they can suck an entire world dry of its energy before moving on to the next one.
    • They actually believe this is a service to the universe at large. By doing this, they allow the world to shine like a jewel for a brief time, rather than lingering dull and unimpressive for an eternity.
      • They might have started as Planet Looters, but they're slowly leaning more into the Locusts category now. Remember, it's clearly stated that after every world they colonize they devour more life energy more quickly. On the other hand this means they would have burned themselves out in another few hundred millennia if they hadn't been stopped in the books.
  • The Culture: Discussed in Excession in the context of out-of-control self-replicating autonomous spacecraft, referred to as "Aggressive Hegemonising Swarm Objects". A common enough occurrence in the Culture for the galactic community to have set up various task-forces and organisations to prevent them becoming too big. However, it's more common for the Aggressive Hegemonising Swarm to be composed of self replicating machines, rather than living beings.
    • It also says something about the nature of Culture society when Hegemonising Swarms / Space Locusts are a common "villain" in Culture children's stories.
  • The Grik of Taylor Anderson's Destroyermen series are a modified version of this. First, they're reptilian, not insectoid. Second they're divided into two castes, the worker/soldier Uul who fit the locust swarm trope to a T and the aristocratic Hij who are the rulers and fairly intelligent and individualistic. As a whole they are no good at innovation, but are very good at reverse-engineering and copying.
  • The Forerunners in Andrey Livadny's The History of the Galaxy series were the first semi-biological creatures in the galaxy (possibly, the Universe). Composed of proto-matter encased in a magnetic bubble, they move in a giant swarm and consume all matter in their path, save for stars which are too hot. They reproduce by mitosis (i.e. division), and killing one usually results in the creation of several smaller ones. Like moths, they are guided by starlight but are smart enough to avoid getting too close. The Forerunners were responsible for wiping out three Precursor civilizations 3 million years ago, the descendants of only two of these still remain, mostly unaware of their former greatness. They were only stopped by the Heroic Sacrifice of an entire race of Fish People, who suicide-bombed stars to burn the swarm until all their stars were gone, but all the Forerunners were dead as well. Even their natural enemies the entriphages could not keep the Forerunners in line. When the humans later found several inert Forerunners, a Corrupt Corporate Executive decides to see if they can be useful and has them revived. They nearly wipe out two battle fleets before being destroyed for good.
    • The Forerunners are discovered to be malfunctioning biological machines, whose original programming got corrupted by a solar flare, leaving only their most basic functions (e.g. feeding, reproduction, self-preservation). They were created by the first sentient being in the Universe, an Energy Being forming in the magnetic fields of a gas giant. The Forerunners' original purpose was to carry copies of the creature to other star systems and galaxies in order to ensure its survival. Over time, many died, and their remains ended up on habitable worlds, where their DNA seeded life throughout the Universe. And yes, some people do indeed call the original creature God, even though the creation of biological life was a side-effect, and it doesn't care about us.
  • The Slaver Sunflowers, from Larry Niven's Known Space, are a vegetable version. They exist to turn all other life into fertilizer for themselves.
  • The Last Hunter: The Locust Drone horde destroys all populated planets and space related material to create more of their kind.
  • The demon locust horde from the Left Behind book Apollyon, whose resemblance matches those described in the book of Revelation, and whose main purpose is to go after those without the seal of God on their foreheads and infect them with a maddening delirium that lasts for five months.
  • Moties in The Mote in God's Eye are Explosive Breeders and technologically advanced enough to strip their entire solar system of resources thousands of years before the Empire of Man made First Contact. After finding out that they have to breed or they die and are very warlike, the Empire decided the only option was to interdict their home system.
  • The Ferrotophagous in Daniel Garro's El niño mariposa and Mi corazón de metal are big metalic insectoid iron-eaters that destroy civilizations.
