!! Morphs (Oak Catalog #)
* Dunsparce (#206)
!! Physical Description
Dunsparce is a Normal-type Pokémon. It is 1.5 meters long, and weighs 14 kilograms. It has a flat, yellow body (the bottom half is blue), which is divided into three sections, each of about equal length. The first section is its head. Its head is pebble-shaped, with two large, closed eyes (These eyes resemble those of snakes), each surrounded with a blue ring. These eyes are usually closed, as Dunsparce navigate primarily by smell and hearing (Interestingly, their eyesight is actually quite good; it is simply not useful in their preferred habitat). There are two sharp spikes on its chin, which it uses to root itself in the ground and find holds in treacherous places.
Dunsparce’s thorax has a small patch of blue and white stripes on its back, and is covered by several thick layers of scales. Two pairs of insectoid wings allow it limited flight (Dunsparce can only hover several inches above the ground). A small gland on Dunsparce’s underbelly allows it to leave pheromone trails that other members of its colony (see Social Structure) can follow.
Dunsparce’s abdomen is long and thin, and made up of four separate parts. Each part is connected by a pivot joint, and the sections can spin very quickly. The final section is covered by a hard, chitinous substance, and Dunsparce frequently [[BewareMyStingerTail uses it]] as a [[ThisIsADrill drill.]] The chitin is incredibly strong, and will regrow over time if damaged. The tail, however, will not. Consequently, Dunsparce guard their tails with great care.
On exceedingly rare occasions, Dunsparce are seen with a genetic mutation that results in the parts of their body that are normally blue becoming a pale pink. These mutations are highly prized by collectors for their rarity.
!! Notable Biology
Dunsparce are incredibly skittish Pokémon, due to their body producing large quantities of adrenaline in almost any emergency, no matter how small. If spotted by almost anything, they will immediately tunnel underground using their tail (See Habitat).
[[Trainer’s Note: The only reliable way to capture a Dunsparce is to first gain its trust, a long and arduous process. Be warned.]]
Dunsparce’s tail is its life. It relies on its tail for underground locomotion (Dunsparce move backwards underground, and use their tail to drill through the earth), creating a home, and self-defense. If a Dunsparce’s tail’s chitin is damaged, its general response is to hide underground until the chitin has finished repairing. If the tail itself is injured, Dunsparce will cease to move or eat, starving itself to death.
The muscles in Dunsparce's underbelly are incredibly strong, and by flexing them and flapping its wings, it can jump surprising distances. Coupled with its chin spikes, there are very few places that a Dunsparce cannot reach.
Dunsparce's ancestry is a subject of much debate. Currently, there are two prevailing opinion. The first is that Dunsparce is an insectoid Pokemon (the followers of this theory cite the divided body and wings as evidence) which, due to the isolation of the caves where it originated, mutated until it was no longer genetically compatible with Bug Pokemon (this is the reason that Dunsparce is a Normal type and not a Bug type). Dunsparce is actually able to breed with a large spectrum of Pokemon, ranging from Skitty to, somehow, Wailord. The second opinion is that Dunsparce are in fact reptilian Pokemon. This would explain their ability to breed with Pokemon such as Ekans, and has earned them their title of "The Land Snake Pokemon." Other opinions range from the reasonably plausible (Dunsparce is a group of its own, with tangential similarities to both insects and snakes) to the truly bizarre (It is an [[InsaneTrollLogic alien]])
Dunsparce exhibit three noted subtypes. The first will, under the effects of adrenaline, strongly exhibit the, “Flight,” side of the hormone. Dunsparce with this subtype will constantly study their surroundings, noting any ways out, and will take them the instant they are necessary. Consequently, this subtype has been [[FanNickname dubbed, “Run Away.”]] The second subtype of Dunsparce will, under the effects of adrenaline, choose to fight, putting their effort into studying their opponent and picking out any weak spots. This careful study of the opponent leads to Dunsparce being able to use its moves to far greater effect then the other subtypes, and it has been dubbed, “Serene Grace,” due to Dunsparce with the subtype spending a long time remaining perfectly still, simply staring at their opponents. The third subtype, which is far rarer than the other two, seems to have several genes in common with Psychic-types, causing it to react to the attacks of Ghost, Dark, and Bug-type Pokémon. However, Dunsparce’s reaction consists of, as is common for it, a release of adrenaline, boosting its speed and reflexes.
Dunsparce are rare Pokémon, with only three known colonies (although it is entirely possible that there are more further underground). Dunsparce are native to the Three Isle Port, a part of the Sevii Islands , although they are found in Johto and Unova (They were brought across the ocean by traders, and quickly spread. They are considered an invasive species). Interestingly, in the Port and Johto, Dunsparce are found only in caves (In Johto, Dunsparce are only found inside the Dark Cave, a cave that is famous for [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin being extremely dark]]). In Unova, however, Dunsparce are found on Route 11, a large meadow, which is entirely devoid of caves. However, Dunsparce from both regions live most of their lives underground in large colonies, coming up only to find food (See Social Structure). As such, Trainers looking for Dunsparce must be patient and quiet.
In addition to their standard habitats, large groups of Dunsparce periodically flock to Route 208, remaining there for a day or two, and then leaving. This behavior in Dunsparce is highly aberrant, as Dunsparce are usually content to remain in a single location their entire life. In addition, Professor Rowen has noted that the Dunsparce swarms are not a single colony, rather many Dunsparce acting on their own (while these may seem like the same thing, a Dunsparce colony tends to exhibit far different behavior than the swarms. For example, colonies spend their lives underground, while the Sinnoh Dunsparce will remain aboveground for their periodic stay. In addition, Dunsparce colonies will attack anyone threatening a Dunsparce, while the Sinnoh Dunsparce will ignore you unless you bother them specifically). As of now, this is the only case of Dunsparce not in a colony. Where the Dunsparce live when not in Sinnoh is, for now, a mystery.
