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In the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, the Wraith are the original antagonistic alien species, first introduced in the pilot episode "Rising". In the early seasons of the show they dominated the Pegasus Galaxy, the show's setting, and were an almost unstoppable and fatal threat. In Season 1, it was the prime objective of the characters to find a way to save themselves from a siege by the Wraith, similar to how the characters of Stargate SG-1 (Atlantis' sister-show) were originally focused solely on protecting Earth from attack by the Goa'uld. Although still immensely powerful in number, various other threats including the Pegasus based-Replicators (Asurans) have also arisen which have taken attention away from the war against the Wraith.

The Wraith are depicted as a hive-based species that grew to their level of power through technological knowledge comparable but inferior to the Ancients (their source of technological knowledge is unknown, however their writing is based on Ancient language) coupled with sheer mass of numbers. They have traits very similar to those of vampires - in fact one may suppose[citation needed] that this is where the creators' influence came from, as many of Stargate SG-1's encounters have been based on historic mythology (however these have been explained as manifesting in Earth history; the Wraith do not correlate in this manner). Wraith "feed" by "sucking" the life-force from a human being and are ageless. They have likely evolved from a combination of human and insectoid genetic recombination, which suggests the reason for why their abilities are as such.


Wraith Queen Keeper (Stargate)

Wraith "Keeper" hovering over a consumed human in "Rising"

The Wraith are sentient, intelligent creatures who are humanoid in form, but insect-like in other aspects such as behaviour and being hive-based. This is due to having been evolved from insects into their current form after exchanging DNA with humans while feeding on them. Typically, Wraith have pale teal or white, waxy-looking skin; typically long, white hair; translucent yellow pointed teeth, and are very aggressive. They are exceptionally skilled martial artists.

The Wraith view themselves as vastly superior to humans and treat them similarly to how a human might treat cattle or livestock. Hibernating for (human) generations at a time, they will eventually awaken and cull various planets throughout the galaxy by attacking them with Dart Fighters that harvest humans. These humans will then be consumed by the hive later on. Once the harvest is complete the Wraith will return to hibernation to allow the planets' populations to regrow before another culling. Because the wraith "drain" their victims of their life-force rather than "eating" them in the usual sense, there is no overt damage left behind except for superficial wounds received from the wraith's claws and the organ used for the "feeding" process.

Natives to the Pegasus Galaxy, the species is vastly technologically superior to humans from Earth, although less advanced in comparison to the more advanced alien races depicted on both Atlantis and SG-1. Despite their technological inferiority, the Wraith exist in overwhelming numbers that are enough to drive a more powerful foe into submission. In the back-story of Atlantis, the Ancients were driven from the Pegasus Galaxy after being unable to win a war against the Wraith.


File:Atlantis just risen.jpg

In 2004, an expedition from Earth, led by Dr. Elizabeth Weir, travelled by Stargate to the abandoned Ancient Lost City of Atlantis in the Pegasus Galaxy. When it initially became apparent that Atlantis might be an untenable new home for the expedition, a team comprised of Colonel Marshall Sumner, Sergeant Bates, Lieutenant Aiden Ford and Major John Sheppard happened upon the planet Athos in further exploration of the galaxy through its native Stargate network. Within 48 hours of landing on the planet, Sumner's team and the Athosians were attacked by the Wraith. On this mission, Sumner was abducted, and the Wraith learned from him (through a form of telepathic mind-reading) of a "fertile new feeding ground" full of humans they could eat (i.e., Earth and the Milky Way in general). Because Earth is accessible only via Atlantis' Stargate, the Wraith set to work to besiege Atlantis.[1]

Atlantis hologram

A holographic recording tells the back-story of the Wraith.

It is discovered from a holographic recording in the City that 10,000 years ago the Wraith were at war with the Ancients, and slowly came to dominate the galaxy, forcing the Ancients to leave Atlantis (and subsequently become almost extinct). Humans had already evolved in the Pegasus galaxy before the Ancients left, giving the Wraith plenty of food as they waged this war. However, after the Ancients left, the Wraith were left with a feeding ground that was not as fertile as in the years previous to the Ancients' departure (the Wraith had also fed on Ancients). Hence most of the Wraith went into hibernation.

