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A Lava Piranha is a Venus Fire Trap capable of living in lava. One appears as the boss of Chapter 5 in Paper Mario, and bears some resemblance to the boss Naval Piranha from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, except smaller and with fewer buds and tendrils, and inhabits lava instead of water. The Lava Piranha has a large tongue and white ring markings instead of filled white spots on its head, like typical Piranha Plants.
Despite only one appearing in the game, Goombario and Koopa Koot refer to them as a species. Given its Japanese name, this is likely referring to Venus Fire Traps in general, with Goombario expressing slight surprise one could even survive in lava in that version. In the English version, however, he treats the ability to survive in lava as a defining trait of the species, but still keeps the slightly surprised wording.
The Lava Piranha featured in Paper Mario is the ruler of Mt. Lavalava on Lavalava Island. It is found in a small lava pool where Putrid Piranhas report to him. The Lava Piranha speaks in shouts and shrieks, blathering out insults at Mario when it confronts him for the fifth Star Spirit, Misstar, whom Bowser ordered the fiery Piranha Plant to guard.
Its attacks are rather simple. Most of its attacking is done via Lava Buds, which can spit out Petit Piranhas. When it attacks, it spits out an orb of fire at Mario that does five attack damage to Mario.
After Mario initially defeats the Lava Piranha, it suddenly emerges from the lava and gets forty more HP. This time, the Lava Piranha's head is on fire and its tongue is sticking out. If Sushie is Ultra-rank, her Tidal Wave ability stuns the Lava Piranha for two full turns. After the second round, it slowly falls to the ground and then sinks back into the lava, relinquishing the Star Spirit.
It has a cameo appearance in the credits of Paper Mario, poking its head out from behind Lavalava Island, alternating with Raphael Raven.
In Super Mario-kun, the Lava Piranha is encountered after Sushie destroys a Spiny Tromp. Mario and his partners attempt to attack it by using a Snowman Doll, but it results in Kooper getting crushed. The Lava Piranha then spews Nipper Plants that attack Mario and his partners. Sushie then encases Mario in Water Block and squirts the Lava Piranha. Mario walks out of the water block and shouts, distracting Sushie. The Lava Piranha then burns and injures Sushie. Despite this, Sushie inflates Mario with water and pushes him to the Lava Piranha. Mario bursts, spraying the water over the Lava Piranha and thus defeating it.
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