  • Greenfly, in Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space 'verse, fall under the green goo variety. They enter a solar system, and quickly begin to break up all the mass outside of the star to turn into vegetation-filled habitats. A star overtaken by Greenfly will appear green due to the tens of billions of habitats orbiting it.
  • The Unclean from the Star Trek series "Invasion!". They need three things: warp cores, for energy; new DNA, to re-engineer themselves into useful forms; and BRAAAINS, for intelligence. (Why can't they just grow their own?)
  • The timeline Swarm on the Somme is about a scouting party from a Hive Mind known as the Grex landing on Earth in the middle of World War I. They're massive insect-like creatures, which are capable of terraforming the land around them (basically turning occupied territory into a alien wasteland), assimilating and duplicating weapons technology, and infecting people to turn them into mind controlled hybrids. Understandably, all of this — combined with their Nigh-Invulnerability — sees them easily driving back human militaries.
  • The Tour of the Merrimack series has the ravenous, all-consuming Hive, who are among other things the only known species that can digest protein of either handedness.
  • The Vex in I Don't Want to be the Hive Queen fits this trope to a T. They are insectoid Hive Mind creatures who can basically devour anything organic and multiply at exponential rates, and their Hive Queens can even absorb the DNA from their prey and incorporate it in the new generations of Vex. Unlike most examples on this page, the Vex in the story are actually rather friendly, mostly because their current Hive Queen is a former human that retained her memories and personality.
  • The Zid'ya in Jean Johnson's Theirs Not to Reason Why. The gray sphere is literally the width of multiple solar systems, and after it passes by, literally nothing is left: not planets, not stars, nothing. It consumes whole galaxies, and is on route to ours. Also, to a lesser extent, the Salik, who only eat sentient creatures but prefer to do so while the sentient creatures are alive and screaming.
  • In World-Eater, Black Holes are revealed to be astronomically vast, implicitly birdlike predators. On hatching from their star-incubated "planets," they eat matter, light and time.
  • Men in Black: The Green Saliva Blues: The Zahurians, one of the most hated species in the universe. They look like flowering plum trees, but they're dropped off in groups of 208 and see most other species only as food, devouring any living beast or being they can (though the group in this book is more careful about picking their targets because they don't want to get caught) and refusing to communicate with them, save for about three species — one serves to pollinate the Zahurians, a second has a chemical in its bloodstream that makes the Zahurians sick, and a third is willing to transport them to other planets to feed there.
  • John Ringo seems to like this trope a lot, using it for:
    • The Dreen from Into the Looking Glass; unsurprising, since they are essentially the Zerg of StarCraft fame. Planets that they have completely denatured are even shown in setting.
    • The Posleen from Legacy of the Aldenata don't convert all biomass into more Posleen, but they do eat other sentient beings (including other Posleen) as they move from world to world, in an endless cycle of invasion, industrialization, overpopulation, nuclear holocaust.
    • The Probes from Von Neumann's War, cowritten with Travis S. Taylor, and based on the self-replicating machines known as Universal Assemblers... theorized by Hungarian American mathematician and physicist John von Neumann.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Magog from Andromeda, who eat galaxies.
  • An earthbound variant is the man-of-bugs from "What's My Line" on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Chouseishin Gransazer: The Bosquito is an Absolute Xenophobe which devours other lifeforms and uses their energy to duplicate itself.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Runaway Bride": The Racnoss ate entire planets, and were dangerous enough that the Fledgling Empires, including the Time Lords, went to war against them in the early history of the universe. The Doctor winds up killing the newborn Racnoss that the Empress reawakens because they're "born starving" and thus cannot be reasoned with.
    • "Planet of the Dead" has a massive swarm of stingray-like creatures, who reduced the titular planet to a desert, and have the ability to generate wormholes to go to a new planet by flying around the planet again and again.
