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A blue Cataquack from Super Mario Sunshine.
First appearance Super Mario Sunshine (2002)
Latest appearance Super Mario 3D All-Stars (2020)
“Those large-billed Cataquacks tend to be very territorial. So, when they spot an outsider such as yourself, they go wild! They'll run up and hurl you into the air, but they mean no harm.”
Noki, Super Mario Sunshine

Cataquacks, also called Paihanas,[1] Piahanas,[2] or Pihanas,[3] are duck-like enemies that first appear in Super Mario Sunshine. They are known for catapulting Mario or other characters into the air. Blue Cataquacks are said to become nervous when confronted by strangers, but they never want to harm them; however, a red variant called Chuhanas[4] or Red Cataquacks[5] harms any strangers that are in its way. Their name may be based on the words "catapult" and "quack," referring to their behavior and appearance (similar to a duck), respectively. Cataquacks, like Plungelos, resemble Wiggler segments, and they are further connected by their similar location and Japanese names. Enemies with similar functions, called Heave-Hos, appear in Super Mario 64.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Sunshine[edit]

A Red Cataquack

In Super Mario Sunshine, Cataquacks come in red and blue varieties. They walk aimlessly on the beach, but when they sense Mario nearby, they charge at him until he gets far enough away from them or they reach a ledge or water. If they make contact, they use their beaks to throw Mario into the air. This can be both helpful and harmful; Mario can sustain damage if he lands on the same ground from which he was launched, but he can also reach platforms and coins he otherwise could not with normal jumps. Blue Cataquacks cannot damage Mario unless he touches them directly, but red ones can damage him through their catapult. If swarmed by Red Cataquacks, Mario may become trapped in a loop of catapulting and suffer a large amount of damage.

Normally, Cataquacks are immune to all of Mario's direct attacks, but when sprayed with FLUDD, they flip over and become stunned. During this time, Mario can get a coin by jumping on them, which causes them to sink into the ground. If he sprays a stunned Cataquack, it remains stunned for a longer time. When sprayed over sand, Cataquacks sink into it without having to jump on them, but they do not give a coin. Cataquacks can be defeated only by eating them with a Yoshi, catapulting them into the air with the outburst of a nearby Dune Bud, or luring them towards water while using the Hover Nozzle.[6]

Blue Cataquacks tend to be calmer, and they fall asleep if left undisturbed. According to a Noki on Gelato Beach, Red Cataquacks are new to the area.[7] As the player progresses through Gelato Beach's episodes, the number of Red Cataquacks and Cataquacks in general increases, while the number of Blue Cataquacks decreases. By Episode 8, only one Blue Cataquack remains, sleeping atop a palm tree away from the beach. In this episode, Red Cataquacks swarm most of Gelato Beach, increasing the difficulty of bringing the watermelon to the Surf Cabana. If the watermelon hits a Cataquack, it is thrown upwards and destroyed when it hits the ground, leaving a coin behind.

In Episode 1, Mario can get a Blue Coin by overturning the single Red Cataquack and jumping on it, and in Episode 8, he can get a Blue Coin by doing so on the remaining Blue Cataquack.

Cataquacks can also appear in Sirena Beach during Episode 5. If King Boo spins three question marks on the slot machines, he may spit out two Blue Cataquacks that disappear after a short time. A subspecies of Cataquacks called Plungelos appears as mini-bosses in Episode 2 of Gelato Beach.

Blue Cataquacks are one of the few enemies in the game confirmed to be native to Isle Delfino, as most of the others (presumably including Red Cataquacks) were created from Shadow Mario's graffiti.[8] Despite this, both colors of Cataquacks appear to splatter when they are defeated via a Dune Bud.

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

Mario encountering Cataquacks in the Gold Leaf Galaxy

In Super Mario Galaxy, the blue variety of Cataquacks reappears in the Gold Leaf Galaxy and the Beach Bowl Galaxy. Mario can use them to fling himself to high or out-of-reach places. Honeybees are seen to keep them as pets, fencing them in. In this game, they can be defeated only by luring them into the water, where they vanish, but they reappear shortly after (along with Koopa Troopas, they are the only enemies that respawn). If Mario spins next to them, ground-pounds near them, or touches them while in his rainbow form, they will flip over and be stunned for a few seconds. Unlike in Super Mario Sunshine, Cataquacks are completely harmless due to the game's lack of falling damage. Additionally, these Cataquacks jump and give out an excited squeak before chasing, rather than immediately pursuing Mario. They have a very slight redesign in that the yellow circles on their sides are now a defined ridge rather than simply a pattern, lessening the resemblance to Wiggler segments. According to a honeybee in the Gold Leaf Galaxy, Cataquacks (or at least one specimen found nearby) are native to the Flower Planet.[9]

Additionally, the flag on the Sea Slide Galaxy tower depicts a seagull with a stylized head that resembles a Cataquack's.[10]

Mario Kart series[edit]

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

Differently colored Cataquacks along Peach Beach

In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Cataquacks appear on the course Peach Beach. They are revealed to also come in purple and green varieties in addition to red and blue ones. They walk on the beach and target karts like in Super Mario Sunshine, but they avoid the stone path in between the grass and the beach. If a kart runs into them, it is thrown upwards, removing all of its speed and making the drivers drop their items. Cataquacks can be temporarily knocked out by Green Shells and Red Shells, as well as Lightning.

