Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Notable BiologyLarvesta is a small insect Pokemon with two abdominal segments. The bottom is composed of a brown shell, the top portion of which is covered by a white mane of fuzz that hangs from the top segment, which also covers its entire head. The mane extends into a visor-like shape above its face, to protect its poorly-developed, blue eyes from the sun. These can probably form well focused, but poorly resolved images, but prefer to use their motion to judge the distance of objects by moving their heads from side to side. While it is often thought that this fuzz is used to keep Larvesta warm, it’s true purpose is to attract prey. They often see this fuzz as a cotton plant and are naturally attracted to Larvesta. The fuzz is also used to protect Larvesta from poisons, the same function its brown shell does. Under the fuzz, its face is all black, with a small beaked opening for its mouth. The Larvesta moves by sliding its internal organs forward using contraction of the muscles; the torso first elongates and then contracts, pulling its lower half with it. It has three pairs of very stubby, black legs, two of which seem to be protruding from the lower part of the white fuzz. These legs are the longest and sharpest of the three pairs, and are used to climb up plants and wood. The other two pairs of legs are mostly for support, are identical in size and shape, and always move at the exact same pace. The legs graze the ground to give the Pokemon a safe sense of friction. If the back legs are somehow put off balance or one of them lags behind the other, Larvesta can not exert the energy it has to to stay alive. Larvesta’s most notable features, besides its white mane, are the five orange and often whorled horns that protrude out of its head, the roots of which are shielded by the fuzz. These horns serve two major purposes in the biology of the Larvesta, as well as numerous social purposes. Firstly, the horns serve as the main defense mechanism of the insect. The horns are sharp enough to pierce the bulk of predators that prey on the bug. The horns are also capable of shooting a boiling liquid, previously thought to be fire. In reality, this secretion is gas that is built up in the core of the Larvesta’s body, and cools to a liquid when it comes out of the horns, through an adiabatic process. The other main function the horns serve is to exude energy, also the reason why the Larvesta must keep moving. The insect’s body is constantly making fuel for its flames and heat, which it protrudes through small holes in its shell, as well as the ventricles that lead to its horns. The process of secreting this gas also allows the bug to take in oxygen. If it is not constantly moving, and its horns do not pump out very small portions of the gas constantly, not only does the gas build up in its body, it isn’t receiving the oxygen it needs to survive. It also allows Larvesta to easily control its body temperature through this method, which is why it doesn’t need its fuzzy mane to stay warm. The job that the horns do is weak and flawed, due to the bug’s young age, and many do not make it to adulthood. Volcarona' (scientific name Pyrattacus Atlas) is the evolved form of Larvesta, and while it doesn’t stray too far from the insect’s original biological traits, it becomes enough of its own creature to baffle scientists with its increasingly impressive traits and mysterious reproductive qualities. When Larvesta evolves into Volcarona, it undergoes a very strange process, which completely disregards most known methods of insect metamorphosis. The Larvesta line has no Pupa stage, going straight from the Larvae, or Child, stage to the Imago, or Adult, stage. When Larvesta are ready to evolve they go into a short period of hiding that is not shaded from the sun. It is surrounded by a torrent of flames that prevent anything from ruining its evolution. The insect goes through a short but painful process in which its muscles grow considerable size, and its lower shell cracks and brakes, before being replaced by a much large and more beautifully colored shell, taking its two bottom legs with it, which are made unnecessary thanks to the Volcarona’s new biology. This new blue and black dotted shell is much more complex, having multiple layers of protection, including a sharp tip that points back. Its two remaining pairs of legs are formed into small pincers that no longer function for movement, but for grabbing. The Volcarona’s white mane becomes more luxurious and flowing, and because the bug’s new head has not only more powerful vision thanks to its compound eyes, but protective ridges along the sides of it, it is no longer needs the mane’s support and it not covered by it. The most glaring new feature is the six large leaf-life wings that have grown out of the insect’s back. The wings are orange, with black dots, the coloring serving to ward off predators and disguise Volcarona in the summer. The wings are very thin, but very heavy and can store water for the Pokemon. If one of the leaves is partly torn or cut, it can grow back in less than a day. If the wing is somehow cut from the root, it can never grow back. These wings serve the same purpose that the Larvesta’s horns served, but much more efficiently. While Volcarona’s wings do not have to constantly beat, they must do so every few seconds. Each time they do, they exude energy and heat and allow the Volcarona to stay alive. The wings can shoot off fiery scales that regrow almost instantly and they glow very brightly at night. These wings allow Volcarona to move at dangerously fast speeds.