  • Lexx:
    • Mantrid's drones, little helper robots that he deliberately turned into a locust horde after he became fused with a member of an alien race that wanted to destroy all humans. Lexx being what it is, he succeeds in turning the overwhelming majority of the universe's matter into drones. So many that he was Hoist by His Own Petard: using almost all the universe's matter against the Lexx made gravity a problem and resulted in a Big Crunch (or "Big Collapse," as Kai called it.) After the Mantrid arc is over, the opening narration is removed because it calls the Lexx the most powerful weapon in the two universes - and there aren't two universes anymore.
    • The Lyekka aliens in the final season, a group of very hungry plants with a mother ship roughly twice the size of Earth's moon that would attach to a planet and strip it of all bio-matter to feed their insatiable hunger. This again being Lexx the aliens are only destroyed after eating a large number of worlds, killing billions and nearly eating the Earth (though it still blows up).
  • The alien bug in the Alien episode of Lost Tapes escapes at the end of the episode. There dosen't really seem to be too much of a problem seeing as there's only one... until the narrator notes that some bugs can reproduce asexually.
  • An episode of Power Rangers in Space had one Monster of the Week that was like this (maybe not a pure example of the Trope, seeing as the swarm did the bidding of someone else, namely Astronema). In the plot of the episode, a female monster called Mamamite planted millions of her eggs around Angel Grove assuring Astronema they'd hatch into a swarm of creatures who acted like this; however, Astronema urged her to speed up the process, and she did her best with a drill-like device. The heroes were able to defeat her rather easily, but her spawn hatched nonetheless, resulting in a somewhat accurate version of this Trope, which could also combine into a stronger male version of its mother that called itself Termitus. Eventually, it was defeated by the Megazord.
  • Stargate SG-1 has the Replicators, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin: they consume technology and matter to make more of themselves. Somewhat confusingly, the Asurans of Stargate Atlantis are usually referred to as Replicators as well, despite not sharing anything with the original Replicators beyond having a similar construction design. Indeed, their goal is not to create more of themselves: they're more like a fully-functioning, entirely mechanical civilization.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series has the Tribbles, cute, fuzzy animals that are "born pregnant," multiplying exponentially until they consume all available food sources and space.
  • The Winchesters: The Akrida are bug-like Eldritch Abominations said to consume entire worlds. In fact, the word akrida is Ancient Greek for "locust", and they're most likely a reference to the monstrous "locusts" in the Book of Revelation. Chuck from the parent show Supernatural created them to destroy everything in The Multiverse in the event that anyone ever managed to defeat him.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • One of the end-of-the-world plagues to be delivered by God and his court upon the Earth, as foretold in the Book of Revelation, is a plague of unearthly creatures described as 'Locusts' which assault the world, with the capability to deliver potent stings that are so painful and disfiguring that those who are stung will wish for death. This is a Call-Back to the earlier plague of locusts visited upon Egypt by God, in the book of Exodus.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: 2nd Edition contains a good number of these, such as:
    • The Horde, which are an elemental (and Lawful Evil In-Universe, ironically) race of insects which vary in size and shape from horde to horde, with all members of a particular horde being identical (i.e., sometimes they will appear as 20 ft. tall golden mantids other times they may appear as foot-long black beetles). They attack and consume anything that is not from their particular horde, even other hordes.
    • The Witchlight Marauders. A sequential bioweapon made by the Orcs during the Unhuman Wars with the intention of completely devastating entire Elven worlds via consumption and ultraviolence. After they kill every living thing on the planet they then turn on themselves.
    • The Clockwork Horrors, which are like the Witchlight Marauders except that they're tiny metal spiders with death rays and buzz saws.
  • Monsterpocalypse: The Savage Swarm aren't aliens, but they are Big Creepy-Crawlies with insatiable appeties.
  • Nightbane has Shadow Mantis/Locust, which eat inorganic material as well as living things and are mostly wiped out nowadays.
  • Numenera:
    • On Urvanas, shiny blue insectlike creatures have recently started to sometimes blow in on storms and prey upon the domes of cloud cities. Several cities have been sent to their dooms, their domes punctured, in a city-sized Death Dive.
