It lives inside of a massive, purple Kihunter Nest suspended in the room's lower level, where it is surrounded by Zeros, Kihunters, and Whipvines. When the Whipvines are destroyed, the nest cracks open, revealing the King Kihunter and several of its fellow Kihunters inside. It constantly summons more Kihunters to defend itself, but the King Kihunter itself cannot directly attack Samus.
When Samus kills the King Kihunter, 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. According to Metroid: Other M Premiere Edition, the Nest is a King Kihunter protective shell.
With the King Kihunter dead, the remaining Kihunters in the nest fly away, and Little Birdie feeds on its honey. Samus then receives her assignment from Commander Adam Malkovich to go to the Biosphere Test Area, and a door unlocks to let her out of the Biological Experiment Floor.
- Bosses (pg. 18)
- King Kihunter
- "As you might expect, the King Kihunter is heavily protected by several Kihunters. It also lives inside a large King Kihunter protective shell that hangs overhead and is suspended by several Frondana plants. To expose the King, first destroy the swarms of Kihunters. With the protective Kihunters out of the way, turn your attentions to the Frondana plants supporting the King's shell and destroy them, too. When the shell comes crashing down, it will crack open and expose the King. Blast through several more waves of Kihunters, then pop the King with a few missiles to destroy him."
"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, the title of "King" in the creature's name implies it to be in fact male, and is therefore 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 mostly dedicated to 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, which implies Kihunters either do not need a King to reproduce, or the females hold onto the King's sperm cells within themselves to continuously fertilize their eggs for the rest of their lifetime (akin to Queen Ants and Bees).
- Internal files in the game refer to the King Kihunter as if it were the queen.
- In the Latin American versions of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, this creature's trophy is called Queen Kihunter (Reina Vespuloide).
- 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.
- While it can be assumed that King Kihunters exist naturally outside the BOTTLE SHIP, it is unconfirmed if they are part of the Space Pirates faction along with their fellow Kihunters.