!! Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
* Ledyba [#165]
* Ledian [#166]
!! Physical Description
Ledyba and Ledian are Coccinellidad Pokémon that are characterized by bodyplans incorporating six limbs, a characteristic hand/foot structure that manifests itself in both forms, and the presence of patterns of large black dots on their elytra.
The initial form of this line, Ledyba, is an insectoid creature that typically measures around a meter in length and weigh just over 10 kilograms, with females trending larger than males but with noticeably shorter antennae. Ledyba are characterized by their possession of a hexapedal bodyplan, with each leg terminating in a foot structure vaguely resembling the form of a boxing glove, along with two prominent antennae that enable Ledyba to better sense vibrations in its surroundings, fleshy non-compound eyes with refractive corneas and white sclera, and translucent wing membranes sheathed by elytra. Ledyba's exoskeleton is composed of regions in one of four colors that serve as markers to attempt to dissuade potential predators from attacking: white segments on its feet, black segments on its antennae and legs, red segments composing its head and elytra, the latter also containing a pattern of five black spots, and cream segments composing the rest of its exoskeleton. A number of segments of Ledyba's body are covered by a thin film, most notably on its feet, legs, and mouth, giving said segments a fused, fleshy appearance and helping to protect the intersection of exoskeleton segments from the accumulation of irritants.
The second form, Ledian, is a six-limbed bipedal creature that typically stands 1.4 meters tall and weighs roughly 25 kilograms more than its prior morph that possesses a number of divergences from its younger brethren's overall anatomy. The most notable of these is the emergence of distinct foot and hand structures, the latter almost identical to the foot structure possessed as a Ledyba, and the former consisting of exoskeleton segments arranged to form a vaguely ellipsoidal shape. Other significant alterations in Ledian's anatomy include the emergence of true compound eyes that afford better perception of movement, composed of blue scales with white scales composing 'dots' near the upper portion of the eyes, and the emergence of a head with a pronounced neck. Ledian's markings as a whole also alter slightly, with its distinct feet covered in red exoskeleton segments, its hands covered in white segments, its legs , antennae, and neck covered in black segments, a "muzzle," a thorax, and the underside of its elytra covered in cream segments, and the remainder of its body covered in red segments, with a black dot on its forehead and a pattern of three dots on the exterior of its elytra.
In rare circumstances, individuals with orange segments in regions typically occupied by red segments have been documented, and are sought after among some circles of bug catchers.
!! Notable Biology
One of the most distinctive aspects of Ledyba and Ledian biology is their use of pheromones secreted from their "gloved" appendages and the junction of their limbs and thorax as a communications medium. Ledyba and Ledian pheromones appear to be diverse in nature and application, with some collected pheromones appearing to communicate emotional states, while others serve more utilitarian purposes such as acting as markers to either congregate towards or avoid. Ledyba and Ledian pheromones are generally aromatic, though it should be noted that pheromones associated with different types of emotional duress are noted to generally be less pleasant, and are noted to have an effect similar to weak lachrymatory agents among some creatures and to be mildly toxic to others.
Ledyba and Ledian are known to possess a respiratory structure that incorporates both spiracles and a set of structures not wholly removed in structure from the book lungs of Pokemon such as Ariados. In this line's initial stage, these book lung-like structures are relatively inefficient and provide a supplemental source of oxygen along with the spiracles on their bodies. After evolution, these structures become markedly more developed and efficient, and deliver the bulk of the oxygen absorbed by these creatures' respiratory system in place of the spiracles.
Ledyba and Ledian's behavioral patterns also form a significant aspect of this line's biology. One of the most prominent of these behaviors is this line's strong swarming behaviors, which are more prominent among individuals in this line's initial form. Ledyba and Ledian appear to gravitate towards the company of other creatures, which provides a mechanism for retaining warmth during cold months and for grouping in order to fight off attackers. Many individuals from the Ledyba stage exhibit a reluctance to move or otherwise respond to stimuli when fully isolated from other members of this line or otherwise creatures that such individuals have a functioning bond with. Ledian are not affected as prominently by Ledyba's swarming behaviors, though appear to exhibit an affinity for being around other individuals when a group of 3 or more members from this line are present. Another notable behavioral pattern shared by Ledyba and Ledian include their practice of pollinating flowers while feeding off of some plants, which makes the presence of these creatures sought after within some gardening and agricultural circles.
