The lithopod family (イシツツミ科?, lit.: "Stone cannon body family") is a family of enemies that exists in all three Pikmin games, as well as Hey! Pikmin. Members of this family have the ability to suck in air and spit out rocks. Members belong to the granitus genus.
In Pikmin, the rocks can be destroyed by a punch, while in Pikmin 2, a Purple Pikmin's stomp can destroy them with ease. In Pikmin 2, leaders can also lie down to destroy them without receiving damage.
Arctic Cannon Larva
The Arctic Cannon Larva is a variety of lithopod that appears in Pikmin 3. It is of a brighter whitish-green color compared to the Armored Cannon Larva with a lavender underbelly. They live in snowy areas, and instead of spitting out boulders, they spit out snowballs that trap Pikmin and leaders, and sends them back on a predetermined path. Like the Armored Cannon Beetle Larva's boulders, Winged Pikmin can fly over them. The only non-visual different between it and its cousin is that snowballs don't flatten Pikmin, but can knock them into hazards or send them back to the end of the path.
Armored Cannon Beetle
The Armored Cannon Beetle is the mature specimen of an Armored Cannon Beetle Larva. Strangely, it was only seen in Pikmin, whereas the larval forms were exclusive to the sequel. It is a large, black, metallic-looking beetle with a thick, impervious, rounded shell of armor, a blowhole above its head, and a mouth. It attacks by inhaling through its blowhole and subsequently spitting out rolling rocks from its mouth, crushing any Pikmin (or leader) in the way. The only way to defeat it is to clog its blowhole with a Pikmin, which will cause the beetle to expose its steaming red backside.
Armored Cannon Larva
Armored Cannon Larvae are enemies in Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 3. They resemble large grubs with small blue eyes and a mouth bearing resemblance to that of the Armored Cannon Beetle. It also has a blowhole, but appears to inhale through its mouth, unlike the adult form. This animal behaves in much the same manner as the Armored Cannon Beetle, but turns and spits at a faster rate and has much less health. They do not have the hard exoskeleton the adults are infamous for, and are thus vulnerable on all parts of their body.
Decorated Cannon Beetle
Decorated Cannon Beetles have an appearance identical to Armored Cannon Beetle Larvae, except they are red instead of green. They, too, spit out stones, but their rocks home in on the leaders due to magnetic substance is inside the rock which locks onto the leaders' suits. The adult form of this has not appeared in any Pikmin games so far, but they appear to be in the same family as the Armored Cannon Beetle.
Firesnout Beetles are a lithopod encountered in Hey! Pikmin. They resemble Armored Cannon Beetle Larvae, but are much smaller. Their skin is bright orange and they have a brown striped shell with five "vents" near the front. They also only have two pairs of legs. Firesnout Beetles appear in stages based around descending with Winged Pikmin, and serve as obstacles. They reside inside of walls and periodically spew fire directly in front of themselves, so the player must delay Olimar's descent, lest he and his Pikmin get burned. They can be defeated by a single Pikmin being thrown at them, but it is recommended to use Red Pikmin or wait until they have stopped breathing fire.
Official family unknown
The reel notes and the Prima "Field Guide" description for the Armored Cannon Beetle reveals the fact that it evolved from something else: the Greater Lithopod. It apparently has a weaker carapace than the one seen in-game and can only expel fragments of stone instead of the boulders produced by its non-continental descendant.
The family name itself, "lithopod", is derived from the Greek word lithos, meaning stone, and "arthropod", due to their insect-like appearance.
Some members of this family have the words "armored" (or "armoured", in the European version of Pikmin 3), "cannon", and "beetle" in their name. This is because the adult creature, the Armored Cannon Beetle, has an impenetrable carapace, much like it's wearing armor. Members of this family also shoot projectiles out of their mouth, much like a cannon. Finally, the adult creature also resembles a beetle.
These creatures's Japanese names use the words フタクチドックリ?, which translates roughly to "Tokkuri Top-Mouth". フタ? means "top" or "lid", and クチ? means "mouth", referring to how they have a blowhole at the top. ドックリ? means "tokkuri", the name given to the flask used to serve sake from in a sake set, since their mouths look like the openings of those flasks.
The genus name for members of this family is Granitus, which is Latin for "granite", referring to the rocks they shoot.
Names in other languages