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The Bulborb is in the Grub-dog family, which consists of four subspecies. Some bulborbs are extremely dangerous enemies in the Pikmin games, but also some are also the most common, appearing in almost every area in all games. Bulborbs are nocturnal and sleep during most of the day, preferring to hunt at night. Dwarf Bulborbs were thought to be juvenile Bulborbs up until the end of Pikmin, and were correctly classified as members of the Breadbug family in Pikmin 2. Captain Olimar noted that Bulborbs looked similar to his dog, Bulbie, which is how they got their name.
The Bulborbs are generally the same physically, usually having minor differences such as color, size, and awakening range. All Bulborbs are bipedal, have fangs that are on the edge of its mouth, a rounded colored backside, two stalk eyes and large snouts coupled with their large mouths. They will usually let out a loud yawn before falling asleep which is then followed by loud snoring.
Bulborbs are apex predators of PNF-404. They have high vitality and enormous appetites, being able to chomp as many as five Pikmin with one bite. However, this also means that they have no natural enemies, and often leave themselves completely exposed while sleeping. Take advantage of this by sneaking up behind a sleeping Bulborb and mobbing it with Pikmin for a fast and easy kill, or toss Pikmin onto its back to ensure minimal loss. Bulborbs can vary in terms of strength and aggression. Tactics like these will work on most, but you may need to vary your strategies depending on the particular Bulborb you're facing and what the surrounding environment is like.
There are four know subspecies of Bulborb, each having unique coloration and characteristics that better suit them for different environments. They are:
- The Spotty (Red) Bulborb - Oculus kageyamii locus (russus)
- The Hairy Bulborb - Oculus kageyamii folliculus
- The Orange Bulborb - Oculus Kageyamii orangium
- The Whiptongue Bulborb - Oculus Kageyamii ???
- In Pikmin, the best way to deal with the Spotty Bulborb is to swarm its rear with about 20 or moreRed Pikmin, to ensure minimal loss.
- In Pikmin 2, the creature is known as the Red Bulborb, but the battle strategy stays the same. The other way to fight them in this game is by simply throwing Purple Pikmin onto one's back before it wakes up. The creature will easily be stunned before it can react, and the Pikmin with be able to defeat it before it can recover. This strategy works for Hairy Bulborbs as well, and if pulled off correctly, it should work on Orange Bulborbs with minimal death.
- In Pikmin 3, Purple Pikmin no longer have the ability to stun enemies, so the best way to go about defeating the Bulborbs is the same as it was in Pikmin, but the player may also take advantage of the Bulborb's new sensitive eyes in the game, and defeat one by approaching it from the front with an army of 15 or more Rock Pikmin, and continuously throwing them at the eyes. The Bulborb will constantly be stunned by this, and will have little time to eat any of the Pikmin.
- In Pikmin 3 you can also constantly throw around 50 Pikmin, dealing damage with them at a decent rate and making the Bulborb too busy shaking the Pikmin off to eat any, killing it with no casualties.
- Along with that, in Pikmin 3, with around 40-60 Pikmin, you can charge while the Bulborb is asleep, swiftly killing it before it has a chance to even start eating your Pikmin. With variants other than the normal Bulborb, you may need more.
- Bulborbs are a very common enemy found in the Pikmin games and are considered to be the "mascot enemy" of the series.
- Olimar names the Bulborbs after his dog, Bulbie, due to their similar appearances.