HabitatOver the few centuries, Larvesta and Volcarona have become increasingly rarer due to poaching and industrialization, and are almost unheard of in the wild. The main dwellings of the line have always been in warmer climates that are constantly drenched in sun during the day and breezy during the night. This is why the Desert Resort in the Unova region is one of their favorite spots, and even there they are a rare spot to see. They typically colonize in the deep desert ruins that tend to have open windows for easy access to the outside, coming out to hunt for food, evolve, mate, as well as play for the little ones. Due to the danger of getting close to this Pokemon in the wild and their willingness to live in drastic and hot areas, it is very hard to document the population of the species. Another spot where Larvesta eggs have been found is at the bases of volcanoes. Almost all Larvesta and Volcarona seen today are owned and trained. The Pokemon has become a very infamous bragging right to those who can catch it, and Larvesta eggs have become very popular for poachers and can fetch a hefty sum in black markets.
DietLarvesta are characterized as “eating machines”, pulling able to eat twice their weight a day. They are almost strictly herbivorous at birth, eating the plants that grow in the desert. As they grow more and more, they adapt to become omnivorous, starting with the Maractus that live in same deserts. When they evolve, they become even more adapted to eating other animals, and often prefer many small portions as opposed to larger ones. While there are many Pokemon that Volcarona do not feed on, they are hostile to almost all of them in the wild, so trainers in their territory should take extreme caution.
HazardsWhile their appearance is quite threatening, these bug Pokemon are very gentle creatures to those that are not its prey, especially humans. They take great care of their young and will attack those who attempt to harm them at a moment’s notice. Due to its biology and behavior, Larvesta and its evolution are extremely dangerous Pokemon. While they are only moderately territorial and don’t take much caution to intruders, their involuntary behavior alone is enough to put Pokemon and trainers at risk. The heat that constantly exudes from this Pokemon’s body is dangerous unless it is trained, and it the wild, they typically do not put restraint on how much heat they exude, within limits they themselves can survive. The scales that fly off of adult Volcarona are very hazardous, often flying in multiple directions and being boiling to the touch. Physical contact is also strongly advised against, unless the Pokemon is trained. Their bodies also have a likely chance of causing second and third degree burns. Due to their biology, Larvesta and Volcarona have few weaknesses and more than a few resistances. They are resistant to Grass, Ice, Fighting, Bug, and Steel-Type attacks. Fortunately, they have common and very effective weaknesses to Water, Flying and Rock-type attacks. It is advised to have one of these types of Pokemon if you plan on venturing into Volcarona territory, which is another danger in itself. The places were Larvesta and Volcarona typically make their homes are very dangerous to trainers.
Courting and ChildrearingDespite their insect biology, Larvesta and Volcarona are more like mammals in terms of courting, and their reproduction has a few key elements not found in most insect species. The line becomes sexually mature when it reaches the adult stage, so Larvesta are prohibited from mating by most, if not all, colonies. Volcarona mate in the very middle of spring, so that their young are alive and healthy by the start of summer, the most important season for the species. When a female is ready to be mated with, she will fly into an open area, almost always at night, and protrude a strange powder that blows in the wind and causes all mall Volcarona eyes to draw attention to her. If there are male Volcarona that have taken a liking to her, they will perform beautiful and majestic dances as they glow very brightly in the moonlit night. The female will pick the one that has impressed her the most, based on their dance, their glow, and wing span. The two will then go to a secluded area to mate. The gestation period lasts one month, longer than most insects, and the father stays with the mother during almost all of it, leaving only to hunt, at which point the mother is taken care of by younger female Volcarona. After the egg is laid, it takes month to hatch, ready just in time for the summer season.