Ledyba and Ledian exhibit significantly different patterns of activity, which vary depending upon population, individual submorph, region, and season. Ledyba have typically been documented exhibiting either diunral or matutinal activity cycles, with their evolutions typically recorded exhibiting nocturnal or otherwise crepuscular activity cycles. Populations of Ledian that are known to exhibit nocturnal behavior are known to be more active on nights with more visible starlight. It was initially presumed that this behavior was in response to a mode of acquiring energy from the starlight, though subsequent observation has cast doubt on this initial presumption, with many researchers suggesting that the apparent affinity by nocturnal-leaning Ledian for starry nights may be more immediately linked with the greater illumination that the stars afford.
The Ledyba line is known to exhibit three distinct submorphs, which exhibit a combination of minor psychological and physiological from each other. One of the most common submorphs consists of individuals that exhibit a fight-or-flight response that [[TurnsRed empowers a number battle techniques that are known to be employed by "Bug-Type" Pokémon that occurs when an individual is wounded]], not wholly unlike the behavior exhibited by most Pokemon distributed as regional starters. Another of these submorphs consists of individuals that have a less pronounced behavioral mechanism of this nature that appear to exhibit lighter sleeping patterns, [[InstantWakingSkills and are known to be less affected by combative techniques that induce states of sleep]]. These individuals also appear to most commonly intersect with groups of Ledyba and Ledian exhibiting matutinal activity cycles. The third, and least common submorph consists of individuals that exhibit heightened evasive behavior as Ledyba when attacked with a certain pool of battle techniques, which appear to coincide with moves typically employed by "Dark-Type," "Bug-Type," and "Ghost-Type" Pokémon. As Ledian, these individuals do not appear to manifest this behavior meaningfully, and appear to develop thicker exoskeleton plates on their "hands," along with limb muscles that trend more developed than those of their counterparts from other submorphs, which amplify the power of [[MegatonPunch some attacks utilized by creatures from this line]].
Ledyba and Ledian populations are typically associated with woodland habitats, but have been documented in a range of other habitats supporting tree cover including mountainous and wetland forests. Ledyba and Ledian are also one of a small number of Pokemon that appear to be capable of dwelling in anthropogenic habitats such as towns and cities in their wild state with little difficulty.
Creatures from this line are most widely dispersed in Kanto and Johto, with stable populations known to exist in virtually all regions supporting tree cover, with exceptionally large populations known to exist in the vicinity of Kanto Route 2 and Johto Routes 29, 30, 31, 36, and 37. Outside of Kanto and Johto, populations of Ledyba and Ledian tend to be significantly more concentrated, which include a number of populations in the islands to the south of Kanto, the most prominent of which is located on Fortune Island, a population located in the vicinity of Route 229 in Sinnoh, and introduced populations at the Hoenn Safari Zone and in the forests to the east of Striaton City.
Ledyba and Ledian are omnivorous creatures with a noticeably carnivorous slant, which become more pronounced after evolution. Both members of this line exhibit opportunistic swarm hunting behavior, with an apparent bias towards arthropod-like prey, most notably Shuckle, though both Ledyba and Ledian have been observed consuming other quarry under some circumstances, and in particularly lean times have been documented cannibalizing other members and eggs of their line. Ledyba and Ledian are also known to regularly consume plant matter, including berries, pollen, and a small number of other plants, and are notorious agricultural pests in some circles.
