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Kihunters - also known as Ki-Hunters and Keyhunters - are a species of extragalactic space pirates allied with the Space Pirates of Zebes. Evidence seems to support that they only formed their allegiance with the Zebesian Space Pirates when the latter requested help in order to rebuild their Tourian base on the planet Zebes, which apparently the Kihunters readily accepted the challenge for. Since then, they have worked side-by-side with the Space Pirates to aid in their mission to convert the Metroids into the ultimate biological weapon.
Kihunters are an aerial insectoid organism, with one large compound eye, which is often mistaken for a simple "gem" embedded in their forehead or similar marking. They utilize a pair of wings to fly, which seem too small for their body to provide lift, leading to the hypothesis that they work in a similar manner to the wings of a bumblebee. These wings are not properly attached at their anchor, opening up a weak point in their physiology that intelligent and informed Hunters would take heed to take advantage of. Should the wings be forcefully detached from the body, the Kihunter will drop to the ground and be forced to resort to hopping around instead.
While in the air a Kihunter is likely to slash at their foes with their blade-like forelimbs, although when on the ground they are inclined to spit a corrosive acid that they house in two venom sacs along the sides of their head (which are in fact usually mistaken for their eyes).
On Zebes, they were found in swarms within Crateria, Brinstar, and within the Wrecked Ship, where they exhibited the ability of optical camouflage, allowing them to blend in with the surrounding areas.
A number of Kihunters were transported to the Biologic Space Laboratory Research Station for research, but all were infected by X parasites.