Social StructuresLarvesta and Volcarona colonies rely greatly on loyalty to the species as a whole and commitment to their fellow members. They typically stay in colonies of no less than 25, about 48% Male and 52% Female. Volcarona families are surprisingly monogamous and loving, typically made of a mother, a father, and one baby, and sometimes contains strays or adopted Larvesta that have lost both their parents. This Pokemon is instinctively well-versed in loving and caring for its family, which is one of the main reasons it is noted as a great Pokemon to train from birth. Volcarona look out for the good of their family first, then the benefit of themselves, then the benefit of the colony, as renown poke-entomologist Dr. Heather Gates states, "The Volcarona would rather those the colony than itself, but it would rather lose itself, than its child." (Exploring the World of Social Pokemon 325)
MythologyThe Volcarona is one of the most mysterious Bug-Type Pokemon discovered thus far. Due to the areas it is found in, and its appearance and behavior, many scholars have found texts and art linking the Larvesta line to mythological connotations. Parrelels have been found noticing the similarities in appearance to these Pokemon and the fabled Arceus, as well as several religious figures. The Larvesta is typically found in the Relic Castle and surrounding areas of the Desert Resort. Over the last few decades, archeologists have concluded that this area was once home to one of the most successful civilizations in the Unova region. There has been art and ancient writings that seem to draw worship to many of the Pokemon found in the desert, included Sigilyph, Darumaka, and Volcarona. Deep within the ruins of the Relic Castle, the walls are depicted with drawings of the bug Pokemon, often flying in front of a shining sun and glowing very brightly or performing their majestic dance. Ancient texts have recently been discovered linking certain myths pertaining to the worship of Larvesta and Volcarona. Scholars such as Rachel Windsforth, have written book after book on the myths behind these Pokemon: "The volcano spewed its ash, darkening the sky and eclipsing the sun for miles, shrouding the land in darkness…And when a majestic beast born from the sun performed its mystical dance, it glowed brightly and the people were happy once more, for the sun had been born again…" (The Dancing Sun 11)
Trainer NotesBeing one of the most dangerous Pokemon to catch and one of the most rewarding to train, Volcarona is seen as a huge challenge for pro trainers, and bragging rights abound. Volcarona and Larvesta live in some of the most dangerous places in the Unova region from scalding desert ruins to active volcanoes, and there are many obstacles to overcome in finding one in the wild. The fact is, they are also very rare Pokemon. They do a very good job of not being found when they don’t want to be, and the challenge of finding a colony might be even harder than the catch. While Larvesta and Volcarona are generally friendly and gentle to outsiders that are not on their To-Eat list, it is not advisable to get too close to them, especially if there is more than one. Parents are extremely protective of their young, so taking a baby Larvesta is most unwise, let alone difficult. Eggs are almost constantly guarded, except at some parts of the night. It is much safer to buy an egg from a collector. (NOTE: Buying Larvesta eggs from unauthorized venders is ILLEGAL. Trainers are only permitted to buy these eggs from specially licensed breeders. Pokemon League Ordinance 63.3.6) The act of catching one of these creatures is much more difficult than training one. They are generally very loyal and quick to learn, but it can still be a daunting task. From birth, Larvesta don’t have much control over the heat it exudes, and it can easily burn its trainer, even if it loves them. As time goes on, Larvesta gain much more control, and tend to be safer to pet and hold. They are extremely playful in the child stage, hiding trainer belongings and causing mischief, but if proper discipline and care is given, the Larvesta will grow just fine. Finding food for the Pokemon to eat is the easiest part, but can be very expensive. The Larvesta line is generally omnivorous, while herbivorous at birth, so different kinds of berries and Pokemon Food will work fine, but buying in bulk daily is advised. Volcarona take longer to evolve than another other currently discovered Pokemon, and many trainers give up. But the payoff is endless rewarding. The Volcarona is eternally loyal and grateful, looking after the trainer and the rest of their Pokemon as their family. In conclusion, training a member of the Larvesta line is a very serious commitment, and catching one is even more serious. While this Pokemon is very interesting and beautiful, it is recommended that only pro trainers who have taken precautions attempt to catch and raise one.
Written by Saturn.