Swooping Snitchbug
Swooping snitchbug
Appears in Pikmin
Pikmin 2
Pikmin 3
Prima "Technical Name" Scarpanid
Scientific name Scarpanica kesperens
Family Scarpanid
Areas Pikmin
The Forest of Hope
The Distant Spring
Pikmin 2
Perplexing Pool
Wistful Wild

Pikmin 3
Tropical Wilds
Distant Tundra
Formidable Oak

Underground areas Pikmin 2
Subterranean Complex
Frontier Cavern
Snagret Hole
Citadel of Spiders
Cavern of Chaos
Hole of Heroes
Challenge Mode levels Pikmin 2
Abduction Den
Pikmin 3
Battle Enemies
Tropical Forest (x2)
Tropical Wilds Remix
Garden of Hope Remix (x6)
Distant Tundra Remix (x3)
Clockwork Chasm (x3)
Collect Treasure
Twilight Hollow (x4)
Twilight Hollow Remix
The Rustyard
2-Player and Bingo Battle levels Pikmin 3
Stagnant Sea
Carry weight 3
Max. carriers 6
Size 30mm
Seed worth 4
Treasure value PokoIconx4 in Pikmin 2
PokoIconx30 in Pikmin 3
Attacks Pikmin
Kidnaps Pikmin
Pikmin 2
Kidnaps Pikmin
Pikmin 3
Kidnaps Pikmin and Leaders
Hit points 2400 in Pikmin
1500 in Pikmin 2
N/A in Pikmin 3

The Swooping Snitchbug (サライムシ Saraimushi) is an enemy found in every Pikmin game so far. They are legless, round, flying insects that have evolved wing-like antennae as a means of moving. In Pikmin and Pikmin 2, they have glass-like eyes with pupils, but in Pikmin 3, they have more realistic compound eyes. They swoop down, as their name suggests, and grab their prey with their claws. After carrying them for a few seconds, they throw them at the ground. This action would harm most prey, whereas Pikmin are simply replanted and reverted to their original leaf state. In Pikmin 3, Swooping Snitchbugs may also grab captains, much like the Bumbling Snitchbug.

These creatures will plummet to the ground if weighed down by a sufficient number of Pikmin, or with a singular Purple Pikmin, rendering it susceptible to further attack. Ultra-bitter Spray may also be used to freeze it in mid-air, causing it to drop to the ground, which is arguably easier, but of course produces no corpse, and may be considered a waste of sprays. A single Rock Pikmin can also weigh it down. 

Should it throw a Yellow Pikmin that is holding a Bomb Rock, the bomb-rock will explode, killing the Yellow Pikmin, all Pikmin caught in the blast, and the Swooping Snitchbug. Occasionally, in the caves such as the Subterranean Complex, a Swooping Snitchbug might throw a Pikmin into the abyss below, killing it. 

The position of the Swooping Snitchbug in the Enemy reel, which is otherwise alphabetical, indicates that the creature's name may originally have started with "flying". In Pikmin, it only appears in the Forest of Hope on day 15 and forward, and in the Distant Spring on day 4 and forward.


Reel notes

"This rare species uses its antennae as wings."

Olimar's Notes

"The scarpanids originally lived on the ground, sporting poorly developed vestigial wings. This species developed enlarged antennae that can be used as makeshift wings. Scarpanids are attracted by the sight of large groups of Pikmin in cavalry formation and will swoop down to seize them. However, scarpanids do not eat Pikmin, and they will drop any seized Pikmin after a short time. The reason for this behavior is unknown, but I look forward to future research in the area."

Louie's Notes

"Remove the wings, marinate a well-marbled steak for several hours in a chipotle marinade, then charbroil to perfection."

Pikmin 3 Prima Guide

"A Swooping Snitchbug attacks by snatching its enemies and throwing them to the ground. when a Swooping Snitchbug does this to a Pikmin, the force is enough to bury its victim -- this essentially causes the Pikmin to revert to a sprout.

When you encounter a Swooping Snitchbug, use your Winged Pikmin to attack the creature until it falls to the ground, then use your squad to finish the vulnerable enemy. If you don't have any Winged Pikmin, just wait for the Swooping Snitchbug to stop moving before you attack with whatever Pikmin are available."

