"Buggers" redirects here. For other uses of the term "bugger", see Bugger.

Formics, usually referred to by the pejorative term "buggers," are a fictional insectoid alien species from the Ender's Game series of science fiction novels by Orson Scott Card.

The term "Formic" is derived from formica, the Latin word for ant.


The Formic species consists of hive-minded colonies that are philotically directed by queens. As evidenced in Mazer Rackham's victory in the Second Invasion, if a queen dies, all the drones under her control lose their intelligence and ability to function immediately. Formic queens communicate instantaneously via philotic connections and can even do so with other species, although this is more difficult. Formics live in vast underground colonies that are pitch black and confusing for humans to navigate, leading to the assumption that Formics make use of sensory apparatus different from that of humans (i.e. other than the range of the electromagnetic spectrum visible to humans).

Interaction with humans[]

The first contact humanity had with the Formics resulted in bloodshed, leading to the human conclusion that the Formics were hostile. However, war was not what the Formics had intended. To a hive minded species, the individual is expendable and thus, when they killed the humans upon first contact, they "gave it no more thought than a human would [give] clipping his toenails". It was meant not as an act of hostility or war, but as an act of acknowledgement of what they assumed was another hive minded species. However, once the Formics realized that humans were sentient individuals, like themselves, they immediately halted their attacks. Unfortunately, without any means of communication between the two species, humanity did not realize this fact and, fearing another Formic invasion, made the decision to assault the Formics' homeworld and wipe out the alien threat, once and for all.

In the novel Ender's Game, Ender Wiggin unknowingly commits xenocide by commanding the fleet (via the Battle Game) to destroy the Formic homeworld, wiping out the Formic species except for a single cocoon containing a new queen. The initial human reaction to the destruction of the Formics was jubilation. However, upon finding out the truth about what he had done, Ender was sick with guilt. Eventually, he rescues the last Formic cocoon and, with knowledge gained by communicating telephatically with the queen inside it, writes his books The Hive Queen and The Hegemon. Written under the pseudonym The Speaker for the Dead, these books paint a tragic picture of the destruction of the Formics, leading to the ironic vilification of "Ender the Xenocide" and the spawning of a new religion based on honest eulogy. Foreseeing their unintentional destruction at Ender's hands, the Formics had placed their last cocoon on a colony world in a landscape terraformed to match one that Ender would recognize from the Fantasy Game that he played in Battle School. After many years, Ender finally finds a habitable place for the cocoon to hatch. This place is on Lusitania, a Brazilian Catholic colony world, already inhabited by humans and another intelligent alien species, the Pequeninos.


  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card
  • Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
  • Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
  • Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card
  • First Meetings by Orson Scott Card

es:Insectores pl:Robal (fantastyka)