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The Grub-dog family contains true Bulborbs as well as several other species in the Pikmin series. The most widely recognized member of this family is the Red Bulborb (known as the Spotty Bulborb in the first game) . It was previously believed that Dwarf Bulborbs were immature Bulborbs, but it was later discovered that they are a species of their own and actually belong to the Breadbug family. Its notable that Bulborbs aren't as promient in Pikmin 3 because they might have lost their status of being on the top of the food chain. Many of the variants of Bulborbs cannot be found in Pikmin 3.
The Grub-dogs' name comes from grub, and dog, because Captain Olimar's dog, Bulbie, resembles a Bulborb. Moreover, Bulborb is derived from the dog's name, BULB-ie. However, a Hocotatian dog looks very different than an earth dog.
Scientific Name: Oculus kageyamii russus/dotticum
The Red Bulborb is probably the most famous enemy in all Pikmin games, and appears in most areas in the games. Its original name was Spotty Bulborb, but it had its name changed when Olimar found other subspecies with spotted patterns.
Red Bulborbs, like most Bulborbs, are largely nocturnal creatures and prefer to spend the daytime sleeping. They have a slow reaction time and can be overwhelmed by a large enough force. Caution should always be observed, as these gluttonous predators can swallow as many as five Pikmin at once. Attacking from behind will usually yield the best results, though the safest method is often just to toss heavy Purple Pikmin onto its back.
Scientific Name: Oculus kageyamii orangium
The Orange Bulborb is an enemy in Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 3. Its appearance closely resembles that of other Bulborbs, but this particular variant sports an orange rump with black spots and a black face. Its yellow, bloodshot eyes are an indicator of this dangerous creature's vicious temperament.
As with other Bulborbs, you will usually find this animal snoozing. It does not have any particular resistances or special attacks, and can't stuff any more Pikmin into its mouth than its relatives, but approach with caution: as you will see from experience, Orange Bulborbs are especially easy to wake from a nap, and can often be extremely difficult to defeat without losing any Pikmin, even when using traditional Bulborb-fighting tactics.
Spotty Bulbears are creatures in all Pikmin games which resemble Bulborbs in appearance, but are not identical. They are a bit shorter, with rounded snouts, large chapped lips, and a wide mouth which allows them to gobble up many more Pikmin. From a distance, they are easily distinguishable by their tan faces and black bodies with red spots. You will often see a Spotty Bulbear being followed by a group of Dwarf Bulbears.
These beasts slept most of the time in Pikmin, but still posed a realistic threat, as they were a good deal tougher than Spotty (Red) Bulborbs. In Pikmin 2, they are wide-awake during daytime hours, making them all the more dangerous. Instead of passively waiting for food to wander by, Bulbears will traverse set patrol routes while hunting, which can sometimes lead them in the direction of your camp. You should never leave Pikmin unattended in Bulbear territory unless you're familiar with its patrol path. Attacking a Bulbear can be especially difficult if it is being followed by Dwarf Bulbears, as they will quickly devour any Pikmin that fall to the ground. Mature Bulbears are also one of two enemies in Pikmin 2 that can revive itself shortly after being felled, so make haste in disposing of the body.
Scientific Name: Oculus terribilis
Like the Spotty Bulbear, the Dwarf Bulbear appears in all three Pikmin games. They resemble miniature Spotty Bulbears, but unlike Dwarf Bulborbs, are actually juvenile Bulbears. Bulbears in particular are known for hunting along set patrol routes in search for prey, but these immature grub-dogs do not yet have established routes, and thus rely on their parent to guide them towards food.
When by themselves, Dwarf Bulbears will behave just like Dwarf Bulborbs, hungrily sniffing at the ground while waiting for Pikmin to pass by, but they have a much higher reaction time than Dwarf Bulborbs and will not return to their original position after being disturbed. If a Spotty Bulbear happens to be nearby, these eager young creatures will bark and immediately fall into line behind the beast. Large numbers of Dwarf Bulbears can gather quickly in this way, so it is best to pick them off individually before they get the chance to clump. Sometimes the Bulbear is hidden, but you can tell it is there if the Dwarf Bulbear(s) are sniffing back and forth at a rapid pace and occasionally barking and walking forward a bit. This only happens in caverns.
It lashes its tongue out violently to ensare pikmin, then pulls them in and does a very brief animation of licking its chops and swallowing. The long tongue gives the creature a ranged-attacked, which could make it a difficult foe to defeat.
Scientific Name: Oculus kageyamii folliculus
The Hairy Bulborb is a Grub-dog species seen only in Pikmin 2, and hence its name, it has hair, unlike any other species in the Grub-dog family. It has a brown nose, feet and eyelids and is white nearly all over. When half of its health is gone, its hair falls away, revealing light blue spots. The hair provides a small increase to defense.
