When I loaded up Pokémon Go today, I noticed something that was out of the ordinary. At one of the pokéstops in the nearby list, there was the silhouette of a Turtwig, as if uncaught, despite having caught many Turtwig prior.
As shown in the screenshots below, the Turtwig’s silhouette appeared even though my Pokédex shows I have caught 107 of them.
Two things came to mind:
This occurred right after the announcement of new shadow Pokémon, which Turtwig was in the list. However, the pokéstop was not being invaded by Team Rocket.
It was potentially a gender I had not caught, which acts this way on the evolution button if you do not own the gender of that evolution. However, I have both male and female Turtwigs.
So my question is: Why would a Pokémon’s silhouette appear even though I’ve caught it before? No other Pokémon behaved this way, so it seems like something was happening with this Turtwig in particular.
TL;DR: It’s probably a bug.
Pokemon GO just added Turtwig and several other Pokemon to the list of available shadow Pokemon. People have previously determined through data mining that when a shadow Pokemon is added, the internal name for the normal Pokemon changes. In this case, the internal name
TURTWIG would be replaced with
TURTWIG_PURIFIED are added. It is likely that the same was done here and that a coding mistake made the new normal Turtwig seem to be a different Pokemon from the original Turtwig.
This renaming previously caused a different bug that prevented normal forms of Kanto Pokemon that also had shadow forms from being transferred to the Pokemon Let’s Go Switch games.
People have reported experiencing the same thing in this Reddit thread, and have said that sometimes when they try to catch that Turtwig the game crashes, and if they do catch it the Grotle image in the evolve button is also a silhouette even if they have previously evolved another Turtwig.