Red Bulborb

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PikminPikmin 2 icon.pngPikmin 3 icon.png
Red Bulborb Piklopedia icon.

Red Bulborb P3Art.png

Appears in PikminPikmin 2Pikmin 3
Scientific name Oculus kageyamii russus
Family Grub-dog
Areas The Forest of Hope, Valley of Repose, Awakening Wood, Garden of Hope, Tropical Wilds, Formidable Oak
Caves Hole of Beasts, Hole of Heroes, Dream Den
Challenge Mode levels The Forest of Hope, The Distant Spring, Explorer's Cave, Lost Toy Box, Red Chasm, Collector's Room, Breeding Ground, Emperor's Realm
Collect treasure! levels Tropical Forest, Twilight Hollow, Shaded Garden, Tropical Forest Remix, Twilight Hollow Remix, Beastly Caverns
Battle enemies! levels Tropical Forest, Silver Lake, Thirsty Desert, Shaded Garden, Garden of Hope Remix, Formidable Oak Remix
2-Player Battle levels Angle Maze
Bingo Battle levels Shaded Terrace, Stagnant Sea, Jigsaw Colosseum
Attacks Eats Pikmin

Red Bulborbs (アカチャッピー?, lit.: "Red Chappy") are among the most well-known enemies in the Pikmin games and are often just as much a staple for the games as Pikmin themselves. They were originally known as Spotty Bulborbs until various other subspecies, all with spots, were discovered in Pikmin 2. In Pikmin 3, it is simply named Bulborb, despite the Orange Bulborb also appearing in the game. This nocturnal creature will sleep out in the open, exposing itself to Pikmin attacks.

Bulborbs in general are surprisingly apathetic creatures and won't arise from their sleep even if one of their own is under attack. That being said, however, Dwarf Bulborbs in Pikmin will let out a screech when agitated, awaking any nearby Bulborbs.


Game Weight Max.
Seeds Value Health Regen.
Pikmin 10 20 12 N/A 1100 Unknown
Pikmin 2 10 20 12 Poko icon.png × 7 750 No
Pikmin 3 (?) 10 20 (normally) 10 Poko icon.png × 50
Points × 50
1000 No


Reel notes

This nocturnal hunter feeds mostly on small animals returning to their nests at night.

Olimar's notes

This large organism has the familiar mandibles and cranial morphology of the grub-dog family, as well as the characteristic bulging eyes. As with most grub-dogs, the creature's cranium comprises half of its total length and girth. Showing a scarlet abdomen with white spots, this creature is primarily nocturnal, choosing to prey upon smaller creatures returning to their nests. Originally classified as the spotty bulborb, further research has reclassified this species as the red bulborb. Subspecies of varied colors have recently been discovered, but academics are divided into two rival camps over how to handle their classification.

Louie's notes

Plump specimens are best spit-roasted whole, stuffed with a lime and a slab of bacon. Baste frequently to ensure a magnificently moist haunch.

Olimar's voyage log

The most plentiful species on the planet, they are quite ferocious despite their appearance, using their massive jaws to swallow Pikmin whole. Frontal assaults result in disaster; attacks from behind are more successful. Attacking their legs is also effective.

Pikmin 3 Nintendo Player's Guide[edit]

The weakest of the larger Bulborbs, the Red Bulborb can still hold its own against a good-sized Pikmin squad. Since it is a nocturnal species, most of the Red Bulborbs that you encounter in the daytime will be asleep to start. Sneak up on them from behind and hit them with a stream of flying Pikmin.

Pikmin 3 website[edit]

It's considered one of the weakest of the Bulborbs, but can still hold its own against a good-sized Pikmin squad. Attack from behind to gain the advantage. Weakest point: eyeballs.

Pikmin 3 Prima Guide[edit]

These large creatures use their jaws to gobble up several Pikmin with each bite. Whenever possible, use a large squad of Pikmin to charge the creature from the rear. If brute force isn’t an option, throw Red Pikmin and Rock Pikmin onto the creature’s back. During an extended battle, it’s important to retrieve your Pikmin as the Bulborb shakes them off.