Scientific Name: Oculus vulcanus
The Fiery Bulblax is found only in Pikmin 2, and is a rather odd-looking creature. Its entire body has a melted appearance, and one of its eyes is smaller than the other, possibly an eye tic. This mean-looking creature's skin secretes chemicals which combust upon exposure to oxygen, setting its body aflame.
Only Red Pikmin can withstand the blaze this creature's body produces. However, if lured into water, the flames can be extinguished, making it a prime target for Blue Pikmin. Purple Pikmin can deal damage and potentially stun the Bulblax simply by being thrown, so they work well in any situation provided they're called back before they burn to death. Whichever strategy is used, use of a spray is advisable to avoid losing any Pikmin to this walking inferno. It's also possible to slay this beast with your captains if you have the Scorch Guard, especially useful on the second sublevel of the Cavern of Chaos, where there are three of these creatures.
Scientific Name: Oculus supremus
The Emperor Bulblax is the final boss in Pikmin. It lies dormant in its arena at The Final Trial stage where it has ingested Secret safe. Until you approach, it will be dormant. It will wake up and hobble after your Pikmin if bothered. This beast resembles a flabby yellow Bulborb with small red eyes and a large, moss-covered backside.
Its attacks include licking the ground with its tongue (with the intent to eat any Pikmin that happen to be there), licking its face (to get rid of offending Pikmin), and jumping high into the air to crush and shake off Pikmin. The safest strategy by far is to have yellow Pikmin grab nearby Bomb Rocks and have the Bulblax ingest them (without your Pikmin still holding onto them, of course). The more rocks in one gulp, the better. The explosion is enough to stun the grub-dog, presenting the perfect opportunity to attack its fleshy face. Repeat this and a win is assured.
The Emperor Bulblax appears again in Pikmin 2, though this time is much smaller, much weaker, and much more common, appearing in multiple caves, sometimes up to three times in the same sublevel. Although it still possesses its signature rock-hard hide, it is significantly less mossy.
Scientific Name: Oculus matriarcha
The Empress Bulblax is a boss-class enemy in the Pikmin 2 game. It resembles a cross between a Red Bulborb and a gargantuan termite queen. Its head and legs dangle in the air, and it appears to be unable to eat on its own as it never once takes a bite at your Pikmin.
The Empress Bulblax seems to be vulnerable on all parts of its body, but attacking the head is easily the safest way to go about it. After a while, it will shake off any hostile Pikmin and roll left and right, crushing anything underneath and sometimes causing boulders to fall from the ceiling. It is one of the few bosses that can vary depending on where you encounter it, since later dungeons have the Empress continuously giving birth to ravenous Bulborb Larvae before and during the battle. The Bulblax can only be petrified if you release the spray on the middle of the monster's elongated torso. In the Frontier Cavern, the Bulborb Larvae can cause a threat.
Scientific Name: Oculus bambinii
Bulborb Larvae are only seen in Pikmin 2. These newly-born Bulborbs are without legs and do not yet have the unique color patterns that the adults display, but have white bodies with yellowish faces and what appear to be small pink tails.
These tiny creatures have exceptionally low vitality, being able to be killed with a single hit, but it is not advised that you make an attempt at them with your Pikmin, as the larvae eat them with incredible speed. Captains are usually used to deal with swarms of them. The larva will make a bee-line for the closest of your units the minute they're born, so it would be wise to keep a captain near the Empress' rear to distract/defeat them. The little monsters are continuously born from Empress Bulblaxes located on Sublevel 8 of the Frontier Cavern, Sublevel 11 of the Hole of Heroes, and Sublevel 4 of the Emperor's Realm in Challenge Mode. When battling an Empress Bulblax that gives birth, after reaching the face, her rolling attack will crush all larvae that will try to reach your Pikmin. Only fifty can be born, and once the maximum amount has been reached, the Empress falls asleep. If you destroy enough of them, she may wake up and start giving birth again. They burst upon being defeated, meaning you cannot carry them back to the Research Pod, but they are put in the Piklopedia and will sometimes release nectar for your Pikmin.
Scientific Name: Ichthyosa felinis
Water Dumples are enemies in all of the Pikmin games. They are part of the Grub-dog family, despite having different appearances for aquatic habitation, and also have similar eating habits. They are most commonly found in the water, but can survive on the land as well.
Water Dumples are defeated somewhat easily as long as you take caution and swarm them. Just like Bulborbs, Purple Pikmin will work well if you can find this creature on land. This creature can also be easily defeated by captains, as it has low health, and the Rocket Fist will do impressive damage on its last punch.