Phasmida


I decided to go to one of my favourite insect-hunting spots today. It’s a hot 3km walk from my house but it’s worth the effort because the place is always teeming with life. The path leaves the road next to a stream and climbs up through overgrown sweet chestnut groves to some mikan orchards on the side of the hill. I never seem to make it to the top in summer because there’s so much to see (and photograph!) on the way up. What takes me 30 minutes to walk in the winter takes 4 or 5 hours in the summer!

I found three stick insects of two different species at the entrance to the path today. There were two male red-striped stick insects (eda-nanafushi) and one Japanese spiny stick insect (toge-nanafushi).

Phraortes illepidusPhraortes illepidusPhraortes illepidus

Phasmatodea: Phasmatidae
Phraortes illepidus
stick insect = eda-nanafushi

Neohirasea japonicaNeohirasea japonica

Phasmatodea: Phasmatidae
Neohirasea japonica
stick insect = toge-nanafushi

Location: forest area near Ikeda Village in Munakata (aerial photo)
Map: Google map link

Extremely hot day for walking today! We didn’t get so far but made some exciting discoveries, chief among which was this beautiful red-striped stick insect (eda-nanafushi). I should point out that only the male of this species has the red stripes.

Phraortes illepidusPhraortes illepidusPhraortes illepidusPhraortes illepidus

Phasmatodea: Phasmatidae
Phraortes illepidus
= eda-nanafushi
= stick insect or walking stick

Location: forest area near Ikeda Village in Munakata (aerial photo)
Map: Google map link

This species can be distinguished from other stick insects in Japan by its short antennae. In Japanese it is called a “false stick insect” (nanafushi-modoki), but in fact it’s in the same family.

Baculum irregulariterdentatumBaculum irregulariterdentatumBaculum irregulariterdentatumBaculum irregulariterdentatum

Phasmatodea: Phasmatidae
Baculum irregulariterdentatum
= nanafushi-modoki (lit. “false stick insect”)
= stick insect or walking stick

Location: forest area near Ikeda Village in Munakata (aerial photo)
Map: Google map link

It was great to find this stick insect (nanafushi) today. I remember keeping them as pets when I was a kid in the UK – we had to buy them from an insect supplier – and now I live somewhere that has them in the wild! In fact, there are 18 species of stick insect in Japan, so I’m hoping to find some more in the future.

Sipyloidea sipylusSipyloidea sipylusSipyloidea sipylusSipyloidea sipyluspath near Hyoutan Pond

Phasmatodea = Phasmida
Sipyloidea sipylus
Pink-winged stick insect = taiwan-tobi-nanafushi

Location: path near Hyoutan Pond (map)