    • Into the Outside describes dimensional locusts, a general term for entities that move between dimensions, stripping them of usable resources before moving on. They include the usual insectoid swarms, humanoid civilizations that cannibalize whole worlds of resources, Explosive Breeder transdimensional wildlife, and things that are harder to classify because they are composed of, and consume, bizarre things like color, heat or time.
  • Starfinder: The Swarm is a hive-minded horde of pseudo-insectoid horrors with the traditional single-minded motivation of consuming all biomass they come across and adding it to themselves, in addition to producing a large number of highly specialized warrior forms for dealing with lifeforms that object. They were a major antagonist force that was only barely repelled by the combined strength of the Pact Worlds and the Veskarium, and still poses a real danger to travelers in the Vast. One of the playable races, the insectoid Shirren, were a sub-hive of the Swarm until a mutation granted them sapience and free will. Once they had the ability to control their own lives, they chose to reject the Swarm's life of mindless, constant and aggressive consumption, and decided to try living alongside other lifeforms instead of eating them.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Tyranid Hive Fleets have been encroaching on the 40k galaxy for centuries. If they take a world, they kill and devour every living thing (taking useful traits from the creatures to improve their hordes of bio-engineered monsters), eat the soil, drink the oceans and suck up the atmosphere. They also use The Virus in the form of the Xenomorph-esque Genestealers to destabilize potential opposition. The 5th edition rulebook (p. 166) says that they have consumed a dozen galaxies prior to coming to the one we know and love, and their current campaign of destruction is merely the next course. Largely inspired by the Xenomorphs from Alien. It's increasingly implied that the Tyranids are running from something.
    • Rogue Trader has the Rak'Gol, eight-limbed alien monsters who can take on Space Marines in melee, and come in huge hordes. They are among the most dangerous creatures found in the game.
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken has the Srizaku, or Hungry Children, which are Locust Hosts. In simple terms, this makes them demonic locust swarms that devour anything organic, with a fondness for human flesh, and are capable of reducing entire cities to picked-clean bones lying scattered amidst ruins. Fortunately, they're extremely rare because they are, obviously, not very good at being subtle.


    Video Games 
  • The Horde in Battle Realms, no one knows where they came from or what they are, other than they kill everything in their path, and leave nothing alive, not even trees.
  • From Battleborn are the Varelsi, a legion of extra-dimensional cosmic horrors who have been consuming stars to a point that only one star Solus is all that remains in the entire universe.
  • Brood Star: The antagonists are a swarm of ravenous alien bug monsters that seem to have no higher goal beyond propagating themselves and consuming or assimilating everything else.
  • The Eaters from Chimera Beast are mindless aliens that eat everything organic to grow stronger, starting from their own planet. This time, though, you play as one of the Locusts.
  • The eponymous Creepers in the Creeper World games are masses of blue goo that have invaded countless planets and devoured all life that it comes in contact with. The Creepers are said to be truly ancient and unstoppable, having persisted even billions of years from the past and into the future. It's theorized they're attracted to "complexity", typically targeting sufficiently advanced civilizations and wiping them out completely.
  • Deep Rock Galactic: Enemies consist entirely of a variety of alien bugs. Whether they be swarms of Glyphids, flying Mactera, rolling Q'ronar, the hiveminded Naedocyte, and many others.
  • Destiny: The Hive are an odd example in that they're superficially similar to the conventional locust horde, being a swarm of insectoid Bee People with an unpleasantly organic aesthetic who go around overrunning planets and moving on, but they're also Abstract Eaters who feed on death and destruction, as well as religious adherents of Social Darwinism. As such, they're motivated both by hunger and by a holy imperative to purge all "weakness" from the galaxy, and "feed" by killing indiscriminately with guns, swords, and space magic. The extermination of sentient species isn't a consequence of them satisfying their hunger, but the intended result.
