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Gligar is a purple, bat-like Pokémon. Its head and body are round and roughly equal in size. It has long, triangular ears and triangular eyes with small pupils. Two large pointed teeth protrude from its upper jaw, and a pink tongue is often seen lolling from its mouth. Its arms are segmented at the wrists and end in large pincers. Spread between its arms are two blue wing membranes, each tipped with a purple claw. Its legs are thin and likewise segmented at the ankles, with its round feet having one claw each. Gligar has a long tail split into spherical sections, ending in a large, round stinger. The female Gligar will have a smaller stinger than the male.
As shown in the anime, Gligar can emit sound waves to detect obstacles and fly around them. It glides smoothly and silently through the air with its limbs extended, and startles its prey and enemies by flying straight toward them. It attacks by clamping onto its enemy's face with its clawed hind legs and pincers, then jabbing it with its poisonous stinger. Gligar lives in mountainous regions, making its nest along cliff sides. When it is done gliding, it hops along the ground back to its nest.