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Startle Spore

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Startle Spore Icon used to represent the enemy on the wiki.
Icon for the Startle Spore, from Pikmin 4's Piklopedia.
Appears in Pikmin 4
Scientific name Taraxacum fungensus
Family Chrysanthemum
Areas Primordial Thicket
Caves Engulfed Castle
Dandori Challenge stages Trial of the Sage Leaf
Dandori Battle stages None
Attacks Eat Pikmin, spew poison

The Startle Spore (おったまダケ?, lit.: "So-Spooked Shroom") is an enemy introduced in Pikmin 4. It has a similar appearance to the Creeping Chrysanthemum, but it mimics red mushrooms instead of flowers. It hides as a cluster of said mushrooms, with its eyes being the only thing differentiating it from the true mushrooms. When a leader, Oatchi, or Pikmin come near, it hops up and attempts to attack them with its long, poison spewing tongue.


Weight Max.
Seeds Value Health
10 20 12 Icon that represents Sparklium on the wiki, based on the icon found in Pikmin 4. × 12 2000


Startle Spores will hide partially underground, mimicking mushrooms in the nearby area. Occasionally, if observed long enough, it will open its eyes to look around. Much like the Skitter Leaf and the Desiccated Skitter Leaf, it can't be spotted on the Map while it's burrowed underground. When something gets close, its eyestalks will turn to look at its target, while a dramatic sound plays to note it's awakening. It will hop out of the ground, knocking down Pikmin, Captains, and Oatchi too close to it. Almost immediately, it will launch out its tongue to eat Pikmin, leaving a splatter of poison on where it landed, which can only be traversed safely by White Pikmin or Oatchi when he has the Pup Sniff Saver. It will eat any Pikmin who get stuck on its tongue, but it will hit itself with said tongue and be stunned for a bit if it catches no Pikmin (however, this will still release poison). It can also catch the player, but will regurgitate them instantly. It shakes off Pikmin by inflating its cheeks and throat when too many have begun to attack it. When its prey is close, it will take chase, but it will re-enter hiding if its prey strays far away, returning to its original spot.


The following article or section contains guides.
The strategies shown are just suggestions.

The Startle Spore can be hard to spot, especially when the player does not know about it or it is effectively camouflaged in Primordial Thicket. It is best to watch for the unusual, spherical bulges underneath the cap of the mushroom. These are its eyes, which it usually keeps shut to prevent this from being obvious. They also appear in the middle of a path instead of to the sides like red mushrooms typically do.

The player can use the same strategy as the Creeping Chrysanthemum, being weary of the pools of poison it spews by attacking the beast from behind. The poison pools last longer and reach father than they might first appear, and can make fighting the creature a nuisance. The player can use White Pikmin to make fighting this creature a little easier, but their low damage and the Startle Spore's immunity to being poisoned combined with a large health pool can make this strategy not extremely effective (Especially if the player only has a small number of White Pikmin, which is likely). If the player plans on relying on White Pikmin, Ultra-spicy spray is reccomended.

Instead, the player can opt to use a small number (Around 30 or so) of high-damaging Pikmin such as Rock Pikmin or Purple Pikmin. Bait out the enemy from hiding by throwing and whistling back a single pikmin, then reach around to the back (It should be noted the creature will turn to have its sights on the bait pikmin, so you can use this to your advantage). When you reach the back, simply throw Purple Pikmin continuiously or repeatedly charge and call back your Rock Pikmin, this should defeat the beast quite quickly and safely. Using Oatchi's Rush with a large squad here is also a good option (And one of your only options, if fought in the Engulfed Castle), but be mindful of your squad's damage output and make sure Oatchi has his Sniff Saver equipped.

If the player is struggling with this enemy, a single Bomb Rock is enough to take it out, even if it hasnt been consumed.


Dalmo's Notes[edit]

These don't just mimic a growth of mushrooms for the fun of catching you by surprise-they also use the opportunity to spread poison around quite indiscriminately. But that's just this little darling's idiosyncratic method for catching its prey. We could learn from the way nature embraces such unique and varied creatures.

Olimar's Notes[edit]

The defining characteristics of the fungi that grow from its head differ from that of the Chrysanthemum family's Creeping Chrysanthemum, but the makeup of the body out of which they grow is mostly the same.

As a result, we can theorize that like fellow Ambuloradicis the Bulbmin, this species is not an evolutionary variation, but that the body is a parasite that has nestled inside a group of mushrooms. Because the hosts are mushrooms, the Startle Spore cannot photosynthesize. Instead it gains nutrients by catching its prey with highly poisonous fluids, or by absorbing the nectar in the ground left behind as creatures killed by its poison decompose.

Louie's Notes[edit]

If you can successfully remove the tongue's poison glands, you'll enjoy a rare opportunity to appreciate the umami synergy of the mushroom and meat combo.


See more: Chrysanthemum family#Naming.
  • Common name: Startle Spore. It would most likely startle players by hiding as mushrooms, and mushrooms produce spores. Note that it has a similar naming scheme to its relative, the Creeping Chrysanthemum.
  • Japanese nickname: おったまダケ?. It is a combination of おっ魂消る (flabbergasted) and 茸 (mushroom).
  • Japanese name: キノコヅモリ?, lit.: "Mushroom Pretender". It is based off of the Creeping Chrysanthemum's Japanese name, "キクヅモリ", but with "キク" (chrysanthemum) replaced with "キノコ" (mushroom).
  • Scientific name: Taraxacum fungenesus. Fungenesus is a combination of "fungen-", which means "fungi", and "esus", which means "eaten" in Latin.
  • Internal names: BIKKURIKINOKO. "Bikkuri" (吃驚) is the Japanese word for surprised, while "kinoko" (茸) is the Japanese word for mushroom.
  • Prerelease: None.

Other information[edit]

  • Pikmin 4 Piklopedia number: #59

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning Notes
Flag of Japan Japanese おったまダケ?
Ottama Dake
So-Spooked Shroom
Flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Chinese
Jīngrén Gū
Surprising Mushroom
Flag of China Chinese
Jīngrén Gū
Surprising Mushroom
Flag of the Netherlands Dutch Bedriegerzwam Impostor mushroom
Flag of France French Sporiflore surprenant Floraspore surprising "Sporiflore" is a portmanteau of "spore" (spore) and "flore" (flora)
Flag of Germany German Kriechender Schreckling Creeping Hygrofearus Portmanteau of "Schreck" (fright) and "Schneckling" (waxy caps)
Flag of Italy Italian Fungo trafelato Panting mushroom
Flag of South Korea Korean 깜짝버섯
Startle Mushroom
Flag of Brazil Portuguese Fingi Pretengus The name is a portmanteau of "fingir" (to pretend) and "fungi" (fungus)
Flag of Spain Spanish Seta pasmosa Startle mushroom


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  • The Startle Spore, much like the Creeping Chrysanthemum, shares a genus name with the Dandelion even though they are in separate families; in real life, this is impossible, as different species cannot be in the same genus and different families. This is likely a mistake.

See also[edit]