  • Ecco the Dolphin: In the original continuity, the Vortex aliens have lost the ability to make their own food. So, when their planet and Earth are in alignment every 500 Earth years, they shoot a beam to Earth and gobble up as much marine life as they can, and over time the feedings get larger and larger. One of these feedings is what sets Ecco on his quest to find his family.
  • The Cravers of Endless Space are a playable example. As a species of biomechanical insects created as a Living Weapon, their racial traitsnote  encourage continuous expansion and Zerg Rushing other empires in the early game. Their 'Eternal War' trait renders any form of peace with other empires impossible.
    • The Necrophages of Endless Legend are no longer forced to expand like the Cravers, but still have many of the same traits, along with reduced food output, so they have to eat the dead, and the ability to sacrifice citizens to appease their gods. Like the Cravers, they cannot engage in any diplomacy bar temporary ceasefire treaties.
  • EVE Online: Drones are little robot ships that can assist pilots and perform automated functions. The problem is, they're prone to going rogue and forming colonies that try to consume everything to make more drones. An update redesigned rogue drones to look insectoid just to drive the point home.
  • Grey Goo (2015) has not one but two of these; the titular Goo and the Shroud, respectively. One's an exploration probe. The other's something two of the factions (the beta/morra and the goo, respectively) are freaking out about.
  • From Honkai: Star Rail there is The Swarm, a horde of self-propagating alien insects who once threatened to overwhelm the entire universe. They are servants of the Path of Propagation, ruled by the Aeon of Propagation, Tayzzyronth.
  • I Was a Teenage Exocolonist: The Maskwings are alien locusts bigger than the protagonist's fist that can devour their weight in leafy plant matter, fabric, wood, hair, or even skin in just an hour. When frightened, they flip their wings forward to make themselves look like manticores, and millions of them swarm in hot places such as the Western Wresting Ridge during the Dust Season.
  • Jak and Daxter gave us the Metal Heads, who are a horde of alien locust/mammal/reptile things varying from small but rapid scorpion-things to colossal juggernauts that are nearly impossible to kill. While it isn't absolutely clear what their long-term goals are (or, for that matter, even if they have long-term goals), their rapacious swarming over everything within areas not heavily shielded and devoid of a handy One-Man Army puts them squarely within this trope.
  • The Aurum from Kid Icarus: Uprising. They are a race of robotic aliens that are apparently beckoned by conflict and travel from planet to planet and consume each one. When Palutena calls them bees, and Viridi calls them parasites, Hades flat out says the apt term would be "locusts."
  • Mass Effect:
    • The rachni, although only due to mischievous meddling. They are composed by massive swarms with a queen, but they are not inherently a horde of locusts. The Protheans tried to uplift them and turn them into bioweapons to be deployed in war, until they lost control and the experiment backfired with the most aggressive queens turning against them and becoming the trope. Ultimately the krogans were uplifted too to deal with them.
    • To a certain extent, Reapers count: they periodically harvest all advanced civilizations in the galaxy, rendering suitable ones down into a slurry used to build new reapers and eradicating the rest.
  • Metroid has the titular lifeforms that exist only to devour any living thing they encounter and make more of themselves. However, the later games reveal, after Samus has hunted them to extinction, that they were deliberately artificially created to deal with a parasite that is even worse, and which the universe now has no defense against. OOPS!
  • The Kreegan of Might and Magic are in-between this and Planet Looters: their leadership is intelligent, but the common ranks aren't, and the reason indicated by someone that was around for the beginning of the Ancient-Kreegan War for why the Kregans continually travel, land and then conquer is that they rapidly outstrip the resources of their newly conquered planet due to their breeding cycle and need to move on to one or more other planets. Their appearance and their tendency to reduce everything to fire and brimstone leads less advanced civilizations to label them "demons", and they inhabit the Inferno faction of Heroes of Might and Magic III.
  • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon: Smoke's ending has him fusing with his fellow Cyber Ninjas Sektor and Cyrax and doing the Nanomachine version of this.