Red Bulborbs are among the most mammalian enemies in the series due to them having leathery, soft skin and bulbous eyes, opposed to the compound eyes of most insects. Judging by the size of their eyes and their nocturnal lifestyle, their eyes have a wide pupil, a large lens and possible increased retinal surface used for collecting more ambient light during night time.

Olimar mentions the Red Bulborbs having a set of mandibles. Mandibles are a pair of appendages near an insects mouth, used for grinding and chewing food. The so-called mandibles Olimar mentions in his notes look nothing like normal mandibles and are instead most likely sabre-teeth, used for breaking exoskeletons of prey insects and digging through the soil for roots. Their diet is, however, quite the mystery, as they are equipped with eating both animal and vegetable life, but they are known to fully ignore Spectralids.

It seems that the juvenile Red Bulborb is the favored host of the parasitic Pikmin known as Bulbmin. This type of Pikmin appears to control its host, causing the animal to behave less like a Bulborb and much more like a Pikmin, following a leader (which is naturally an older Bulbmin) and hunting in packs. Red Bulborbs are not observed at the two stages of development displayed by Bulbmin anywhere else in-game (unlike the Spotty Bulbear), so it is unknown whether Bulbmin are a common stage in Red Bulborb initial development or not, as symbiotic cooperation from the parasite would give this slightly weaker form of Grub-dog an advantage in the subterranean environment that all stages of the Red Bulborb species are found in.


The following article or section contains guides.
The strategies presented may not be the only ones or the best ones.

Artwork of several Pikmin attacking a Red Bulborb.


Swarming it with a large group of 50 or so Pikmin, preferably Reds due to their high attack power, proves quite effective. If only a few Pikmin are available, they should be thrown onto the Bulborb's back repeatedly while retreating if the enemy starts charging at them. Waiting until it goes back to sleep takes longer, but is a lot safer. If bomb-rocks are used, the Bulborb will die with two blasts. If you attack its back it will usually do a quarter-turn right, hiding some of its back from your current position.

Pikmin 2[edit]

Rather than swarming it, continuously tossing Pikmin onto its back is preferable when the army is at least 30 Pikmin strong, even if some are shaken off. A few Purple Pikmin can cause serious damage, especially if they stun the Bulborb. If it is accidentally awakened before being attacked by Pikmin, you should run away until it turns around, then make a new pass at it.

If the Pikmin army is very small, the creature can also be woken up and made to chase the leader until it leaves its territory, at which point it will turn around and return to its original sleeping spot. At this point the player must follow it and wait for it to reach its spot. Once there it will yawn, fall asleep, then wake up and attack again if provoked. Beginning the attack at the moment the creature yawns provides the player with a few crucial seconds in which the Bulborb is entirely immobilized and harmless.

In some metallic themed caves, Red Bulborbs can be led off of the stage by awakening it and quickly running around a hole in the sublevel, causing it to fall off.

Pikmin 3[edit]

A Red Bulborb in Pikmin 3, hit on the eye.

The first game's tactic of swarming the creature from behind returns in this game, though here it is far more effective. If the Pikmin charge at the creature's behind, they will flawlessly cling to it as it rises and continue attacking, making 20 Red Pikmin enough to take it down before it has any chance of resistance.

If it is awake, repeatedly throw Pikmin at its eyes, even when it's shaking in pain, and whistle them when they scatter around and you end up low on Pikmin to throw. You can also escape from a Red Bulborb by hiding under a tall plant.

In Pikmin for Nintendo 3DS[edit]

The Red Bulborb cutscene.

This article or section is about an upcoming or recently released game.
The content here is subject to change as more information is discovered.
All information added here must be verifiable.

The Bulborb in Pikmin for Nintendo 3DS appears slightly larger relative to previous games. In the Nintendo Direct trailer for the game, it makes an epic appearance, implying it could be a significant boss fight.[1]

In the Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Bulborbs appear as enemies on the Super Smash Bros. for 3DS exclusive game mode Smash Run.

This article or section is a short summary on the enemy in the Super Smash Bros. series.
SmashWiki features more in-depth content.