A small caretaker force would always stay awake to protect those in hibernation, and make sporadic small-scale cullings (said by some to remind humans of the Wraith's power), some of which were still large enough to wipe out entire planets. Although most of the race would remain in hibernation between the devastating large-scale cullings, generations would pass in which every human planet in the Pegasus galaxy lived in constant fear of the Wraith. As any planet that attained a technological level sufficient to potentially threaten the Wraith was immediately targeted for annihilation, the humans of the Pegasus galaxy were left incapable of developing a unified defense, even at a planetary level.

With the arrival of the Atlantis expedition, the galaxy began to see some hope for defeating or stopping the Wraith. First, however, the team had to understand the creatures, and have captured three during their time.

The first was inadvertently poisoned in an experiment attempting to develop a drug that could be administered to a human, the purpose of which was to prevent the Wraith from being able to feed on them.[2] Major Sheppard dubbed this Wraith "Steve". Later a Wraith scout and saboteur surreptitiously entered the city by beaming himself in before self-destructing his dart. Following his capture and imprisonment, Major Sheppard decided to call this Wraith "Bob". "Bob" was executed by Sheppard when he refused to furnish information on what he had been sabotaging in Atlantis.[3]

A third captured Wraith, dubbed Michael, was captured to test the effects of a retrovirus developed by Dr. Carson Beckett. The virus was designed to strip the Wraith DNA away from a living Wraith, leaving only human DNA behind, but it was only a prototype and could only temporarily suppress the DNA. So, an inoculation had to be delivered every 24 hours or so to keep them "human". The virus also induced amnesia, facilitating a cover story delivered to the patient Wraith/Human so they believe they have always been human. Of course, the amnesia was not complete, it left almost a sort of shadow over Michael, leaving him with the urges and some of the nature of a Wraith. The longer he went without the virus, the more memories and stronger urges returned. After a while, Michael discovered what he was and escaped Atlantis, rejoining the Wraith, and partially transformed back into a Wraith himself. It seems that the transit to a human leaves a Wraith unable to completely revert to their form, so it could mean that the Wraith protein-producer system is damaged by being temporarily unused or the Wraith DNA is affected by the virus directly.

During the failed assault by the Wraith on Atlantis, Dr. McKay modified a cloaking device from a Jumper to cloak the city. Simultaneously the humans detonated a nuclear warhead above the city, giving the impression that the city was destroyed. However, several months later a hive ship under the command of Michael returned. He knew that the city had not been destroyed, and used this to bargain with the humans. It was revealed that the Wraith had entered into a civil war over the lack of food (humans) in the galaxy. Michael and the Wraith wanted to use the Virus to create a new food source. Their plan was to use the retro virus as a weapon to turn enemy hive ships into humans and then feed on them. However, they double crossed the humans and actually stole enhanced hyperdrive technology, which allowed them to travel the void between the Pegasus galaxy and the Milky Way. This plot was subsequently stopped by the Atlantis team and the Daedalus.

Recently, the Wraith have been engaged in a devastating conflict against the Asurans with numerous of their strongholds facing siege. [4] As before in their history, the Wraith attempted to upload a computer virus that would disable the Asuran protocol that compels them into attacking the Wraith but this has failed.[4] Though initially caught offguard, the Wraith manage to regroup and fight back against the Asurans as demonstrated by their destruction of two Asuran warships. [5]


Iratus bug

Iratus bug attached to a neck, feeding.

While few details have been given regarding Wraith evolution, certain things are known. The Wraith are known to be descendants of the Iratus bug, a tick-like life-form that was encountered by Major John Sheppard. When it wrapped itself around Sheppard's neck, the pursuing Wraith soldier left Sheppard to die, knowing, it is presumed, that the Iratus bug would drain the life from him.[6] It was theorized by the scientific team back on Atlantis that the Iratus bugs fed on the humans that inhabited the planet and that a successive series of genetic mutations gradually changed the Iratus insects, with the result being a sort of hybrid species − the Wraith. However, they are genetically and psychologically closer to the Iratus bug than to humans.[7] Dr. Beckett explained in one episode that the human aspects of the Wraith had been extracted by the Iratus bug when humans had been seeded on the homeworld of the creatures, which incidentally allowed them to feed on the humans. From this process, the Iratus bug began to mutate and assume characteristics of humans that are advantageous: bipedal motion, opposable thumbs and a large brain.[8]

Also in "Thirty-Eight Minutes", Dr. Carson Beckett theorized that the Wraith evolved after the Ancients arrived in the Pegasus galaxy. This theory was later confirmed by Dr. Elizabeth Weir, when she determined that the Wraiths' language was a derivative of Ancient.[7] It is speculated that the Ancients may have had an active role in the development of the Wraith by seeding humans on the world(s) that Iratus Bugs had inhabited.