  • Onslaught have the Enhanced Insect Cyborgs, originally created by humans to terraform alien worlds. Unfortunately a ship filled with EICs unexpectedly went missing, where it turns out the insects have massacred the crew, started reproducing, and are now devouring everything in sight.
  • Seven Kingdoms: The Frythans gain one of their primary resources, Hit Points, mostly by killing enemies, and it's required to breed more.
  • The Mycons of Star Control certainly qualify for this trope. Though they are a bit slower than other examples of this trope, they see it as their long-term goal to convert all "Non" to "Juffo-Wup". They turn out to be a terraforming biotech whose programming has drifted from its original purpose over thousands of years. Nice job breaking it, Precursors. Also, the robotic Slylandro Probes, which are a more urgent problem and are also the result of faulty programming.
  • StarCraft: The Zerg have a fairly similar approach, including the assimilation of new species into the Zerg swarm based on their useful traits — although they were forced into this through Xel'Naga modifications, after previously being a race of docile, harmless worms. Though they infest and consume the resources of planets, their goal under the Overmind was actually the achievement of physical purity by genetically assimilating the Protoss. The sequel gives more background information on the Overmind, which infested Sarah Kerrigan to eventually relinquish control of the Zerg swarm to her. This would thereby prevent an Eldritch Abomination from using them as an army for universal genocide.
  • The aparoids from Star Fox: Assault qualify due to the fact that when you fight the queen at the end, she insists that the entire universe and everything in it would be consumed by them.
  • In Star Trek Online, we have the Hur'q, the fearsome creatures of Klingon lore, who will consume and destroy anything in their path. And they weren't that way before. It turns out the Female Changeling, seeking to turn the Hur'q into the Dominion's warrior caste, took away a special fungus in order to control them. But, they ended up going completely insane and her attempts to control them then fell completely flat, leading to the events of the game.
  • Stellaris has the Prethoryn Scourge end-game crisis. They invade the galaxy from the outside and invade anything in sight, killing off any native pops on planets they conquer and turning fallen planets into 'infested worlds' that spawn more Scourge, repeat until the galaxy is all Scourge.
    • With the Utopia DLC, Psionic races can telepathically communicate with them. Asking them why they're here will have them tell you that like the Tyranids, they're running away from someone even worse, a species called the Hunters. The name "Prethoryn" means "survivors," as they're the last survivors of their war against the Hunters, who are still chasing them and will eventually arrive in the galaxy. The "HAK HAK HAK" laughing they make is not a standard Evil Laugh, but rather one mocking you for thinking that you could possibly defeat the Hunters.
    • If the player is so inclined, they can play as their own horde by creating a Hive Mind empire with the "Devouring Swarm" civic.
  • Swarm Simulator is an Idle Game where the player builds an empire of these. The bugs are controlled by several Hive Queens and Hive Minds, breed extremely quickly, and easily capture territory and collect meat as resources even faster. "Ascension" is performed by sending your units into space to find a new planet to start over.
  • Sword of the Stars: Locusts and Silicoids each embody this in a different way. Silicoids, also known as "Swarms", are silicon-based space-bugs who live in asteroid belts and are mainly pests — a Swarmer Hive will send out a Silicoid Queen every ten turns, aimed at a nearby planet with an asteroid-field, and establish a new Hive there if it isn't killed on the way. That Hive will send out a new Queen ten turns later, and so on. Attacking either a Hive or a Queen gets you a fight with a swarm of angry Drones, so you better hope you remembered to bring point-defense systems. The Locusts, meanwhile, are not actual bugs but robots, and as such consume inorganic material, but they otherwise follow the trope to a tee (they're not Planet Looters because they're utterly mindless and attack in bug-like swarms). The Locust Hiveworld will move slowly and deliberately across the map, draining the resources out of every planet it comes across (rendering them functionally useless), and — once it has gathered enough resources in this way — it will spawn a second Hiveworld. Left to its own devices, the Hiveworlds will turn every last bit of resources in the galaxy into more of themselves. Most players would rather face the Deathstar-like System Killer than the Locusts...
