The Aburame clan (油女一族, Aburame Ichizoku) is one of the four noble clans of Konohagakure. At birth, members of this clan are offered to a special breed of insects such as kikaichū as a nest, residing just under their host's skin. These insects will then live in symbiosis with their host from that point on. Because of this, its members are characterised by their use of insects as weapons.
The clan members may also carry additional insects in jars or gourds with them on missions. The insects can leave and enter their host's body through various pores. They feed on chakra as a food source, making them quite deadly. The relationship between the shinobi and the insects is mutually beneficial. The host grants the insects shelter and allows them to feed off their chakra, their body becoming a living hive of tens of thousands of these insects, and in return the insects do the user's bidding, allowing the shinobi to perform ninjutsu-like techniques without the use of hand seals or chakra conversion. A major defining trait of the Aburame clan is that all of its known members' eyes are obscured usually by glasses, as well as they wear clothing that usually cover up most of their body.
A female insect can be left on a target, which then can be tracked by smell by the male insect, or scout insects can be sent out and return to tell the host information about the area. For this reason, Aburame clan members are experts in espionage; they can communicate with the insects, and the insects specialise in stealth because they make no noise or motion during combat. In addition to utilising insects in battle, the Aburame clan also studies insects. In the anime it was shown that they were rivals of the Kamizuru, a clan of bee users, until they defeated them in battle. Even though their insect-related techniques are known only amongst the clan, Aburame do not limit themselves to using just a single type of insects, in fact a select few used an insect considered rare even among the clan's members known as nano-sized, venomous insects. To date, only Shikuro and Torune are known to possess it. Another rare insect used by the clan are the kidaichū, an insect which reacts so exponentially to chakra that they grow rapidly in size when exposed to incorrect amounts of it, consuming their victim from the inside out. As noted by Shino, it makes the insects troublesome ones to host in the body.
It has also been shown that they possess the ability to communicate with other bugs and insects, as seen when Shino used what looked like a bee to gather information for him during the Chūnin Exams, and later when Muta asked some worms to investigate what was happening below ground during a reconnaissance mission.
- Main article: Bikōchū
The bikōchū (微香虫, Literally meaning: minute scent insect) is an insect that was once used by the Aburame clan in the great ninja wars. It was becoming an endangered species, however, so they let it live in a special bug habitat, uninhabited by humans. Two of the female's distinguishing traits are its long nose and its blue eyes, but a giant bug-like creature that looks exactly like it is sometimes confused with the real thing. It also has an incredible sense of smell, stronger than even that of a dog.
- Main article: Kidaichū
The kidaichū (寄大蟲, Literally meaning: Parasitic Giant Insects) are a species of beetle-like insects that are bred and utilised by select members of the Aburame clan as part of their Parasitic Destruction Insect Technique. Though initially small in size, if provided with the incorrect amount of chakra, these insects immediately begin to devour the flesh of their host, causing them to undergo rapid growth to ultimately giant proportions.
- Main article: Kikaichū
The kikaichū (寄壊蟲, English TV: Parasitic Insects, Literally meaning: Parasitic Destruction Insects) are a species of small, beetle-like insects that are bred and utilised exclusively by the Aburame clan, forming the basis for their unique techniques.
- Main article: nano-Sized, Venomous Insects
Rinkaichū (燐壊虫, Literally meaning: Phosphorus Destruction Insect) are a breed of nano-sized, venomous insects (ナノサイズの毒蟲, nanosaizu no dokumushi, Viz: nano-sized venom beetles) used by select members of the Aburame clan as part of their Parasitic Destruction Insect Technique. These bugs destroy their enemies' cells, causing excruciating pain in the process.
Other Notable Clan Members
- During Pain's invasion, an unnamed member of the clan accompanied Shibi along with Muta and Shino to confront Konan.
- During the Nine-Tails' attack on Konoha, an Aburame was seen alongside Hiruzen and his forces driving the Nine-Tails out of the village.
- During the Fourth Shinobi World War, a group of Aburame clan members used the Insect Jamming Technique in conjunction with the Hiding in Mist Technique used by Kirigakure shinobi to obscure the vision of Tobi and Madara Uchiha and prevent them from sensing the Allied Shinobi Forces.
- "Aburame" (油女) means "oil woman". It also may be a variation of "Aburamushi" (油虫), which means "cockroach".