Dunsparce are largely herbivorous Pokémon, eating leaves, berries, and mosses. Groups of Dunsparce whose job is to find food (See Social Structure) will scrape the plants off rocks and trees, chew them into an unrecognizable, pulpy mass, and return them to the colony to be distributed. If a Dunsparce finds a place with a surplus of food, it will mark the way back with pheromone trails so that it can be found again.
Dunsparce eat very little food, subsiding on the rough equivalent of a few blades of grass a day. However, since Dunsparce gather food for their entire colony, which can be dozens strong, it is not uncommon to see large bare patches of earth where Dunsparce colonies have stripped off all the vegetation.
Cave Dunsparce have learned how to grow plants, to adapt to the lack of plants in a cave. Certain appointed Dunsparce will take the spores of cave mosses, find small veins of water, and plant the mosses, keeping them constantly moist and harvesting them when necessary. The Dunsparce colony in Dark Cave especially have formed moss gardens that cover almost the entire tunnel network, extending out of the tunnels, onto the walls, and even across the ground.
When food is scarce, Dunsparce have been known to resort to eating meat. Most Pokémon have learned to avoid starving Dunsparce, who can be extremely dangerous.
Dunsparce with the Run Away subtype are completely harmless, as they will immediately do what their name suggests when confronted. Dunsparce with the Serene Grace subtype, however, are quite dangerous. Dunsparce have a variety of powerful moves at their disposal, and older Dunsparce are even capable of using their drill-tail to produce sonic vibrations that shatter rock (And bones). A group of Dunsparce, if angered, is perfectly capable of bringing down a much larger animal. However, Dunsparce’s true strength in battle comes from its wide selection of non-damaging moves. One move that Dunsparce will often use to deter enemies has been dubbed Yawn. Dunsparce spews out a cloud of chemicals that cause drowsiness, and eventually sleep. Dunsparce can also produce a loud screeching noise that is capable of causing [[BrownNote headaches and even blackouts in an unprepared target.]]
Should you stumble upon a Dunsparce colony, be prepared to either run or fight. Dunsparce colonies will usually have many Serene Grace subtypes guarding it, and all will immediately attack with all available force. When guarding a colony, Dunsparce show no care for their own well-being, and will charge you and your Pokémon head on until it collapses from exhaustion.
!! Social Structure
Dunsparce form large colonies, of a hundred or more members (The colony in the Three Isle Port has almost five hundred). These colonies are formed in large, mazelike networks of tunnels, which Dunsparce excavate using their tails. Dunsparce in the colony are given a job at birth. These jobs range from digging to finding food, and there are many other jobs as well. Dunsparce seem to be chosen for their jobs based on their subtype. For example, Run Away Dunsparce will generally be found excavating or finding food, while Serene Grace Dunsparce are usually set to guard the colony from intruders (or guard food-finding Dunsparce from predators). Certain Run Away Dunsparce are given the job of quickly digging away if the colony is in severe danger, so as to start over somewhere else. As Dunsparce with the third subtype are incredibly rare, colonies will rarely account for them, generally giving them whatever job is necessary at the time.
Dunsparce colonies are led by the oldest female (called the queen). The queen will assign Dunsparce to their jobs at birth. (See Courtship and Childrearing for information on the queen’s other jobs) Queen Dunsparce are almost never seen, as they usually stay in the tunnels, doing nothing but eating and mating. When a queen dies, the next oldest female in the colony will replace her.
Dunsparce do not build strong bonds with their colony-mates, and will not retaliate if one is attacked or captured. They will only attack if there is a danger to the colony as a whole. Should you find a lone Dunsparce, do not worry about whether or not to capture it. However, should its colony-mates be present, do not attack, as you will quickly find yourself on the receiving end of a powerful assault.
!! Courtship and Childrearing
Once each year, a Dunsparce colony will go into heat for about a week. During this time, the males of the colony will compete for the right to mate with the queen. When the queen has made her choice, she and the male will enter a small tunnel, where they will mate, and the queen will lay her eggs (Dunsparce lay several dozen eggs at a time). The queen will appoint a Dunsparce to guard the eggs, and return to her home tunnel. The eggs will take several weeks to hatch. Dunsparce are born only a few inches long, but will quickly grow to full size.
The queen does not care for her eggs, and the male will [[DeathBySex die after mating.]]
It is currently unknown what the mating rituals of the Dunsparce swarms are. Professor Rowen is currently attempting to study this. Unfortunately, the swarms do not seem to use Sinnoh as a mating ground, which has impeded his studies. He recently wrote to professors living in other regions, asking them to keep an eye out for the Dunsparce swarms and report their behavior to him.
!! In Human Society
Dunsparce are occasionally used in media, as a shy character who eventually comes out of their shell (often represented by a Butterfree, Beautifly, or Volcarona emerging from the discarded shell of the Dunsparce, despite none of the Pokémon in question being evolutionarily related). In addition, several drilling companies will enlist Dunsparce to help them drill. In addition, some people collect Dunsparce tails, using them in lieu of a drill bit. This practice is largely frowned on, and hunting Dunsparce for their tails is a crime in most areas, except in Sinnoh, where they are considered pests for their tendencies to disturb the native Pokémon.
In Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh, there are rumors of a venomous Dunsparce. This alleged Dunsparce is also the subject of several legends. According to these legends, the Dunsparce is capable of speaking human languages, and swallowing its own tail to roll like a hoop. It supposedly has a taste for alcohol and lying. While most people believe this story to be made up, at least one sighting is reported each year. Several minor scientists have attempted to find and capture this creature, but none have succeeded yet, and the venomous Dunsparce remains a mystery.