Anatomy and physiology

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File:Wraith queen.jpg


Wraith "King"

Wraith "King"


File:Wraith soldier.jpg


Wraith drone

Wraith Warrior

|} The Wraith are characterized by a pale blue or light-green epidermis, yellow eyes, and white, black, or red hair. As a species they have a social structure similar to that of Ants or other hive/nest-based creatures, with distinct physiological differences between castes of Wraith, tailored to facilitate different functions within the society. They also possess telepathic abilities. They have displayed in several episodes phenomenal physical strength, along with phenomenal physical agility. Their eyes can glow in darkness, giving them night vision and thermal vision abilities.[9]

The majority of Wraith so far observed are male. Adult female Wraith have been seen to fill the higher echelons of Wraith society as 'Queens'[1][10] although a male leader was seen in "Sateda", it remains unknown if he fills the role of a "King".[9] Beneath the Queens are workers, soldiers and drones. The lowest echelons are distinctly different; they lack intelligence and are larger and much more muscular.[11]

Wraith exhibit bipedal locomotion and have mostly humanoid characteristics. These characteristics include noticeable sexual dimorphism; female Wraith have protruded breasts while male Wraith exhibit noticeable facial hair. While it is unknown how Wraith reproduce, it is likely that they procreate similarly to placental mammals, given their presumed origin and other sexual characteristics similar to those of humans. The "soldier" caste, presumably also "male", exhibit noticeable muscular definition as compared to the male Wraith of the "leadership" caste, who are considerably meeker. According to Michael, the soldiers are unimaginative, and possess rigid thought patterns. Within the separate castes, however, males differ very little.


An adolescent female, Ellia, was a key character in "Instinct". Based on her appearance, it seems that the Wraith maintain a more human appearance until they reach their equivalent of puberty. Ellia possessed dark brown hair and a more human complexion. It is unknown whether Ellia is an entirely different kind of female Wraith, or if she would have eventually metamorphised into one of the females of the type seen in "Rising" and "The Lost Boys". It is also not yet known if all young Wraith start off looking this way.

The Wraith are virtually immune to the effects of aging, due to highly evolved regenerative abilities which possess no life inhibiting proteins. A Wraith's ability to regenerate is directly proportional to how well-nourished he or she is. A Wraith crewmember of a "supply ship" that crashed, containing hundreds of captured humans in suspended animation, was capable of surviving for over 10,000 years by feeding on the "cargo" and his fellow Wraith crewmembers.[12] Similarly, a Wraith Hive Queen that led the assault against Atlantis managed to survive for ten thousand years in her crashed cruiser deep in the ocean of the planet where Atlantis is located, she fed upon her crew while waiting for an opportunity to escape. She managed to swim from her cruiser to an abandoned Lantean mobile mining outpost which was considered impossible by the Atlantis Expedition as the depth would have crushed a human being, however, the Wraith's regenerative abilities as well as the Queen's determination allowed her to survive.[13]

Wraith are also able to give back life. "The Gift of Life", as a Wraith referred to it, is typically reserved for devout worshipers and their "brothers". John Sheppard was returned to normal and perhaps even younger than he was previously after being fed upon numerous times by a Wraith, who he escaped with from Kolya's prison. Dr. McKay commented on how he looked younger than he did before.[14] This appears to be done after the Wraith has fed.

