a praetorian from AvP. (2010)

Praetorian Guard
Universe alien Universe
Species Xenomorph
Height 10 ft
Homeworld Xenomorph Prime
Diet Carnivore

The Praetorian is perhaps one of the most interesting strains within the Xenomorph biology. Its primary role within the Hive is to guard key locations of importance or interest, and if nothing else, to protect the Queen herself. It is also one of the largest and strongest of the xenomorph strains.

Anatomy and Genetics

The Praetorian is "pure born" meaning it does not utilise genes from the host and is born to take this form regardless of its host body. One can also evolve from the basic caste drone in a molting process.

A warrior can molt into a Praetorian if exposed to Royal Jelly as an egg.

The physical features of the Praetorian are very pristine, with its appearance looking markedly similar to the Queen as it sports a massive crown-like head crest, large physical size, an extra-long tail and great strength.

Alien vs Predator Specimen 6's Molting Process Close to the head

Final Minutes of the Praetorian 6 before molting into The Queen stage

It should be noted that a Preatorian is a xenomorph's last cycle before the Queen stage; İn the 2010 Game "Alien vs Predator", the main alien protagonist, Specimen or Number 6 molts/evolves into the Praetorian. It later molted again, this time becoming a queen, after the death of the Hive's Queen, known as "The Matriarch".  


The behavior of the Praetorian is possibly one of the most graphic and intense of all the strains, excluding the Queen. Not only is it 'programmed' to automatically become hostile to any foreign intruder of the Hive, but also with the molting process, in which it emits pheromones that somehow enrage other strains. The Praetorian, along with all the other xenomorphs in the hive, can sense any victim's pheromones through any wall or surface.

Praetorian Alien AvP3 Skin by GRIDALIEN

Praetorian skin from AVP 3

They can be seen as smarter than most xenomorphic castes, although Praetorians are considered the guards of the queens and will molt when the pheromones of a queen are not present.

If cornered or in battle, Praetorians can shriek in extremely high pitches that call other xenomorphs to its aid. In Alien vs. Predator 3, Praetorians are used as minibosses and call other xenomorphs using this ability until they are killed.


  • "Praetorian" is a special force of skilled and celebrated warriors used by Roman emperors, perhaps defined as "Guard".
  • Praetorians are featured in the following games: Aliens vs. Predator, Aliens vs. Predator 2, Aliens vs. Predator: Extinction, Aliens vs. Predator 3AVP Arcade, and various console titles.
  • The Praetorian is depicted in different ways throughout various games. In Aliens vs. Predator, the strain walks on all fours, and pounces most of the time. In Alien vs. Predator 2, the strain is massive.
  • The Praetorian makes an appearance in Aliens vs. Predator 2010 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It retains the intricate head-crest, is roughly twice the size of a Drone, and is quite a bit more difficult to dispatch.
  • The Specimen six, molted into the Praetorian at an unknown point; after being captured by Weyland-Yutani Combat Androids and Dr.Groves when its in unconsciousness because of the death of The Former Queen-The Matriarch. Then by unknown factors, The Specimen 6 escaped molted/evolved into the Praetorian and killed the Combat Androids; but captured Dr. Groves alive and after that; finally; molted/evolved into the Queen. 
    Alien vs Predator Specimen 6 Molting Process

    The Specimen 6's Molting Process into the Queen-Note: Groves was still alive

  • In the game Extinction, Praetorians could molt into Ravager Xenomorph and Carrier Xenomorph.

Physical abilities

The Praetorian Xenomorph has more or less the same physical abilities as a Warrior or Drone. Despite their large size, they still have the ability to climb on any surface. Speed is still present within a Praetorian, but cannot be compared to the speed of a Warrior. Strength is a key factor of the Praetorian. Thick, armored skin and a heavily armored head provide excellent protection, allowing it to smash through groups of opponents with little consequences. The tail of any Xenomorph will naturally increase in size as it goes through different stages of its life. The tail of a Praetorian isn't that much longer of a Warrior, but has still increased. Large spines also stick out of the back. The Praetorian's camouflauge is still exactly the same as any other Xenomorph, with the exception of Runners or Reds.

Appearances and Sources


  • A theory is that Praetorians are male Xenomorphs. Upon observation the hives are by default extremely hostile to Praetorians; only the strongest and most resilient live long enough to escape the hive. Those that do survive only return when they are large enough to fend off the hive's attacks (and in some cases, the Queen herself), at which point an uneasy truce forms; the hive no longer expends drones trying to drive out the Praetorian, and the Praetorian lends its considerable might to defending the hive. It is theorized that King Aliens are particularly old and well-developed Praetorians, capable of withstanding even the Queens' attempts to kill him, at which point she will allow him to mate with her.

However, this theory is voided because Praetorians can evolve into the female queen. Due to this, Praetorians can be considered Xenomorph "princesses," due to them being a young, not fully developed, Queen. A "King Alien" existed, but is was artificially created and later killed by a queen it challenged to a fight.

See also

Xenomorphs (see gallery)
Life Stages
Xenomorph Egg · Facehugger (Queen Facehugger) · Chestburster
Hive Castes
Carrier Xenomorph · Drone Xenomorph · Warrior Xenomorph · Hive Warrior · Praetorian · Ravager Xenomorph · Commander Xenomorph · Palatine · Xenomorph Queen · Empress · Queen Mother · King Alien
Mutated and/or Bioengineered Strains
Acid Alien (Infectoid) · Arachnid Alien · Arachnoid · Bodyburster · Chrysalis · Crusher · Deacon (Trilobite) · Defender · Genetic Drone · Genetic Queen · Giant Facehugger · K-Series · "Leech" · "Newborn Xenomorph" · Razor Claw · Red Xenomorph · Rogue Alien · Scorpion Alien · Smasher · Stalker Xenomorph · White Hybrid · Xenoborg
Host-based Strains
Aqua Alien · Bull Alien · Flying Alien (Flying Queen) · Gorilla Alien · Jock-Xenomorph · Killer Crab Alien · Mantis Alien · Night Cougar Alien · Panther Alien · Predalien · Rhino Alien · Runner · Snake Alien · Swimmer · Swarm Alien · Wild Boar Alien
Related Species (Breeders)
Mala'kak (a.k.a. Engineers or Space Jockeys) · Yautja (a.k.a. Predators)
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