|Universe||Super Mario Bros.|
|Species Type||Puffer Cheep|
|Environment||Internal parasite of Koopa species|
|Reproduction||Sexual; lay eggs|
|Average Length||Nearly microscopic|
|Average Wingspan||Nearly microscopic|
|Locomotion||Powerful swimming, floating on air currents|
|Feeding Behavior||Carnivorous (presumed)|
|Related Species||Cheep Cheeps|
(Eumetazoans or True Metazoans)
(True Ray-finned Fishes)
(Smooth Puffer Cheeps)
Air Cheeps are a species of primitive Cheep Cheeps. They are incredibly small, almost microscopic, and live inside the airways of hosts. So far they have only been recorded as existing within Koopas, though they might possibly infect other species as well.
In recent times their species was affected by the Dark Star and used to try and bring down the great king of the Koopas, King Bowser Koopa.
Because of their massive size discrepancy when compared to other known species of Cheep Cheeps, it is considered most likely that Air Cheeps have developed a form of neoteny, allowing them to become sexually mature while still in an otherwise infantile state in a manner most commonly seen in Mudpuppies and other similar salamanders.
Air Cheeps are purple in color, and appear to have a dark, five-pointed star-like marking on their face, although this may be due to their influence by the Dark Star. Their pectoral fins are white as typically found among Cheep Cheep species, and likewise, their caudal fin is gold in hue. Strangely, their dorsal fin seems to have been replaced with something more akin to a natural cork, allowing them to keep oxygen in their bodies to remain puffed up. The exact origins of this cork is unknown, though it may be another species in commensal or mutual symbiosis and can even be something more akin to extreme sexual dimorphism. It is also possible, due to the magical influences of the Mushroom World or the Dark Star itself, simply be a magical cork-like portion of its anatomy. When deflated, they appear somewhat similar to a flatfish, more akin to a Stunfisk than a Flounder, although they are not directly related to either.
Air Cheeps are aggressive like many species of Cheep Cheep, and will attempt to attack creatures that they either deem a threat or a prey item. They are opportunistic as they tried to bring down the human Mario brothers, which had been shrank and would not normally appear this size. They attack opponents either by trying to land on and crush their target (sometimes releasing air to delay their strike and make them less predictable) or overinflating themselves and rolling into their intended victims.
The cork-like appendage is their weak point, and striking it hard enough will cause it to fall out, violently deflating the Air Cheep. This will stun them temporarily, but they will soon find another cork to reinflate.
- Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (First appearance)