    • The Von Neummans are an intelligent example: while they are certainly resource-hungry robots, they react to someone blasting them apart by sending an ultra-cool looking "Berserker" to eradicate the colony (presumably so that they can mop up the pieces later), and if that fails, they send a Construct, because at that point, the potential resources from the soon-to-be annihilated planet just isn't worth the threat of the base on it. They even create their own homeworld in some games.
  • Turok 2 has the insectoid Mantids, who exist solely to further their own existence and lack the ability to feel sympathy, kindness, pity, or remorse.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Qiraji are insectoid monsters under the control of C'thun. While they don't come from space, they were sealed away from the rest of the world for millenia, giving their sudden reappearance a similar effect.
    • The Devourers in Shadowlands are mindless creatures which emerge from the In-Between to devour anima. When there aren't easy sources to consume, they'll devour the fabric of the afterlives themselves, causing entire portions of the realms to break off and drift into the In-Between.
  • X: The Xenon are the mechanical version: being rogue terraforming robots, their only purpose is to build more of themselves, and to "terraform" everything in sight. They fit here from moonlighting as technological locusts as well. X3: Terran Conflict even calls them the greatest threat the galaxy has ever known due to their exponential rate of expansion and processing power.

  • Aylee's species from Sluggy Freelance - aliens with the ability to alter their form to adapt to different environments and to emulate beings around them - view it as their holy duty to consume all other life and destroy worlds to spread themselves across the universe. From a more naturalistic point of view, this is probably just a rationalisation they've come up with for their nature as macroscopic equivalents of bacteria that infect and kill entire planets.
  • The Kvrk Chk from Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger. They consider all sentient races as food, including themselves. With shells as tough as battleship hull, and enduring unimaginable hazards on their homeworld, the only thing that makes them listen is the use of Star Killing Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    Western Animation 
  • Final Space: Episode 10 introduces The Lord Commander’s hive ships; thousands of small robots that act like a swarm of bees.
  • In Godzilla: The Series, one episode shows a swarm of over-sized ants. Said ants almost destroyed an entire rainforest within a few days.
  • The Parasprites in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. They start off eating every edible thing that they could get their teeth on, until Twilight casts a spell to "make them stop eating all the food." Whereupon they start eating everything else instead.
    • The Changelings give off this particular vibe as well, what with their less-than-subtle similarities with to Zerg. The only difference being that they feed on love instead of ponies themselves.
  • Steven Universe: The Gems exist in a gray area between intelligent locusts and Planet Looters: they come after planets to raid mineral resources (which seems to include a considerable portion of the planet's mass), but primarily use those resources to reproduce, thus adding to their (equivalent to) biomass. Their native culture has a monolithic focus on expansion, but this is still clearly a cultural trait which some have chosen to reject, even if this seemingly means losing all means to reproduce.
  • In Transformers we have the Insecticons, a literal swarm of alien locusts (and weevils and stag beetles). Unlike most Transformers, they don't live simply on energon. Instead, they eat everything—including, in the comics, meat.
  • In the Xiaolin Showdown episode "Dangerous Minds", Jack Spicer accidentally releases a horde of Giant Spiders. According to the ancient legends, "The spiders are neither good nor evil. They are merely... consumers. They consume vegetation, animals, buildings, even the earth itself. They eat... until there is nothing left to eat."

  • Hysteria from Extraterrestrial. Actually, more of a aquatic-based fungus made up of individual cells that can combine to form a deadly, venomous goo-like form.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Swarm Of Alien Locusts


''Hero's Duty''

''Hero's Duty'' is a Fictional Video Game where Space Marines fight robotic beetles called "Cy-Bugs".

How well does it match the trope?

4.94 (17 votes)

Example of:

Main / BugWar

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