At first, using a bait, we just wanted to observe this silly creature that hops around called the Hornoad
— Old Bird
Hornoads are small creature native to SR388. Hornoads are only ever seen hopping on their two legs and not walking. Once they notice an intruder, Hornoads will attack them, but will quickly lose interest if they move away. They are a minimal threat enemy, causing low amounts of damage and easily destroyed. These creatures are mentioned by Old Bird to other Chozo while he is explaining the threat of the X parasites. He reveals that the "silly creature" can become quite hostile when mimicked by an X.
In Metroid II: Return of Samus, Hornoads can only hop to attack Samus. Their feet are shown to have front and back claws which are probably their form of offensive while hopping. They are found only in the earliest caverns of SR388 hopping fairly quickly.
In Metroid Fusion, Hornoads never attack Samus, though their X-mimicked counterparts do. Hornoads are shown in some areas to hop out of nests, like in one of the rooms with heavy ventilation. This could imply that their species has a preference towards specific air makeup. Their X-mimicked counterparts appear significantly different from SR388's abundant Hornoads. Aside from color differences that appear in many other creatures, these Hornoads no longer have claws on their feet and instead have three large toes. The X-mimicked Hornoads display relatively large, sharp teeth. These Hornoads are also capable of spitting unknown fluid that will cause damage. As these Hornoads also jump significantly slower, it appears that the Hornoad species has traded in its legs' capabilities for sharp fangs coupled with corrosive saliva. On the B.S.L Station, they appear only on the Main Deck and Sector 1 (SRX).
- The Hornoad is apparently the first creature observed by intelligent life forms to be taken over by X.
- "At first, using a bait, we just wanted to observe this silly creature that hops around called the Hornoad" —Metroid (manga), Old Bird, Vol 1 Ch 4 Pg(s) 10
- "Be wary of this hopping enemy." Metroid II: Return of Samus Instruction Booklet, Pg 24
- "Native life-form to SR388. These jumping frog-like creatures inhabit caves." Metroid Fusion Instruction Booklet, Pg 38