Means of nourishment


File:Wraith hand with feeding organ (Stargate).jpg


File:Chest of a Wraith victim (Stargate Atlantis).jpg


Nourishment for the adult Wraith is the human "life force". Humans or very similar beings (e.g., Ancients) are the only food source that can properly nourish a Wraith, although they are capable of cannibalism. It is also unknown whether or not the Wraith require fluids (e.g., water), to facilitate other bodily functions. The exact science of the life-force drain is not described, although it is portrayed as a materialistic process. This drain is depicted as though it could be likened to the sipping of a drink through a straw. The Wraith can drain their victims slowly in order to torture and obtain information, or just to perform an act of sadism.[12] As the victim is drained of life, the victim experiences pain and appears to age rapidly. This is not actual physical aging, but a by-product of the feeding process.[14]

Despite the presence of teeth, the Wraith do not use their teeth to puncture the epidermis of a human. Rather, the life force is drained via specialized organs in the palm of their hand. Wraith typically attach this organ to their victims' chest, particularly right near the heart, where the skin is punctured. During the feeding process, the victim is injected with a special enzyme. It strengthens the human body temporarily and ensures that the heart continues to beat. This is so the victim doesn't die immediately. The feeding process is so traumatic, without the special enzyme, the body of the human would shut down far sooner than the Wraith would like. Simply put, they make a victim stronger so they can take more time to kill them. In most cases the enzyme is released slowly into the bloodstream throughout the feeding process.[15]

Large doses of this enzyme have been known to increase the strength, speed and agility of regular humans. In Season 2, Lieutenant Aiden Ford became the first of these 'supermen' when he received a large dose of the enzyme after the death of the Wraith feeding on him. The numerous drawbacks of the high dose include altered brain chemistry and addiction to the drug requiring addicts to actively search for and kill Wraith to obtain it.

The Wraith can consume human food and drinks, but apparently it gives them no nourishment and is strictly done for pleasure. This is apparently considered to be a more sophisticated type of enjoyment, and not all Wraith do this. When the Wraith are young however, they consume normal human foods (which explains their possession of a fully functional digestive system). As the Wraith mature, they begin to crave feeding on the human "life force", regardless of whether or not they have tasted it before.[16] It is also possible for a wraith to give back the life that he has taken from a victim, as noted above with Col. Sheppard.

Communication and telepathy

Wraith telepathy

This image visualises a connection to the Wraith telepathic network.

While the Wraith have tongues and vocal cords, their primary means of communication is telepathic in nature. In effect, the Wraith have developed a telepathic network, allowing for communication over vast distances.

It has been determined that the proper introduction of Wraith DNA into human DNA, likely via gene splicing, permits humans the ability to access the Wraith mental network, although the humans who do connect can be summarily controlled by the Wraith, due to superior psionic abilities. Even a small amount of properly introduced DNA is enough to allow this telepathic ability to occur; it remained even after a number of generations of the genes being "watered down" by breeding with humans without this modification.[7] After the initial 'infiltration' by Teyla into the telepathic network, the Wraith began to segregate their communication network to prevent sensitive information from being received by their enemies.

The Wraith are also capable of psychic projection, causing humans to hallucinate (resulting in disorientation), and also enabling them to undermine the ability to resist Wraith interrogation through the power of suggestion. This ability was demonstrated on Colonel Marshall Sumner during his interrogation by the "Queen Keeper" Wraith, when she wished to know from where the Colonel and his team had come. Another Wraith Queen later used this ability to interrogate Sheppard, but was interrupted. [7] Another time they use the hallucination powers is when they are in the middle of a culling. This is shown in Rising (Part 2), when they use the hallucinations to keep the people in one place so it makes them easier to cull. During this time they use a shadow/ghost to scare the people away from the forest. The Wraith are also able to keep their thoughts from other Wraith, as Michael was deceived by his hive regarding their intentions toward their alliance with the Atlantis expedition, and was also able to deceive another Wraith when he said he was asked by the Queen to interrogate Colonel Sheppard.[11]

This telepathic network makes Wraith somewhat of a security hazard when captured as they can project their telepathy to summon their comrades to assist them. This telepathy is not very strong and cannot go beyond a planet which has aided some people when capturing the Wraith. However, groups of Wraith combined can merge their talents to focus their telepathic field which can be received by distant Hiveships as was the case with Michael and his band of hybrid Wraith.[17]

Telepathy can be used by the strongest of telepaths in battle as a Wraith Queen was once able to get Atlantis military personnel to drop their weapons and bow down to her so she could feed.

