Barbed devils are flagged to appear only in Gehennom, but no lawful creatures can be randomly generated there; thus, they are effectively never randomly generated. They share this trait with horned devils and erinyes.
Barbed devils may be created in groups wherever they do appear, and are valid forms for a polymorph trap, which may result in them appearing much earlier in the main dungeon. They are also eligible for gating by other major demons.
Barbed devils have stronger attacks than horned devils, but possess weaker AC. Their damage is unimpressive for the point at which they are normally encountered, and even in groups they are not much threat to a player skilled in dealing with demons or multiple opponents.
These devils lack any real special abilities, though they
are quite difficult to kill.