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Cataquack SMS.png
First appearance Super Mario Sunshine (2002)
Latest appearance Mario Kart Wii (2008)
“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 creatures that first appeared in Super Mario Sunshine on Gelato Beach. When they sense Mario nearby, they speed up and approach him. If they make contact, they will use their beaks to forcefully hurl Mario into the air. They can be both useful and dangerous; Mario can sustain damage if he lands on the same plane from which he was launched, but can reach platforms he otherwise could not with normal jumps. The blue Cataquacks are said to become nervous when confronted by strangers, but never want to harm them. However, a red variant called Chuhanas[4] or Red Cataquacks[5] will harm any strangers that are in their 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 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 two colors, red and blue. The blue Cataquacks cannot damage Mario (unless he touches them directly), but the red ones can. The blue variety tends to be rather lazy and will fall asleep if left undisturbed. The red version is reportedly new to the area. However, as the game continues, more and more Red Cataquacks are seen, as well as the number of the Cataquacks in general increases. In the end, only one blue Cataquack is remaining. By running into a Cataquack and getting thrown upwards, Mario can get high-floating coins.

Normally, Cataquacks are immune to all of Mario's direct attacks, but when sprayed with F.L.U.D.D., they turn over, and during that time, Mario can jump on them to get a coin. When turned over, they will be stunned for a second, but when jumped on, they will be stunned for several seconds. If Mario sprays them over sand, then they'll naturally sink into the sand, eliminating the need for him to jump on them. However, they can only be truly defeated by Yoshi, or when getting catapulted into the air by the outburst of a nearby Dune Bud. In the eighth episode of Gelato Beach, The Watermelon Festival, Cataquacks have swarmed from the beach to the higher areas of the level. They hinder Mario from rolling the watermelon to the beach; when the rolling watermelon hits a Cataquack, it is thrown upwards and destroyed.

In the first episodes, Mario can get a Blue Coin by overturning the single Red Cataquack and jumping on it, and in the last episodes, he can get a Blue Coin by doing so on the remaining blue Cataquack.

A sub-species of Cataquacks called Plungelos appear as mini-bosses also in Super Mario Sunshine, in Episode 2 of Gelato Beach.

In Sirena Beach, during the boss battle with King Boo, if he spins three question marks on the slot machines, he may spit out two blue Cataquacks.

Blue Cataquacks are one on the few enemies in the game to be confirmed to be native, as most of the rest (including, presumably, the recently-introduced Red Cataquack) were created from Shadow Mario's graffiti.[6] Despite this, both types appear to splatter when they are defeated via a Dune Bud.

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

Mario encountering Cataquacks at the Gold Leaf Galaxy.

In Super Mario Galaxy, Cataquacks make a reappearance. Mario uses them to fling him to high or out-of-reach places. Only the blue variety is present in this game, found in the Gold Leaf Galaxy and the Beach Bowl Galaxy. Bees are seen to keep them as pets. In this game, they can only be defeated by luring them into the water, where they will vanish, but will reappear shortly after. If Mario spins the tail, they will be knocked out for a few seconds. Unlike in Super Mario Sunshine, Cataquacks are completely harmless in this game. Also unlike in Super Mario Sunshine, where Cataquacks immediately give chase when approached, these one will jump and give out an excited squeak before chasing. They have a very slight redesign in that the yellow circles on their sides are now a defined ridge, rather than simply a pattern, thus lessening the resemblance to Wiggler segments.

Mario Kart series[edit]

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

Different colored Cataquacks appear at Peach Beach.

In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Cataquacks are revealed to come in purple and green varieties, in addition to the other red and blue colors. They can be found on Peach Beach. When a kart runs into them, the car is thrown upwards, stopping the drivers and making them drop their items. The Cataquacks can be temporarily knocked out by Green and Red Shells, as well as Lightning.

Mario Kart Wii[edit]

This course reappears in Mario Kart Wii with the Cataquacks. In that game, exclamation points appear above their heads when they become aware of any passing karts. They also behave a bit differently when karts come through the beach in the Wii version. In the original version, Cataquacks would not bother karts that were on the stone path along the edge of the beach. However, karts on the path can be attacked by Cataquacks in the Wii version. On Wi-Fi Connection and Time Trials, they do not chase anyone. More items like the POW Block, Mega Mushroom, Green Shell, Red Shell, and Bullet Bill can 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 Friendly species Japan:
November 1, 2007
Mario Kart Wii Obstacle Japan:
April 10, 2008


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ポイハナ
Poi is a colloquialism for throwing something away and hana means "nose" or "flower." Likely a combination of Heave-Ho and Wiggler's Japanese names.
Spanish Picocuac From "pico" (beak) and "cuac" (onomatopoeia for "quack")
French Catacouac
German Kataquax Similar to English name
Italian Catapapero From "catapulta" (catapult) and "papero" (duck)
Korean 날꽃


  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. ^ 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!」 which means 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。」 which means 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.