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Resident Evil 5 wasn't the first game in the series to showcase a change in the Licker's design. In the Resident Evil Outbreak series, Lickers were portrayed as spindly creatures with underdeveloped muscles, elongated fingers and toes, where as the Lickers in Resident Evil 2 (and later the Darkside Chronicles) were robust creatures with pronounced muscles and overdeveloped forearms that supported thick talons.
Despite its name being given by the R.P.D. officers, Lickers were never given an actual name or codename by Umbrella. However, it is known that Tricell also named them Lickers. Either this is merely a coincidence or a reference to the Raccoon City incident. In the real world, their name was given by Kazuhiro Aoyama, who later directed Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
In the Resident Evil 2's novelization, Sherry refers to them as "inside-out men". Her mother Annette refers to the creature as an Re3 (a title not used anywhere other than the novels) before correcting herself and declaring them as Lickers. The novel implies the Lickers were developed as planned B.O.W.s rather than a stage of zombie evolution, referring to them as reptillian in design.
It can be presumed that the Licker has regained the high intelligence level formerly lost in its zombie stage of development; in Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, they are seen to be aware of the technology behind security cameras and promptly destroy them.
In the Resident Evil 2 demo, the Licker had a brutal kill move in which it would pounce Leon/Claire and repeatedly smash the characters head into the ground until it caved in. However in the finished product this death scene was removed.
It is unknown how they survive a shot to the head when this would kill any t-Virus infected creature and there is no skull to protect it although it is possible that it's membrane has hardened due to the mutation causing it to be able to withstand the damage.
In the novelization of Resident Evil 2 by S.D. Perry, Lickers are a form of B.O.W. vaguely tied to the Hunter line. It should be noted that this was written before Capcom confirmed that Lickers are a final evolutionary form for Zombies.
A similar error occurred with Resident Evil: The Official Comic Magazine, which portrayed the Licker as deriving from the G-virus.