Shinobu and I went to Oshima in Munakata today. Lots of nature, but the best find of the day was this 1.5m Japanese Ratsnake (aodaisho). A beautiful creature. I caught it so that we could take a closer look. It went crazy after I grabbed it and wrapped itself around my arm, which took a bit of time to untangle as it was quite strong. Of course it was unharmed by the experience and slithered off into the bushes after I released it.

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Japanese Ratsnake = Elaphe climacophora
In Japanese = aodaisho

I spotted this orange hairstreak butterfly sitting on a leaf on the side of Mt Joyama in Munakata. You can see that it appears to have another “head” (with antennae) at the back, at the lower edge of the wings. Several kinds of butterflies have these. The theory is that this has evolved to fool predators into attacking the wrong part of the body… In other words, if a bird tries to grab this butterfly by it’s head, it might be the fake head, and the butterfly can escape. Very cunning.

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Orange Hairstreak (Japonica lutea) = aka-shijimi in Japanese

I found a bigger worm than this a few years ago, but this was still a very impressive specimen. Around 35cm long. I’m no expert on worms, so I cannot identify it with certainty but it seems to be Siebold’s Worm = Metaphire sieboldi (also known as Pheretima sieboldi) = shiiboruto-mimizu.

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I found lots of these weird plants on the side of Kane-yama (Mt Kane) in Munakata today. I couldn’t find them in my plant book so I searched on Internet using the phrase: weird white ghost like plants in the forest. Amazingly, this search brought up the correct thing immediately and it’s actually called a Ghost Plant, or Indian Pipe in North America.
This plant has no chlorophyll, hence the white colour, which also means that it cannot make its own food. Instead, it is a parasite (or symbiote) of underground fungi that, in turn, are symbiotes living on the roots of trees, from which they gain food. It’s a pretty complicated relationship!
Ghost plant = Monotropa uniflora = gin-ryousou-modoki (Japanese)
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Found this large ground beetle trying to drag an earthworm across the road…
It’s a species of Carabus; probably Carabus Dehaanii (Japanese: oo-osa-mushi).

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Eastern Reef Heron = kuro-sagi
In the satsuki-matsubara near Konominato in Munakata

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Japanese Green Pigeon = aobato
In the satsuki-matsubara near Konominato in Munakata

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There are so many cormorants (kawa-u) in Ohori Park — some on posts and lots all over a tree on a small island in the lake. It was interesting to see that they share the tree with several kites (tobi or tombi).

Common cormorant = kawa-u
(in Ohori Park, Fukuoka)

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There are so many cormorants (kawa-u) in Ohori Park — some on posts and lots all over a tree on a small island in the lake. It was interesting to see that they share the tree with several kites (tobi or tombi).

Common cormorant = kawa-u
(in Ohori Park, Fukuoka)

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European Wigeon = hidori-gamo
(in Ohori Park, Fukuoka)

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