From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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Grim Leechers (Purple Zombies in the pocket guide for Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island) are enemies from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, its remake, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, and Yoshi's New Island. These enemies resemble purple ghosts with skulls on their faces, and their name is a pun on "Grim Reaper" and "Leech".
In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Grim Leechers are found in extra and secret levels, appearing only in The Impossible? Maze in the original game as well as Mystery of the Castle? in the remake. They wait until Yoshi comes near and then hover towards them; if a Grim Leecher makes contact, they knock Baby Mario off Yoshi's back and hop on. This causes the game controls to reverse, signified by Yoshi turning a flashing pink color. Yoshi must Ground Pound to knock a Grim Leecher loose, and can eat them to produce an egg.
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