Wait, what's that? could it be a Shroomish line article? As always, C&C appreciated.
Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Shroomish [#285]
- Breloom [#286]
Shroomish and Breloom are pokemon from the Hoenn region, known amongst trainers for their symbiotic relationship with a variety of unique fungi, and amongst scientists for their interesting life cycle. The fungi, or more specifically the spores thereof, provide protection for juveniles while allowing the adult Breloom a second line of defense. This line also undergoes a metamorphosis similar to some insectoid pokemon, while being mammalian in biology.
Scientists have discovered fifteen varieties of fungi that grow only on or in this line. Most of these have paralytic, acidic or toxic properties unlike related strains that grow elsewhere. This leads scientists to the conclusion that these specific species have evolved along with Shroomish for maximum toxicity.
The 'nymph' form, Shroomish, is a small detritivore averaging 40cm in height and 4.5kg in weight. Surviving off the leaf litter and small insects found in its natural forest habitat, the brown 'cap' of this disc-shaped pokemon is coated with a nutritious substance that encourages the growth of fungi. This substance is so effective at its job that newborn Shroomish are covered in an hour at most.
Consisting of little more than a primitive respiratory and digestive system, Shroomish features radically different biology to Breloom. The 'mouth' of Shroomish is in fact the second of two 'blowholes', the other of which is at the peak of the cap. These allow Shroomish to propel spores towards would-be aggressors. Wild Shroomish will usually only blow irritating spores, but trainers can teach their Shroomish to send out more toxic varieties.
The true mouth of Shroomish is, in fact, underneath the cap, where it can feed on leaf litter without taking in its own spores as well. The pokemon's legs are short, ensuring contact with the ground, while the eyes of this pokemon are set high up, allowing it to watch for predators.
The typical Shroomish will live for two years and grow continously during that time, after which time it will hatch into a miniature Breloom. This newborn matures rapidly, often eating the remnants of its previous form for nourishment. As disgusting as this behaviour might appear, it is recommended that owners allow their Breloom to do so, as this is the main method by which Breloom acquire the fungi associated with the line.
Breloom can be identified easily by its bipedal stance, long clubbed tail and distinctive beak-like mouth. The head, neck and tail retain the same type of nutritious substance that covered its body as a Shroomish, allowing more limited growth of fungi. The lower body acts as heat regulation, and as such reveals the green skin of this species. A 'cap' on top of Breloom's head is in fact a hardened extension of the skull, and is used by males in mating disputes.
The clubbed tail and sharp claws on its forelimbs are now Breloom's primary method of defense. Capable of powerful strikes with both, scientists classify this morph as partially fighting-type. The clubs on the tail are calluses filled with tightly-packed spores, allowing Breloom to also use the spore-based attacks of its previous form.
Some rare specimens of Shroomish and Breloom have translucent skin, allowing the red blood to be seen. Needless to say, these are treasured by collectors.
Both morphs are gregarious forest-dwellers, the largest populations found in Hoenn's Petalburg Woods. There they occupy the primary herbivore niche, Breloom herds providing the primary food source for Mightyena and Vigoroth populations. Shroomish are largely inedible, but Grovyle have been seen preying on them.
This line has been successfully relocated to Safari Zones in Johto and Sinnoh's Great Marsh. Some wild specimens have been found living in trees in Johto and Kanto. Sporadic sightings are also reported in Unova, no doubt feral herds. In all cases, this line tends not to stray far from heavily forested areas.
Shroomish, as mentioned earlier, are detritivores, feeding on leaf litter and whatever else can be found on the forest floor. For this reason, the Rangers' Association of Hoenn has forbidden littering within Petalburg forest. The traveller can earn a little extra cash by helping the rangers clean up the most-used paths.
Breloom, despite their formidible defenses are obligate herbivores, browsing low-hanging branches and, in the case of smaller specimens, climbing into trees to eat. A fact that puzzeld scientist for many years was how inefficient Breloom seemed to be while eating, shredding entire branches worth of leaves only to have most of this fall to the floor. It was only recently proposed that this may be a method of ensuring sufficient food for the young Shroomish.
Shroomish is largely harmless unless you happen to be allergic to its spores or asthmatic, and even then this can be treated with certain medications. This morph's docile demeanor and utility as a lawnmower has led to it being recommended as a household pet by the Hoenn Association of Pokemon Owners. Still, it must be noted that Shroomish is not ideal for young children, as it is easily startled and will respond with a blast of spores.
Breloom is a different matter. While affectionate and even-tempered, they will often underestimate both their strength and the sharpness of their claws. Many Breloom owners will therefore blunt their Breloom's claws to reduce accidental injuries. This morph also retains the ability to propel spores, with similar dangers as mentioned above. It is recommended to spay your Breloom for this reason.
Courting and Childrearing
While it has been proven that Shroomish are capable of breeding under controlled conditions, they are generally too busy eating in the wild. Instead, mating is done by Breloom.
The mating season is at the beginning of autumn. During this time, male and female Breloom with expel spores from the nubs on either side of their cap in a mating display. Once a Breloom catches the eye of a mate, they will circle each other attempting to match their expulsions. Mating itself is brief and the pair will separate shortly after. In the occasion that two males catch the eye of the same female, they will attempt to prove their strength first by threat displays, then a pushing match. If neither of these methods result in one of the suitors backing down, a short and vicious brawl ensues.
Shroomish eggs are left in shallow depressions near large populations of mushrooms, coated in the same unappetising substance that will protect them until they evolve. They usually hatch in two months, taking advantage of the die-off of vegetation in the later parts of the Hoenn winter.
Breloom are herd animals, moving in groups of any size between five and twenty. Smaller herds often fragment during the mating season, temporarily joining larger groups. Beyond this, no organisation is apparent, young and old, male and female present in roughly equal amounts. Shroomish can often be seen around the feet of the larger herds, but this is merely the Shroomish taking advantage of Breloom's messy eating habits.
Shroomish group together instinctively, similarly to Kanto's Exeggcute. This isn't anything more than instinct, as no advanced herding behaviours are displayed.
In Human Culture
Shroomish and Breloom are probably most well-known as minor enemies from a popular video games series starring a Torkoal/Salamence hybrid as the main villain. Shroomish as small enemies that move from left to right along the floor until squished or falling down a pit, while Breloom are more advanced enemies that dodge projectile attacks while launching punches at the player character.
I'm obviously such a cuddly,inoffensive soul.