Lurkers serve as defense warriors for hive clusters and outlying zerg colonies. Lurkers emit waves of super-dense spines against their enemies, having a full width of damage of ten meters. However, lurkers must actually burrow underground to release these subterranean attacks. Any warriors on the surface who are caught by these spines are instantly impaled. These spines themselves are capable of tearing into flesh, steel, and even reinforced armor plating. The only weakness of the lurker is that it is virtually defenseless while above ground.
Lurkers must burrow in order to attack, rendering them invisible from enemy attackers.
Lurkers are particularly effective as a defense against enemy raids on workers. As long as the defenders can keep enemy detectors from penetrating raiders deployed by air transport are at risk of being annihilated by pre-deployed Lurkers that they cannot see. Terrans are not as handicapped against lurkers because of the ComSat station.
The lurker's attack does linear splash damage to all ground units in its path. The lurker has no means of defending itself when not burrowed, and are vulnerable during the process of burrowing; this takes more time than for other units and enemy units can still attack them at that stage, possibly killing the lurker before it even has a chance to effectively become invisible to the enemy and attack.