Pokémon has previously used a documentary/nature show-styled format to reveal a new form or species. When promoting Sword and Shield, The Pokémon Company hosted a 24-hour live stream in Galar’s Glimwood Tangle, which gave viewers a sneak peek at Impidimp and Galarian Ponyta. For Legends: Arceus, found footage revealed the existence of Hisuian Zorua and Zoroark in Alabaster Icelands.
Following a similar style to the previous research reveals, a mock seminar known as “World Pokémon Ecological Society” revealed the existence of a new Pokémon. A survey among the in-universe Pokémon students resulted in the majority hypothesizing the creature as a Paldean Diglett before their homeroom teacher Jacq confirmed it as an entirely new species known as Wiglett.
SEA THE NEW POKÉMON, WIGLETT!
Wiglett is a Water Type, classified as the Garden Eel Pokémon. It measures 3’11” (1.2 m) and weighs 4 lbs (1.8 kg), and its abilities are Gooey and Rattled. Its design draws inspiration from garden eels, a kind of eel that keeps itself partly buried in the seafloor. Since they tend to live in groups, the many eel heads poking out of their burrows resemble a garden.
Although Wiglett resembles Diglett, it is coincidental and merely the result of adaptation to its environment. This references real-life convergent evolution, in which unrelated species independently develop similar traits because of similar evolutionary pressures. Researchers in Paldea initially thought Wiglett to be a regional form for its superficial similarities to Diglett, yet further research deemed it a different Pokémon. The cries for both Pokémon are completely different, supporting this statement.
Wiglett keeps its body burrowed in the sand while poking its head out to feed. As with Diglett, it is unclear what the rest of its body looks like or how long it actually is. Because Wiglett is based on a garden eel, it might not have any limbs whatsoever.
Wiglett has a strong sense of smell that allows it to detect scents from over 60 feet (18 m) away. It has a skittish personality and is cautious of its surroundings, burrowing to hide from other Pokémon upon detection.
Wiglett’s name is a combination of “water” or “wiggle”, and Diglett. Its Japanese name ウミディグダ (Umidigda) is literally “Sea Diglett”, the French name Taupikeau combines Taupiqueur (Diglett’s French name) and “eau” (water), and the German name Schligda combines “Schlick” (silt, mud, ooze) and Digda (Diglett’s Japanese and German names). All of its names reference how it resembles an aquatic Diglett.
Although Wiglett’s battling capabilities are yet to be confirmed, its abilities imply its use as a Pokémon providing Speed control. Rattled, once exclusive as a Hidden Ability, increases the Speed of the Pokémon when hit by Bug, Ghost, or Dark moves. Gooey, formerly exclusive to both versions of the Goomy family, slows down opponents that make contact with the Pokémon. However, conjecturing from the Diglett family’s fragility, it might be risky for Wiglett to take a hit for Speed manipulation.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are set for a worldwide release on November 18, 2022, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.