Hey! Pikmin Creature Log

"Their atrophied wings force them to spend most of their time on land, but they do fly on occasion to steal Pikmin."

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Trophy


"A member of the scarpanid family. Although originally a ground dweller, its oversized antennae developed into wings, allowing it to fly around freely. The snitchbug doesn't eat Pikmin, but rather picks them up, carries them away, and firmly replants them in another location."

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Trophy


"A strange flying insectoid creature from the Pikmin series. Much like a fly rubbing its legs together, the Swooping Snitchbug has a habit of rubbing its hands. When it swoops down and snatches Pikmin from the ground, it doesn't eat them. Instead, it discards them after a few seconds. Why? Who knows?! Who cares?! They're free!"

Battle Strategy

Note: The following part(s) of the article is a strategy (or strategies); therefore, it is highly subjective, meaning it may not work for everyone.


These creatures can easily be brought to the ground by weighing it down with five or so Pikmin. Yellows are the best option to weigh it down. Afterwards, a simple swarm can defeat it. If the Snitchbug captures a Yellow holding a bomb, it will explode while it is in the air. 

Pikmin 2

The same strategy from Pikmin can apply here. Alternatively, throwing a single Purple Pikmin onto it will weigh it down. Be warned, as on sublevels with abysses, the snitchbug can throw Pikmin down the pit. The snitchbug is much less of a threat in this game. It is advised to not use Purples on metallic sublevels, as there are often bombs on those sublevels.

Pikmin 3

In Pikmin 3, like in all of the other games, around 5 Pikmin are able to weigh the Swooping Snitchbug down, making it easy to defeat. It's recommended to use Yellow Pikmin to weigh it down, as their throwing height insures it will land on the Swooping Snitchbug, and the Snitchbug can fly higher in this game. If you have a reasonable amount of Winged Pikmin, swarming it will be sure to weigh it down. A direct hit from a Rock Pikmin will bring the Swooping Snitchbug down, similar to how throwing one Purple Pikmin on it will weigh it down. 

Hey! Pikmin

Swooping Snitchbugs appear near the end of the game, only in Sector 8-D; Olimar's Madcap Ride. They will first appear on the top screen, and, as usual, swoop down from above to steal Pikmin. However, unlike previous games, the Swooping Snitchbug can actually kill Pikmin by carrying them off screen. To defeat them, just throw a Pikmin at it when it comes to the bottom screen and it will die.


There is a rare glitch in Pikmin: Once you've knocked the Swooping Snitchbug down to the ground, throw your Pikmin onto the creature and swarm it with all of the other Pikmin, which should kill it. Then, carry it back to the Onions by swarming the corpse. Later, you will notice the Pikmin you threw on the squirming Swooping Snitchbug are floating in the air, making the attacking motion as if they are attacking something invisible.



  • Using an Action Replay to access a model test menu in Pikmin, the Swooping Snitchbug's code name is "napkid," an anagram of 'kidnap', a reference to how it will capture Pikmin.
  • When idle, the Swooping Snitching rubs its hands together, similar to flies. This can also be seen with the Bumbling Snitchbug.
  • In some caves with bottomless pits, the Swooping Snitchbug will sometimes throw Pikmin into the abyss.
  • Swooping Snitchbugs and Mamutas are the only way to see an implanted Bulbmin.
  • In Pikmin 3, the sound a Pikmin makes when grabbed is different from its normal squeal.
  • In Pikmin 3, if a Pikmin lays down a Bomb Rock, there is a chance the Swooping Snitchbug will grab the Bomb Rock. It will explode in its hands, killing it.
  • In the Enemy Reel, the Swooping Snitchbug appears right after the Fiery Blowhog, suggesting that it was originally going to be called the Flying Snitchbug, or at least something similar.
  • In the first two games, the Swooping Snitchbug had eyes with pupils, but they were changed to compound eyes in Pikmin 3. This change was most likely made to make the Snitchbug seem even more "Fly-like," as well as to showcase Pikmin 3 and the Wii U's graphical capabilities.
  • Its Latin name, Scarpanica kesperens is not yet understood, although esper seems to allude to the word hope in some languages, and scarp seems to translate to shoe.
  • Hey! Pikmin is the first game it can intentionally kill Pikmin in.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.