The Ibie'shans, often simply referred to as Kig-Yar by UNSC combat personnel, are a sub-species of Kig-Yar, originating from the isolated volcanic continent of Ibie'sh. Many served within the Covenant Army during the Human-Covenant war, and in Jul 'Mdama's Covenant army in some post-war conflicts.
Due to long periods of isolation from their Ruutian cousins, the Ibie'shan Kig-Yar have diverged in evolutionary terms from the majority of their species, to deal with different selection pressures. Ibie'sh, their home continent, is an isolated volcanic island on Eayn, whose conditions favour those Kig-Yar with more reptilian than avian traits.
These characteristics make them visually distinct from both Ruutians and T'vaoans. Some of these traits include a significant under-bite, protruding pygostyles (fused tail bones), thick necks, more reptilian jaws, larger teeth and low-set eyes. It is believed by Xenobiologists that these are actually characteristics that Ibie'shans retain from their ancestors, while the other sub-species of Kig-Yar have lost them.
Despite being physically distinct from their more common Ruutian brothers, they are of a similar intellect, have similar key physiological attributes, and most importantly are able to interbreed with the other subspecies. This prevents any attempt at their reclassification, and solidifies their link with their more distant evolutionary cousins.
When deployed by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant, they are usually used as light infantry. They sport circular Point Defense Gauntlets on one wrist, and a Plasma Pistol or Needler in the other hand. This makes them a considerable threat in combat, as they have the ability to simultaneously take cover and fire almost all the time.
Like most Kig-Yar, Ibie'shans are also deadly snipers. When equipped with Beam Rifles, Kig-Yar are mainly deployed as snipers or scouts, as they are excellent marksmen. This is also true in Jul 'Mdama's Covenant, who often deploy Ibie'shans to the field in this manner.
|Kig-Yar ranger||Kig-Yar Rangers are trained for zero-G EVA combat, and are equipped with vacuum suits and magnetic boots. They are known to use the Carbine, Storm Rifle, and Beam Rifle. Kig-Yar Rangers in the Storm Covenant now take a heavy resemblance of a Sangheili Ranger. Some Kig-Yar Rangers in Halo 4 have point defense gaunlets. In Halo 4 their armor comes in different shades of grey, white, and blue. Rarely they are red/maroon, green, teal, black, or gold.|
|Kig-Yar Sniper||Sniper Kig-Yar are the Covenant's foremost long-range combatants. They are known to carry weapons such as Needle Rifles, Carbine, Focus Rifles and Beam Rifles, but do not use point-defense gauntlets as to better wield their weapon. In Halo 2, when the player approaches them they are known to run away and drop their beam rifle. Kig-Yar Snipers of the Storm Covenant can have gold, green, teal, red, black, or blue armor.|
|Heavy Kig-Yar||Heavy Kig-Yar are the most experienced and skilled of their species. They are more heavily armored than regular Storm Kig-Yar and wield stronger, yellow point defense gauntlets. They are usually equipped with Needlers. Because of their armor they can take more damage than a typical Storm Kig-Yar. Heavy Kig-Yar can be found in black, grey, teal, red, blue, green, brown, and gold armor.|
|Kig-Yar Storm||The Storm Kig-Yar is the basic Kig-Yar infantry of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant. They wield light blue point defense gauntlets and usually use Plasma Pistols. This rank is the equivalent of the Kig-Yar Minor in the Covenant Empire. It's more reptilian appearance indicates it to be a subspecies of Kig-Yar from the isolated continent of Ibie'sh. This is a likely explanation for why when compared to the Kig-Yar in the original Covenant, the Storm Kig-Yar is more vicious. They can be found in red/maroon, green, black, yellow, teal, and gold armor.|