The kalphites wield the title as the biggest known insects in all of Gielinor. They are related to beetles and scorpions and come in a green colour. Kalphites have remarkable antennae which can detect the slightest movement. Their carapace exists of armoured plates called lamellae. The shell can be compressed into a ball. They also use it to sense odours by fanning it out like leaves. They use their front legs to dig enormous tunnel networks which they use as their nests. The Kalphites exist in a caste-based society, very much like bees.
The lowest of all ranks are the larvae. The Kalphite larvae are newly hatched Kalphites, but will develop into one of the bigger ranks fairly quickly. Unlike the other kalphites, larvae are completely harmless to humans and run away from them rather than fighting them. They are very hard to catch and are often chased with the help of a cat.
The larvae can develop into workers. The job of the Kalphite workers is to take care of the newly lain eggs, which contain new larvae. They also provide the hive of food, and a pack of workers can strip the flesh of a fully grown camel within only a few seconds.
Larvae can also develop into soldiers. The soldier’s job is to protect the hive from any danger and are more developed to fight. Unlike the workers, soldiers are poisonous, bigger, aggressive and have spikes on their antennae and legs.
After the soldiers comes the guardians. Guardians are even stronger and bigger than soldiers and have more and bigger spikes on their antennae and legs. Their job is to protect their queen from danger and are often located close to her, very deep in the hive.The final and highest stage of Kalphites is the Queen. Her job is to lay small brown eggs which contains new larvae. Since the queen is the only Kalphite who can lay eggs, a hive cannot do without one. The Kalphite queen is the strongest of all Kalphites and has, unlike other kalphites, powerful spines on her abdomen which can be launched to those who dare to approach her. She has no spikes on her antennae, which are instead developed to cast magic spells. She also has the strange ability to use holy protection prayers. The kalphite queen has two forms. The first is only her armour which looks much like the other Kalphites. Once her armour is defeated, the true queen appears out of it. This ‘second form’ looks very different to other Kalphites, she has a red colour and wings. She looks similar to a giant wasp. When a queen dies, one of the larvae quickly develops into an another one. This makes it very difficult to slay a full hive of Kalphites. There's also a spirit Kalphite. This kalphite, however, is not a part of the hive. It comes from the spirit plane where all familiar spirits come from. The spirit kalphite can be summoned by the player with a summoning level of 25. The spirit kalphite can hold 6 items and has a special ability named Sandstorm, which attacks 5 nearby opponents with 20 life points. A spirit kalphite looks different than other kalphites. It has a blue colour and no antennae.
Kalphites also seem to make potato cactus. As many of those can be found around the hive. The reason they make them is unknown.
The origins of the Kalphites are unknown, but many people say that they were created when the Desert god Scabaras accidentally dropped some of his blood on some Scarabs, turning them into Kalphites. Some people, mostly the scientist, don’t believe this theory and go for a more natural theory.
Role in gameKalphites can only be found in the Kalphite lair, which is located west of the Shantay pass in the Kharidian Desert. Players who want to enter the lair the first time should bring a rope to access the hive, this is needed only once because the rope is left at the dungeon entrance for later use. The lair consists of three chambers. The first one contains larvae, 11 workers, 6 soldiers and 2 guardians. at the end of the room is the entrance to the second room. The second room contains the queen, 6 workers and 2 other guardians. Players need another rope to enter this room, this is also needed once. The third and final room is unlocked during the Do No Evil quest. It contains 6 soldiers and another 2 guardians. Players can enter this room through two different entrances. One is found at the north of the second room (watch out for the queen). Another is hidden in a rock just outside the hive and is located south of the main entrance.
Kalphites are often given as a slayer task. Since the kalphites come in a great variety of levels, every slayer master can assign them. During a slayer task, any of the kalphite varieties will count as such. Training on the Kalphite workers is regarded by many as one of the better ways to train slayer due to the vast array of useful tactics for killing them. It should be noted that the desert heat that affects most of the Kharidian desert does NOT apply inside the lair.
Larvae can be found everywhere in the lair. Unlike the other kalphites, larvae are not attackable and mostly act as entertainment and decoration. When getting close to a player, larvae will run away. Their only use is that they may be caught with a cat. So it's possible to turn lazy cats into wily cats (after rat catchers) by catching larvae. However, players almost never do this and prefer catching rats to make wily cats. Mostly because catching rats is much easier, as those don't run away from you.
Workers can also be found everywhere except in the third room. They have a combat level of 28 and 400 life points. Many players kill kalphite workers for slayer, because those are the easiest to defeat. The best place to kill workers is in the room right at the entrance because there are no other kalphites to interrupt you. Many players kill their workers here so it's often crowded in that room.Soldiers can be found deeper in the hive. Their combat level is 85, they have 900 life points and unlike workers,they are poisonous. Stronger players sometimes kill soldiers for slayer because they give more slayer experience. However, anti-poison potions or an Anti-poison Totem are needed to fight them so some stronger players still choose the workers instead. Kalphite soldiers can also be used as a guardian in treasure rooms in Player owned houses.
Guardians can be found at the end of the first room and in the second and third one. They have a combat of 141, 1700 life points, and are also poisonous. Only a few players kill these for slayer, and those who do often make advantage of their size and use safespots to kill them.
The Kalphite queen is mostly killed for other reasons than slayer, as she is very difficult to defeat. She is mostly hunted down for a dragon chainbody, which she is able to drop. The queen also has a chance to drop a KQ head when killed, this head can be stuffed at the taxerdemist in Canifis and then mounted in a skill hall in a Player owned house. Players can also kill her to complete special slayer challenges, or just for the honour. The kalphite queen uses all three combat styles and protection prayers. She has a combat level of 333 and comes in two forms. Each form has 2550 life points.
Keris, the dagger which is given as a reward for completing Contact!, has a strong side-effect on kalphites. On a rare occasion, when fighting one, Keris will cut into a chunk of the kalphite's chitin and do triple the damage it would normally do. However, this is a very rare thing to happen, and since it only happens to one type of monster, different weapons are commonly preferred. This weapon can also be poisoned, dealing out more damage. A hit of over 1200 can be achieved by using Keris on kalphites during a Slayer assignment.
- Kalphite Queen, Combat level: 333
- Kalphite larva, not attackable
- Kalphite worker, Combat level: 28
- Kalphite Soldier, Combat level: 85
- Kalphite Guardian, Combat level: 141
- Spirit kalphite (Summoning familiar), required Summoning level: 25
- Kalphite King (concept released at RuneFest)
- Despite being cited as insects many times in runescape, kalphites have bones, which can be seen strewn throughout their lair in the karidian desert identified by the examine text as "kalphite remains". One of the defininng characteristics of all insects is an exoskeleton is present as oposed to bones, arguably this means that the kalphites are not actual insects at all.