Although both Ledyba and Ledian usually occupy lowly position in most of their host ecosystems' food webs and possess a reputation for being Pokemon suitable for novice trainers to care for, they are by no means helpless creatures. Both stages of this line are known to utilize tackling and punching techniques, which are already capable of leaving deep bruises when utilized by individuals in the Ledyba stage, attacks of this nature by individuals in the Ledian stage are significantly more damaging, with more powerful attacks readily capable of breaking bones and causing internal bleeding. Both stages also use techniques that incorporate the use of sound to assault foes, which depending upon the technique utilized, can cause disorientation, hearing damage, and in more extreme cases with more potent techniques, massive internal injuries.
An important consideration to keep in mind is that Ledyba and Ledian rarely attack alone in wild settings, and typically attack in moderate to large swarms of individuals. If attacked by such a swarm, it is generally advised to attempt to use dispersing techniques such as Whirlwind or the use of repels in order to attempt to buy time in order to escape. It should be noted that Ledyba and Ledian have been known to invade human structures in cold months for warmth. It is generally advised to not attempt to engage such swarms to remove them, but to either leave the swarm to its own devices or if need be, to utilize less aggressive techniques such as the use of repels to drive the Ledyba out.
Both Ledyba and Ledian are capable of mating, and have regularly been documented mating in wild contexts. Courtship among Ledyba and Ledian typically occurs between members of a common swarm, though inter-swarm courtship is also occasionally documented. Courtship among both Ledyba and Ledian appears to be reliant upon pheromones, which are emitted by male members in order to attract the attention of potential mates. After selecting a suitor, two members of this line will mate and then separate, the female laying her eggs in a secluded spot near sources of food. Ledyba typically lay eggs in clutches of 8-12 that average 10 centimeters in diameter, while female Ledian lay clutches of 20-30 eggs, processes which can occur up to 3 times a year among some populations. Ledyba and Ledian are known to be capable of mating with Pokemon from outside their immediate line, though this behavior is rarely recorded outside of captivity.
!! Social Structure
Female Ledyba and Ledian typically provide little care for their young beyond occasionally checking up upon sites with eggs and allowing young to remain nearby them for the first 30-45 days of their lives, during which a newly hatched Ledyba will grow from a creature measuring 8-10 centimeters in length to one that is roughly 60% of its mature size. After this period of time elapses, a Ledyba will join its mother's swarm and proceed to spend the next 2-3 months learning how to hunt and gather food via mimicry of the swarm's other members.
Ledyba and Ledian typically live in swarms of 80-100 individuals with strength-based hierarchies, with Ledian or particularly strong Ledian typically occupying positions of dominance within the swarm. Swarm size fluctuates significantly with variables such as food and season, and it is not unheard of for some regions to host swarms exceeding 1,000 hibernating individuals in winter. Despite the general lack of familial ties amongst Ledyba and Ledian, it should be noted that swarms exhibit group defensive behaviors, and have been noted to attack assailants en masse, especially during winter.
!! In Human Society
Ledyba and Ledian have historically enjoyed a generally positive reputation as docile and benign creatures, occasionally tempered by the often intrusive nature of their winter hibernatory patterns, and are considered symbols of luck within some human cultures. Ledyba and Ledian's behaviors have led to the practice in some regions with especially prominent Ledyba and Ledian populations of constructing shrines for these creatures to remain warm and fed during the winter, both as a gesture of respect, and as a pragmatic exercise in order to keep houses and other structures from being invaded by Ledyba and Ledian swarms. Ledyba and Ledian routinely appear in media works, notably in media works targeting minors, including in a oft-censored children's novel [[Literature/JamesAndTheGiantPeach following the adventures of a child emigrating to Unova via a massive Pecha berry]] and [[WesternAnimation/ABugsLife an animated film by a studio famed for its endeavors with computer generated imagery]] and overall quality of its films.
Ledyba and Ledian are at once considered a boon and a nuisance by different horticultural circles, as creatures from this line are known to help protect plants from damage from other bug-type Pokemon, but at the same time are notoriously thorough berry harvesters, and occasionally taint the production of some spirits by having their eggs inadvertently harvested and crushed along with the input plant matter.