Killing a Wraith

The Wraith are difficult to kill, due to their regenerative power; emptying a P90 magazine into the chest of a Wraith who has recently fed will stun it, but within a matter of 2-3 minutes, it will have fully recovered. This recuperative ability is apparently affected by how recently they have fed; The Queen Keeper in the pilot episode "Rising", was shot while in the act of feeding and was able to heal her wounds almost instantly. However, a captured Wraith that had not fed for a long period of time was killed by multiple well-placed shots from a pistol.[3] A headshot will also put the Wraith down for good.[9]

Additionally, the Wraith can be poisoned. When testing a drug devised by the Hoffans (another race of Humans from Pegasus), the Wraith dubbed "Steve" was poisoned after trying to feed from a subject inoculated with the drug. This unintended side-effect resulted in systematic failure of Steve's internal organs, causing death.

The Wraith are also susceptible to a special retrovirus created to suppress the Iratus bug parts of their DNA. Though the retrovirus doesn't actually kill them directly, it results in the loss of their superhuman abilities including regeneration. This makes them far more vulnerable to conventional weapons and Wraith feeding.[18][19][11][17]

The Wraith are also susceptible to their own stunner weapons, though multiple shots are required if the Wraith has fed recently, and they can also be temporarily incapacitated by the use of multiple electroshock guns, fired simultaneously.[20]


Currently, a number of variant Wraith species have been seen during the time the Atlantis Expedition took control of the lost city of the Ancients.

The first subspecies were the result of a retroviral experiment made by humans from the Atlantis Expedition as a bio-weapon to combat the Wraith Hives. This 'viral' weapon works by suppressing the Iratus bug's genes within the Wraith and, thus, turning the subject into a human. The process is painful and can result in the subject suffering from amnesia from the experience. Despite this transformation, continued dosage of the virus is necessary in order for the subject to remain human otherwise a reversion begins to happen. Some members of the species revert to their natural forms more readily however they are not truly Wraith nor entirely human [18]. This retrovirus appears to be only effective against male Wraith as no females have ever been seen among the transformed Wraith. This makes them outcasts among their own kind for the 'stench of humanity' being present on them while their own natural instincts to feed, which is very powerful, makes them unwelcome among humans. The number of these Wraith are unknown though it is known that they are shunned by their own kind and possibly killed.

The second subspecies of Wraith were genetically created by the Wraith known as 'Michael'. They were created through experimentation with the Iratus bug by allowing the insect to feed on humans after which the offspring were altered to enhance the Iratus bug qualities. The resultant creature faces a metamorphisis during this 'forced evolution' where it spins a cocoon around itself. The creature finally emerges from this cocoon as a human sized monstrosity that is both vicious and fast. They, furthermore, are armoured containing a natural insectile shell. The intelligence of these beasts is not known as they did not demonstrate the ability to speak or telepathy and their impact on the 'greater' Wraith society is unknown. Many of these creatures escaped with their creator before the base they were bred in was destroyed.[21]


File:Wraith hive.jpg

The Wraith civilization appears to center around massive "Hive-ships". One was seen in the pilot, although because it had been lying dormant for centuries, it was overgrown with trees. Intelligence recovered from a downed Wraith dart's flight-computer revealed that there are over 60 Wraith Hive-ships in the Pegasus galaxy (though quite a few of these have been taken out of commission when the Tau'ri took a foothold in the Pegasus Galaxy). This number may prove to be inaccurate.

The Wraith almost seem to have a caste based society with male 'drones', male warrior commanders, female queens and a group known as 'Keepers'[19] who are perhaps a technological group which had 'made their alliances'.

The Wraith also posses an extremely strong territorial instinct, making inter-hive cooperation rare without a common enemy. Politically, there have been indications of rampant civil wars and factional rivalry among the Wraith: the Atlantis expedition from Earth caused them to end their hibernation 50 years early, and as a result, there aren't enough humans in the galaxy to go round. This caused fierce competition over the now-limited feeding grounds, and soon, open factionalization. The Wraith named Michael stated that this was because the human population of the Pegasus galaxy was too small to sustain the Wraith who had awakened.[19]

The Wraith detest hunger and base their entire society around the "culling". A society of this nature appears to exclude the need for artisans and intellectual pursuits, except for the improvement of their technologies, e.g., such as better ways to feed on humans. Despite the fact that the Wraith possess a telepathic communication network that encompasses their entire species, the Wraith species is not controlled by a hive mind, but is composed of individuals.

