Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Notable BiologyThe Pikachu line are a family of small to medium sized rodent-like Pokémon. They are immediately recognizable for their lightning bolt-shaped tails and the brightly coloured circles around their cheeks. These cheeks are packed full of electrochemical cells that build up dischargable electricity. All members of this line use their electrical prowess for both defense and sensing their environment. All three of these Pokémon also share the trait of long, mobile ears. These ears are very sensitive, and will instinctively rotate and twitch to follow any sound. It is not uncommon for a Pikachu or Raichu to sit immobile for hours, listening for predators. If a Pikachu or Raichu is attacked, they will respond by unleashing a near-lethal dosage of electricity, strong enough to stun a man. Pichu, on the other hand, prefer to flee from hazards, but will still produce a mild electrical shock if threatened. The Pichu, the immature form of the species, is the smallest. They are very playful, and they will often be found happily gnawing on small items. They are very curious and will often accidentally damage small or delicate items in their explorations. (TRAINER'S NOTE: Do not leave your Pichu unattended for long periods of time, as they will inadvertently create huge messes.) The Pikachu is the most commonly found morph in the wild. It travels in small packs, accompanied by its mates and young. The large diamond shaped ears of the Pichu have narrowed into the tubular (and more sensitive) ears of the Pikachu, and females gain a heart shaped notch on their tail. They are capable of breeding at this stage, and mating takes place once every year in summer. The final form, the Raichu, is rarely seen on the wild. A Pikachu will only evolve into a Raichu upon exposure to a ThunderStone, which is almost nonexistent in the wild and difficult to come by. Raichu is larger and stronger than its predecessors. Its fur is a darker brown. Its long and whiplike tail it uses as a ground to avoid shocking itself. Unlike the other two morphs, some take up a carnivorous diet, and will sometimes supplement their diet with fresh meat. The Pikachu line are closely related to the Plusle and Minun lines of the Hoenn regions, to the Pachurisu of the northern Sinnoh region, and, more distantly, the Emolga of the Unova region and the Dedenne of the Kalos region(Curiously enough, small populations of wild Pikachu can be found in the Hoenn and Kalos regions). Exactly when and where these species branched off from one another is unknown. It was once believed that the Marill line was related to the Pikachu family; a supposed fossil that combined Pikachu and Marill traits was once discovered and soon after nicknamed "Pikablu". However, it turned out that this "missing link" was a hoax.
HabitatPichu and Pikachu are commonly regarded as pests- they will often be found in cities and towns, gnawing on power lines and disrupting the flow of transformers and generators. Others may take up residence in open air markets and farmyards, and conduct raids on food. Most live in the wild, and there they prefer woods and forests. Owing to their appeal and charm, many Trainers see them as ideal for Pokémon Contests, and they thrive in captivity. They will form lifelong bonds with Trainers and many will refuse to leave their Trainer's side.
DietPikachu, Pichu, and Raichu are all possessed with long gnawing teeth. They will chew on most anything, but tend to eat nuts, seeds, and grass. They are also partial to various fruits, berries and in some cases, ketchup. Occasionally, a Raichu will hunt small prey, and it will do so by stunning it with small amounts of electricity before tearing out its windpipe.
HazardsDespite their cute appearance, Pichu, Pikachu, and Raichu are not to be picked up by surprise- they will instinctively respond to such a disturbance by shooting large amounts of electricity into whatever is in contact with them. This can cause paralysis and brain damage. They will often nest near sources of electricity, such as power generators and will often chew on power couplings and wires. If such a nest is detected, do NOT attempt to remove an infestation. A startled Pikachu can release enough power to overload a generator and thus knock out the flow to an entire city. Such jobs should be left to trained professionals.
CourtingPikachu will breed once per year in the summer. There is no courtship ritual involved. Male Pikachu will attempt to impregnate as many females as possible during the month-long window of opportunity. Gestation time is brief, and babies are born in late fall. Pichu will stay inside their mother's nursing burrow for the duration of the winter, though the mother may periodically leave to gather food for her rapidly growing young. Raichu rarely breed, and some believe that exposure to the ThunderStone renders them sterile.
Social StructurePichu and Pikachu live in small family groups of up to twenty individuals. These "clans" will often mark their territory with urine, and if a member of a different clan infringes upon their territory, fierce fighting will frequently ensue. If a Pikachu evolves into a Raichu, it will often leave the clan and live on its own. Kanto folk stories tell of Pikachu who gather in groups to "summon" thunderstorms, but this has yet to be actually seen by anybody.