Mario Kart Arcade GP / Mario Kart Arcade GP 2[edit]

In Mario Kart Arcade GP and Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, Red and Blue Cataquacks make a cameo appearance in the backgrounds of some courses in the Mario Cup.[11]

Mario Kart Wii[edit]

In Mario Kart Wii, Peach Beach and its Cataquacks return. In this game, exclamation points appear above their heads when they are alerted to passing karts. Additionally, the stone path between grass and sand is now able to be trespassed by Cataquacks, leaving karts vulnerable to an attack. When the player uses Wi-Fi Connection or races in a Time Trial, they do not give chase. New items such as the POW Block, Mega Mushroom, and Bullet Bill are also able to temporarily stun the Cataquacks.

List of appearances by date[edit]

Title Description Original release date System/format
Super Mario Sunshine Enemy Japan:
July 19, 2002
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Obstacle Japan:
November 7, 2003
Super Mario Galaxy Ally Japan:
November 1, 2007
Mario Kart Wii Obstacle Japan:
April 10, 2008
Super Mario 3D All-Stars Enemy (in Super Mario Sunshine), ally (in Super Mario Galaxy) Japan:
September 18, 2020


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ポイハナ
あおポイハナ[12] (Super Mario Sunshine)
Ao Poihana
あかポイハナ[12] (Super Mario Sunshine)
Aka Poihana
From「ポイ」(poi, onomatopoeia for tossing) and「鼻」(hana, nose); also a combination of「ポポイ」(Popoi, Heave-Ho) and「ハナチャン」(Hanachan, Wiggler)

Blue Cataquack

Red Cataquack
Chinese 咻地
Xiū de
French Catacouac From the English name
German Kataquax Similar to the English name
Italian Catapapero From catapulta (catapult) and papero (duck)
Korean 날꽃
From 날다 (nalda, to fly) and 꽃충이 (Kkotchung-i, Wiggler)
Spanish Picocuac From pico (beak) and cuac (onomatopoeic term meaning "quack")


  1. ^ Bogenn, Tim, and Doug Walsh. Super Mario Sunshine BradyGames Official Strategy Guide. Page 6.
  2. ^ Bogenn, Tim, and Doug Walsh. Super Mario Sunshine BradyGames Official Strategy Guide. Page 103.
  3. ^ Hodgson, David S J, Bryan Stratton, and Stephen Stratton. Super Mario Sunshine Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Page 19.
  4. ^ Bogenn, Tim, and Doug Walsh. Super Mario Sunshine BradyGames Official Strategy Guide. Page 6.
  5. ^ Averill, Alan, and Jennifer Villarreal. The Super Mario Sunshine Player's Guide. Page 63.
  6. ^ BeaverThingify (September 15, 2020). Super Mario Sunshine - Killing every Cataquack in "The Watermelon Festival". YouTube. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  7. ^ "Watch out for the red Cataquacks! Seriously! They can hurt you. They only appeared on this beach recently." — Noki, Super Mario Sunshine
  8. ^ An excerpt of page 107 of the Encyclopedia Super Mario Bros.Media:ESMB Bowser Jr Graffiti.png The title of the box is 「クッパJr.の落書き!」 ("The graffiti of Bowser Jr.!") and the text says 「本作の敵キャラクターたちは、クッパJr.が落書きで生み出したという設定。そのため、水に弱かったり、デザインが他のシリーズと少々異なっていたりする。ヨッシーも、同様の理由で水に落ちると消えてしまう。」 ("This game's enemy characters are created by Bowser Jr.'s graffiti. That is why they are weak to water, and differ slightly in design from the rest of the series. Yoshi also vanishes if he falls in water for the same reason.")
  9. ^ ScreenshotMedia:SM3DAS SMG GLG Cataquack to the Skies dialog.jpg
  10. ^ July 21, 2021. The tower in Sea Slide Galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy is decorated with a flag on the roof. The flag depicts a stylized seagull eating a mushroom. Retrieved August 8, 2021.
  11. ^ RobertoLPDX (June 28, 2015). Let's Play: Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (Longplay). YouTube. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Shogakukan. 「スーパーマリオサンシャイン任天堂公式ガイドブック」 (Super Mario Sunshine Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook). Page 18.