The Alien Queen made first appearance in the Aliens movie. Although originally, it was intended for xenomorph individuals to convert victims into eggs, this idea was cut from the Alien movie and was later replaced by the Queen and the Hive concepts.

It's however unclear to me how a Queen is produced. As the concept is heavily inspired by social insects I would expect that some facehuggers are made to carry the queen breed. But then this sounds quite risky given how weak facehuggers are alone and how much they rely on chance when looking for victims.

Was the origin of Xenomorph queen ever explained? In the AvP games, a very successful Alien would become a Queen, but I doubt that was canon.

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    after crossing the board to the opposing player's side? Jun 10, 2016 at 17:43
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    @KevinMilner I wondered if anyone will finally notice the pun in the title. Jun 10, 2016 at 20:20

2 Answers 2


In Alien 3,

Ripley is impregnated with what is apparently a Queen by a facehugger before crashing on the prison planet.

As such, I guess yup: some facehuggers impregnate hosts with Queens, some don’t.

Then again, we also learn in Alien 3 that aliens develop differently in different host species (the alien in Alien 3 gestated inside a dog, and apparently moves differently to the other, human-gestated aliens Ripley encountered). So perhaps similarly some aspect of the host can determine whether the alien develops as a drone or a Queen.

(Alien: Resurrection was no help at all — for questions about alien gestation, or for anything else really — and if you can work out what on earth Prometheus tells us about the subject, you’re smarter than me.)

On the question of risk, a single Queen seems to be capable of producing quite a lot of eggs, and also seems to be a bit less mobile and threatening (until pissed off, anyway) than the drones. So maybe it’s a good idea to make plenty of drones (to ensure a steady supply of food and hosts, and to defend the Queen and the eggs) and only the odd extra Queen or two.


Not sure how "canon" it is, but this site (http://aliens.wikia.com/wiki/Xenomorph) says this about the queen:

Queens are created through Royal Facehuggers as seen in the Directors Cut of Alien 3 which produce Praetorians or immature Queens. When a Queen dies or abondons a hive a Praetorian may fully develop into a new Queen and take its mothers place. Whereas, normal embryos adopt characteristics from their host, the Royal Facehugger's does not. The Royal Facehugger carries within it the Royal Jelly Line, which is a genetic code passed down from the Queen Xenomorph to its chosen offspring. The embryo is more or less a genetic copy of its mother and as such will not adopt the characteristics of the host, but will retain the physical characteristics of the Xenomorph Queen. Regardless of host, the Praetorian will appear nearly exactly the same as its mother when it fully develops into a new Queen. Because of this, many fans speculate that the Queen is the only "pure blooded" Xenomorph as it will never appear differently.

But also from the same site:

In the 2010 Aliens v.s. Predator, the main Xenomorph, "Number 6", Molts/transforms in to a Praetorian then into a Queen after the first queen and hive was killed by an explosion.

So there may not be a specific "official" answer, but given the extreme adaptability the xenomorph displays, it seems likely that any alien can, given time, need, and the resources, morph itself to an egg-laying queen of some type (although there is a suggestion that it could at least propagate itself by converting humans into eggs, as seen in the deleted scene in ALIEN).

  • +1 for your second citation. I think the first quote needs more backing up, maybe someone who's seen the directors cut could edit in a quote?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jun 10, 2016 at 17:20
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    This question has been asked before "Where did the Alien Queen come from?". One of the answers has a nice photo of the Alien 3 "royal facehugger" prop. It also mentions the 2010 AvP video game. I've flagged this question as a duplicate.
    – Jason K
    Jun 10, 2016 at 17:26
  • I think there was some mention in the novel Alien: Earth Hive (or one of its sequels) about the possibility of a drone becoming a Queen. Jun 10, 2016 at 22:10

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