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"Lurker, attacks many foes while burrowed. Effective against light enemies."

The lurker

The lurker is a zerg unit that can attack only when burrowed.


"Watch it! Lurker! Those bastards attack while they're burrowed - we need some detection out there to root it out."

The lurker during the Brood War

Compared to other zerg strains, lurkers are arachnid in appearance.[1] Evolved from the hydralisk, these creatures are powerful anti-ground ambushers,[2] and are one of the rare zerg strains that can attack while burrowed. When above ground, the lurker stands roughly twice as tall as a terran wearing CMC armor.[3]


"Where are they? Nobody's actually seen them above ground. Are they here? Here?? Where?!"

- A Dominion marine on the lurker's spikes(src)

A Leviathan Brood lurker

Lurkers serve as defense warriors for hive clusters and outlying zerg colonies,[4] but their primary role extends to supply line harassment.[3] To attack, lurkers emit waves of super-dense spines against their enemies, having a full width of damage of ten meters.[5] However, lurkers must actually burrow underground to release these subterranean attacks. Any warriors on the surface who are caught by these spines are instantly impaled. These spines themselves are capable of tearing into flesh, steel, and even reinforced armor plating,[4] and can extend far from their bodies.[3] The spines can even be directed downward into open spaces, provided the lurker is underground.[6] As such, even a handful of lurkers can turn an innocuous chokepoint into a nightmare,[2] and they have been known to ambush forces traveling through tight corridors and chokepoints.[3] The spiked eruptions are sometimes so powerful that they deal seismic damage to nearby units.[3] The spines have rarely been seen above ground, and it is unclear to many terrans where the spines actually come from in the lurker's body,[3] although some strains can shoot spines from their frontal legs while above ground.[7] Within the Leviathan Brood, the innate connection between hydralisks and lurkers is unparalleled among the Swarm. As such, their metamorphosis yields a considerable number of additional seismic spikes.[8]

A lurker stalks its prey

The only weakness of the lurker is that it is virtually defenseless while above ground,[4] over which it is carried by slow-moving ambulatory legs. Here, the lurker is a lumbering, defenseless entity.[3] However, by the Battle of Camp Pitcairn some strains of lurkers had adapted to fire spikes and use their jaws above ground.[7]


The following section contains information from StarCraft Beta that is ambiguously canonical.

Lurkers were observed dwelling in creep by Project Bellwood prior to the Great War, but proved too elusive for further study.[9]

Lurkers were first evolved from Tiamat Brood hydralisks.[3] By the Brood War, they were one of the newer strains within the Swarm.[4] They were first observed under the command of the Queen of Blades within the conflict, though for terrans, it was technically the lurker's handiwork that was the first indication of their existence.[5]

Plot branch : Sarah Kerrigan decides to evolve the hydralisk

A lurker during the Second Great War

During the Second Great War, Abathur discovered a group of feral lurkers on Cavir, left over from the Tiamat Brood in the Brood War. The Swarm was able to find a lurker den and protect from the feral zerg long enough for Broodmother Kilysa to recover its essence.[10]

Plot branch ends here

Years later, the Defenders of Man used Nova Terra to plant psi-emitters to lure feral lurkers to Antiga Prime.[11]

Game Unit[]


For StarCraft gameplay information see: Lurker (StarCraft).

StarCraft: Ghost[]

StarCraft Ghost Logo2.jpg

This article or section contains information about StarCraft: Ghost, which has been declared non-canon. Elements may be taken as 'flavor lore' however.
The content may be significantly out of date. Please do not add speculation to this article, and remember to cite a published source for details.

The lurker in StarCraft: Ghost

The lurker was to appear in StarCraft: Ghost.[12] Its form underwent an extensive redesign from its Brood War incarnation during development.[13]

StarCraft II[]

For StarCraft II gameplay information see: Lurker (StarCraft II).

Heroes of the Storm[]

Heroes DevLog2.jpg

The following section contains information from Heroes of the Storm and is not canon to StarCraft continuity

In Heroes of the Storm, Dehaka has the ability to gain a talent named "Lurker Strain," a reference to the unit. Anub'arak has an "Anub'alisk" skin which is designed to look similar to a lurker, and changes his spikes to be similar to a lurker's attack.[14]



A lurker supported by hydralisks

  • StarCraft: Speed of Darkness makes reference to zerg lurkers being active on Mar Sara during the Great War. However, within the novel, the term "lurker" appears to be used as a descriptive while other zerg strains are capitalized within the novel. The "lurkers" likewise attack by jumping from above rather than burrowing and using spines.


  1. 2017-04-21, Remastering StarCraft's Art. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-04-21
  2. 2.0 2.1 Legacy of the Void Units, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2015-04-18
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Barba, Rick. StarCraft Field Manual (hardcover). Insight Editions, November 17, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Underwood, Peter, Chris Metzen and Bill Roper. StarCraft: Brood War (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bill Slavicsek, David Eckelberry, Shawn F. Carnes (March 1, 2000). Alternity: StarCraft Edition. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 978-0786-91618-4
  6. Zapotek, Ren (w), Noel Rodriguez (p, i), Mel Joy San Juan (i). "Twilight Archon." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 3 (paperback binding), pp. 132-177. Tokyopop, July 14, 2009. ISBN 978-1427-80832-5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Houser, Jody and Robinson, Andrew (w), Sepulveda, Miguel (p, i). "StarCraft: Soldiers: Issue 2" StarCraft: Soldiers 2 (7) (February 20, 2019) Dark Horse Comics.
  8. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Collections Tab: Skins. July 19, 2017
  9. Starcraft Beta - Flying Zerg. Accessed 2019-08-28.
  10. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Hydralisk Evolution (in English). 2013-05-08.
  11. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Nova Covert Ops, Flashpoint (in English). 2016-08-02.
  12. Lurker. Blizzplanet. Accessed on 2008-06-07
  13. 2010-2011, Starcraft 2: Zerg Lurker. Deviantart, accessed on 2011-02-11
  14. Blizzard Entertainment. Heroes of the Storm (Blizzard Entertainment) (in English). June 2, 2015