The race's focused need to 'feed' on other forms of life has developed a type of sport in regards to hunting for their prey. This is seen primarily among Runners, those humans who have developed an immunity to feeding. Not being able to sate the Wraith's hunger, these humans are implanted with organic tracking devices and let loose. They are then hunted and killed as part of the sport. This could be a form of 'recreational' activity for the Wraith or to serve as training for younger Wraith. This is perhaps one of the few occasions where the Wraith do not care about stunning the 'prey' and tend to use weapons that can kill the fleeing humans.[22][9]

The Wraith have shown a strong sense of character, not found in other species, which was a contributing factor in their victory over the Ancients. Wraith are always ready to fight and their race has produced little to no cowards in battle. They possess an incredible will to survive. A wraith ship having crashed and abandoned for 10,000 years had soldiers who due to lack of food fed on their fellow crew members until only one remained. Similarly a wraith who crashed in Ellia's village survived alone for years by feeding on the local villagers. It seems the wraith are willing to strive for survival in situations where most species would commit suicide.

Outside of Wraith society, there is the growing cult of Wraith worshippers who either pledge allegiance to the vampiric aliens either because they fear them or genuinely worship them. Such cult of humans are known to live on Hiveships but the details of the interaction between Wraith and these cults is unknown; however, the fact that is has been stated that the Wraith can restore life energy to their most devout worshippers suggest that the Wraith, like the Ori, do acknowledge and reward their followers for their loyalty.

Despite the fact that they are perhaps the most hated race within the Pegasus galaxy, the Wraith have shown more noble traits and they are not all evil monsters. As already mentioned, the Wraith are capable of giving back the life force they have drained from a person. The Wraith who performed the deed stated that 'the gift of life' is only given to their most devout of worshippers or their brothers. This appears to extend to those people the Wraith feel they owe a debt to, such as the case was with Colonel Sheppard. This Wraith also stated that it was worth risking his life to escape prison just to see the stars again, hinting that Wraiths do have some sense of beauty.

Within Wraith society there is an undesirable caste namely the hybrids who were created by a retrovirus from the Atlantis Expedition. These partially human Wraith are outcasts that are only tolerated if they are useful and are somewhat isolated from the Hive as was the case with Michael. It is unknown how the growing number of hybrids will affect Wraith society in the future. However, what happened to Michael[21] suggests that the Wraith terminate such creatures to maintain their 'purity'.

Language wise, the Wraith language is a derivative of Ancient, using the same symbols as the Ancient alphabet.


Main article: Wraith technology in Stargate

The Wraith, as already mentioned, are centered around Hive-ships with the use of dart fighters, cruisers and scout ships as their main forms of spacecraft. All their technology appears to be biological in origin and may be grown though the true nature of it has never been explored on the show yet. It is known that a telepathic interface is used by the Wraith to interact with this technology allowing them to simply 'will' doors to close or pilot their starships.

Though they are an advanced species they were not as technologically sophisticated as the Ancients. This can be seen in the lack of shield technology present on their spacecraft, however, their aggressive nature, strength of character along with their numbers make up for this. They are also capable of adapting to circumstances at an amazing rate as when they managed to counter Asgard beaming technology through the use of jammers. Another noted piece of technology present among them are short range transporter beams allowing them to cull targets and store them for later rematerialisation and feeding.

Their society is focused on culling the human herds and, thus, little technological development is made. This does not mean that the Wraith do not engage in scientific experiments as they attempted to make humans more 'compatible' during the feeding process as well as produce a telepathic generator to enhance their psychic abilities.

Wraith personnel tend to be equipped with Stunner weapons which come in a variety of forms.