A Red Bulborb is the main stage hazard on the Distant Planet stage in Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. It is considerably larger than a Bulborb in the Pikmin series, and will periodically appear on the right side of the stage. It occasionally opens its mouth, and any fighters that fall in will be eaten and taken away, resulting in a KO.

In the Smash Run mode of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, a Red Bulborb appears as one of many enemies featured in the mode. It is one of the largest enemies in the game, and has a comparable amount of knockback resistance. Its attacks are also deadly, KOing fighters with minimal effort.

A Red Bulborb also appears in the background of the Garden of Hope stage in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, but its purpose is merely cosmetic. Finally, there is a sticker for a Red Bulborb in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but it is merely called "Bulborb".

Brawl trophy[edit]

BulborbTrophy.jpg Description:
A creature whose Japanese name translates as "spotted crimson bug-eye." These bulky nocturnal animals have white-and-red-flecked rumps that resemble strawberries. Red bulborbs sleep in the day and wake in the evening to feed on small animals. Several colors of bulborb subspecies have been discovered—their classification is a hot subject for scholars.
GameCube icon.png Pikmin 2
How to obtain: Random appearance. Type: Stage

Smash 4 trophy[edit]

Bulborb3DSTrophy.png US version US description:
These creatures from the Pikmin series have snail-like protruding eyes, huge mouths, and really bad tempers. They're known for snapping at fighters and trying to trample them underfoot. If you see one in a group of enemies, you should try to take it out fast—it'll shoot off and bounce around, hitting other enemies as it goes!
European version EU description:
These creatures from the Pikmin series have snail-like protruding eyes, huge mouths and really bad tempers. They're known for snapping at fighters and trying to trample them underfoot. If you see one in a group of enemies, you should try to take it out first – it'll shoot off and bounce around, hitting other enemies as it goes!
How to obtain: Random appearance. Type: Enemy
Wii U
BulborbTrophySSBU.png US version US description:
These creatures from the Pikmin series have snaillike protruding eyes, huge mouths, and really bad tempers. Despite their cute appearance, they'll happily gobble up Pikmin! In Smash Bros., they appear on the Garden of Hope stage, wandering around or chasing the poor Pikmin. Thankfully, they don't seem interested in the fighters duking it out.
Appears in:
GameCube icon.png Pikmin (12/2001)
GameCube icon.png Pikmin 2 (08/2004)
European version EU description:
With their spotted backs and big round eyes, Bulborbs are almost cute. But don't be fooled! They have a voracious appetite, and will gladly eat as many Pikmin as they can get their tongues on. In this game, you might spot one in the Garden of Hope stage, getting in the Pikmin's way. Luckily, the Bulborbs won't bother you. Phew!
Related Games
GameCube icon.png Pikmin (06/2002)
GameCube icon.png Pikmin 2 (10/2004)
How to obtain: Random appearance. Type: Stage Trophy Box: 61. Distant Planet & Indigenous Creatures

Technical information[edit]

Other information[edit]

  • Prima guide technical name: Greater Grub-Dog
  • Size: Body length: 90mm, as per the e-card
  • Piklopedia number: #1

Development history[edit]

Bulborbs were created before the concept for Pikmin was established. When Adam and Eve was being worked on, the Red Bulborb had been created to serve as a mammoth-like beast. When the concept for the game was scrapped, the Bulborbs were reused for Pikmin. As clued by the internal name for this enemy and the Dwarf Red Bulborb, it is possible that the Dwarf Red Bulborb is the original Bulborb, and the Red Bulborb was created afterwards in development, although the "mammoth" properties of the beast, as mentioned by Shigeru Miyamoto, indicate that the first "Bulborb" creature to be developed was large, and hence, not the Dwarf Red Bulborb.

Their name in Pikmin is "Spotty Bulborb", and at this point, only one type of Bulborb was planned to exist (besides the false variations of Bulborb, the Dwarf Bulborbs). For Pikmin 2, it was decided that further types of Bulborb would be developed, but because they would all be Bulborbs and have spots on their backs, the original one needed a rename. Due to it being red while the others are orange and hairy, the name "Red Bulborb" was given to this enemy.

