The King Kihunter is a large insectoid encountered by Samus in the Biosphere's Biological Experiment Floor aboard the BOTTLE SHIP. It lives inside of a massive, purple Kihunter Nest suspended in the room's lower level, and constantly summons more Kihunters to defend the king until Samus kills it and destroys the Nest. When Samus kills it, both its body and the inside surface of the hive begin to shrivel and turn grey, suggesting that the Nest is in fact an extension of King Kihunter's body.
"The King Kihunter in the Kihunter Nest. It can't move, but the other Kihunters surround it to protect it."
"Like social insects in real life, Kihunters function as a colony, possessing a hierarchy and assigned roles. The easiest comparison is to bees, which they also closely resemble. This gigantic insect seems to be the leader of the cloned Kihunter colony that appears in Metroid: Other M, similar in status to a bee colony's queen."
- Despite having characteristics similar to a queen of a eusocial colony (and thus female), the name suggests that the Kihunter is in fact male, making it unlikely to be the one spawning Zeros.
- The exact role(s) of a King Kihunter is left unknown in the game. It is possible that he's the only male in the Kihunter nest, or the only reproductive male, making his life focused mostly on mating. His symbiotic connection to the interior of the nest suggests that his other roles consist of providing not only shelter for his lesser kin, but also food, using his body as a living food storage vessel (similar to the repletes of honeypot ants).
- The King Kihunter's death seemed to have no devastating impact on his species aboard the BOTTLE SHIP. Their numbers did not dwindle at all, suggesting that Kihunters do not need a King to reproduce, or the females hold onto the King's sperm cells to continuously fertilize their eggs for the rest of their lifetime (similar to Queen Ants and Bees).
- Internal files in the game refer to the King Kihunter as if it were the queen.
- The environments surrounding Spore Spawn and Nettori also shrivel up and turn into a darker color when the aforementioned creatures are defeated, quite similar to the King's death.