Wraith tactics

File:A Wraith culling (Stargate Atlantis).jpg

When culling their "human herd", hive ships will enter orbit of a planet, usually escorted by smaller cruisers and many darts in the fighter bays of both ships. If people suspect that a culling is about to begin, the Wraith will dial the Stargate of the planet they are culling in order to prevent escape, much in the same way that the Goa'uld dial in to prevent the escape of the population from a planet they are trying to conquer. Unlike the Goa'uld, however, the Wraith send Darts through the Stargate, in addition to the swarms that emerge from the hive ships to aerially bombard population centers and cull substantial numbers of people. Most of the time they will use their transporter beams to scoop up prey but sometimes they transport foot soldiers to the ground. In the attack on Atlantis, darts attacked railgun emplacements by removing the human operators using their transporter beams. Additionally, the Wraith use their psionic ability to confuse their prey with false "ghosts" apparently lurking just out of sight around them.

In battle, one of the chief aims of the Wraith is to board enemy starships or bases and deploy a horde of Wraith warriors. This was seen in the Second Siege of Atlantis when Wraith warriors were beamed into the city and began to assault it. During the Daedalus's assault on the approaching Wraith Hive fleet, Wraith starships attempted to gain close enough to begin boarding operations.

During a culling of a village,[23] a beam seemed to come from a ship in high orbit, striking the center of the village. The village itself was not apparently destroyed, and despite Sheppard's investigation, the purpose or nature of the beam was never discussed. Fan forum speculation is that the beam either acts as a "tag" to signal to other Wraith that the population on the planet has already been culled, or that this beam connects to a device into which darts remolecularize their captured humans, which then sends them up to the hive ship.

In the event that a hive ship is dormant, but the guards still need to feed, a small number of darts will launch and go through the Stargate. These darts will then do a small scale culling, then return with the small amount of food required to feed a dormant Hive ship.

As for any captured Wraith, warriors and males typically have a self-destruct mechanism integrated into their armor. Such a device was activated when the Atlantis expedition attempted to capture a living Wraith for information extraction.[20] Darts also have self-destruct devices, as witnessed in a later episode.[24] In addition, Wraith soldiers are outfitted with homing beacons which signal other Wraith to their location, should the Wraith become incapacitated.[25]

This suggests that the Wraith have no hesitation to sacrifice themselves in battle. This is seen evident during the Second Siege of Atlantis when Wraith Darts, having lost their Hiveship, plotted a suicidal dive towards the city of Atlantis at such speeds that would have destroyed the city. Though it is not known whether this is something only seen among the male warrior caste or all Wraith follow such behaviour. It is possible that their Hive-like society removes needs such as self preservation, however, the hybrid Michael was more concerned with his survival compared to his comrades. Whether this is because of him being a hybrid, member of the higher Wraith male caste or possibly because of his separation from the Hive developed his individuality is unknown.[15]

In terms of scouting enemy territory, the Wraith seem to use more 'efficient' methods to locate prey through the Stargate and track Runners. This is done through the use of small scout or tracking probes which possess no weaponry but use their sopisticated hover engine to move across its environment and avoid attacks. The probe transmits its findings directly to a Wraith Hiveship or stores it until it reaches its base.[25][9] (See: Wraith Probe)

Despite the Wraith's belief in the use of pure brute force, they have been known to use more deceptive means to acquire their goals. This was seen when a Wraith Hive feigned to form an alliance with the Atlantis Expedition in order to gather data on where Earth was and information on how to enhance their hyperdrives.[19] This is also seen in their use of highly advanced AI's that can take over enemy ships and pilot them to Wraith territory. This is also in their deployment of Wraith high caste warriors who hide in the shadows and sabotage enemy defense positions.

Most of the enemies the Wraith encounter have ships that are protected by powerful shields (Ancients, Tau'ri and Asurans) capable of taking tremendous amounts of damage as opposed to the short endurance of the organic armored hulls of Hive ships and cruisers. To counter this shortcoming in conjunction with their superior numbers and firepower, when faced against an enemy ship equipped with shields, Wraith ships will wear down the defenses of the enemy ships while holding back their Darts in their hangars secure from enemy weapons fire. Then when their enemies shields are nearly depleted or gone the nearby Hive ships would then launch their Darts to either aid in the destructon of the vulnerable vessel or cripple it so that they may board it to capture the crew for feeding or for information gathering. This tactic was used twice in Stargate Atlantis. [15][11]

See also


External links

Template:Stargate Races Template:StargateTopics

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