The Swooping Snitchbug (サライムシ?, lit.: "Kidnapping Bug") is a creature found in the main three Pikmin games and Hey! Pikmin. They are legless, round, flying insects that have evolved wing-like antennae as a means of locomotion. In Pikmin and Pikmin 2, they have glass-like eyes with pupils, but in Pikmin 3, they have more realistic compound eyes. In Hey! Pikmin, they return to having less realistic eyes, although they are still red like in Pikmin 3. They swoop down, as their name suggests, and grab their prey with their claws – a maximum of two at once. After carrying them for a few seconds, they violently throw them towards the ground. This action would harm most prey, whereas Pikmin are simply replanted and reverted to their original leaf stage in the first two games (in Pikmin 3, their maturity remains the same). They are also able to pick up the leaders in Pikmin 3, much like Bumbling Snitchbugs do in Pikmin 2 – if they don't escape, they will be tossed to the ground and damaged.
These creatures will plummet to the ground if weighed down by a sufficient number of Pikmin, or with a single Purple Pikmin in Pikmin 2 or a single Rock Pikmin in Pikmin 3. This renders it susceptible to further attack. ultra-bitter sprays 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.
Should the enemy throw a Yellow Pikmin that is holding a bomb-rock in Pikmin, the bomb-rock will explode, killing the Yellow Pikmin, all Pikmin caught in the blast, and likely itself, too. In Pikmin 3, it will carry the bomb rock and not the Pikmin, and throwing the bomb-rock merely activates it instead of causing an immediate explosion. Although the creature is not as interested in killing Pikmin as much as it is chucking them, it may end up throwing a Pikmin at a hazard.
In Pikmin, it can and will grab Pikmin from the leader's hand, if the captain is holding on to it before throwing, but in Pikmin 2, it will ignore any held Pikmin; it can still steal it from the hand if it begun swooping prior to the grab, however. In Pikmin 3, every time it dives, it randomly chooses to catch Pikmin or leaders, and if it chooses the former, it will never succeed in grabbing a held Pikmin. If it snatches two Pikmin in a single dive, the way it throws them will also differ between games – in Pikmin, it will throw one Pikmin first, fly around some more, and then throw the second one, but in Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 3, it will throw both of them at once. In Hey! Pikmin, they will attempt to swoop straight down, grab Pikmin, and fly back up withought coming back again, counting as a death to the player's Pikmin. They are incredibly rare in this game, as only a few appear, in Olimar's Madcap Ride.
“This rare species uses its antennae as wings.”
“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.”
“Remove the wings, marinate a well-marbled steak for several hours in a chipotle marinade, then charbroil to perfection.”
Hey! Pikmin logs
“Their atrophied wings force them to spend most of their time on land, but they do fly on occasion to steal Pikmin.”
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.”
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, because their high reach makes it easier to hit it. 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.
The same strategy from Pikmin can be applied here. Alternatively, throwing a single Purple Pikmin onto it will weigh it down right away. 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.
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 ensures 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 too, similar to how throwing one Purple Pikmin on it will weigh it down in Pikmin 2.
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.
In the Super Smash Bros. series
Smash 4 trophy
In its English name, "Swooping" refers to how it swoops down to catch prey. Its Japanese name is サライムシ?, which translates to "Kidnapping Bug". The scientific name of this creature is Scarpanica kesperens, which is made up of two unknown words. Internally, it is known as
On the enemy reel of Pikmin, the Swooping Snitchbug's clip plays between the Fiery Blowhog and the Goolix's clips. The enemy reel is otherwise sorted alphabetically, and because of this, and due to a lot of the clips hinting to the fact that the enemy reel was made a bit early during development, it is possible that before the game's release, the Swooping Snitchbug had a name that started with "Flying".
Names in other languages