In the New Play Control! remake of Pikmin, their sounds were changed to be much higher-pitched, although this is likely an oversight.

For Pikmin 3, perhaps with the purpose to simplify things, its name became known simply as "Bulborb", despite two other types of Bulborb existing in the game: the Orange Bulborb and the Whiptongue Bulborb. In an attempt to flesh out this iconic enemy, its behavior was made slightly more complex in this game, in the form of it reacting to Pikmin thrown at its eyes with a flinch, and by looking at Pikmin while it chases them. These behaviors also happen with the other Bulborbs.


The first word in the name "Red Bulborb" refers to its red coloration, in comparison with other known Bulborbs. The term "Spotty Bulborb" was initially used to refer to this enemy, in Pikmin (and New Play Control! Pikmin), until other types of Bulborbs were made for Pikmin 2. The "Spotty" in this name is due to the spots it has on its back. For Pikmin 3, the enemy's name was changed to simply be Bulborb.

According to the Brawl trophy, its Japanese name, アカチャッピー? translates to "Spotted Crimson Bug-eye". The Japanese name in Pikmin is merely チャッピー?, lit.: "Chappy". In the creature's scientific name, Oculus kageyamii russus, the species name russus is Latin for "red". In an early script left inside the game, the creature used to have the technical name Oculus kageyamii ssp RED.[2] The "ssp RED" means "subspecies RED" and is presumably a placeholder used until a proper word for "red" was found.

Its internal name in Pikmin is swallow, given that the name chappy is already used by the Dwarf Red Bulborb. The internal name in Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 3 is also chappy, the same as the Japanese name for Bulborb.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning Notes
Japanese アカチャッピー?
Aka Chappī
Red Chappy
Spanish (NoA) Bulbo rojo Red bulb
Spanish (NoE) Bulbo rojo (Pikmin 2)
Bulbo (Pikmin 3)
Red bulb (Pikmin 2)
Bulb (Pikmin 3)
French Bulborbe à pois (Pikmin)
Bulborbe rouge (Pikmin 2)
Bulborbe (Pikmin 3)
Spotty Bulborb (Pikmin)
Red Bulborb (Pikmin 2)
Bulborb (Pikmin 3)
German Roter Punktkäfer (Pikmin 2)
Punktkäfer (Pikmin 3)
Red Dot Beetle (Pikmin 2)
Dot Beetle (Pikmin 3)
Italian Coleto Rosso Red Coleto "Coleto" may come from "boletus" (Latin for mushroom), as a bulborb's spots resemble those found on certain mushrooms.
Portuguese (Portugal) Olborbo Bulborb Name taken from the Super Smash Bros. for 3DS trophy.



  • On the title screen of Pikmin 2, pressing GCN X.png / Wiimote 1.png will summon a Red Bulborb onto the screen. The player can control it by using GCN C.png / Wiimote Dpad.png and can eat Pikmin using GCN Z.png / Nunchuk Z.png.
  • In the North American and Japanese version of New Play Control! Pikmin, it uses completely different sound clips, making it "whistle" and "squeak" instead of roar.
  • If a bomb rock is planted near a Bulborb, the noise produced by the explosion will wake it up.
  • The Brawl trophy game appearance section claims that the Red Bulborb first makes an appearance in Pikmin 2. This is incorrect, as the enemy is present in the first game as well. The only part about the trophy that debuted in Pikmin 2 is the name "Red Bulborb" – this enemy was known as "Spotty Bulborb" prior to that game.
  • In the Nintendogs games, at the second-hand shop, there is a Red Bulborb toy on a shelf of products in a pre-rendered background shot.
  • Along with Captain Olimar, the Pikmin and Louie, the Red Bulborb is available as a plush toy, along with being a secret figurine in the first volume of Pikmin Figures.

See also[edit]


  1. YouTube video of the Nintendo Direct stream (at 58:59)
  2. Pikmin 2/Early English Script on The Cutting Room Floor