Category Archives: Hymenoptera

Ants, bees, hornets, wasps

Hornet

There are several species of hornet in Japan. This one is Vespa tropica pulchra (hime-suzume-bachi ) and it is said to be the least aggressive and least toxic of the hornets. It is easy to identify because, unlike other hornets, … Continue reading

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Potter Wasp

Hymenoptera: Eumenidae Eumenes micado Mikado Potter Wasp = mikado-tokkuri-bachi Location: path near Hyoutan Pond (map)

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Hornet

Found another species of hornet (kogata-suzume-bachi) today. This one was hunting around some plants/flowers next to the river. These hornets attack bees/wasps and carry the meat of the thoraxes back to their nests. Japanese hornets page (in Japanese) = here. … Continue reading

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Paper Wasp Nest

We found this beautiful wasps’ nest this morning – in someone’s garden hedge. The kids thought the caps on the cells looked like tiny tennis balls. These are paper wasps (ashinaga-bachi) and they feed their young on chewed-up (= masticated) … Continue reading

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Catching ants

We gave Aya an “antquarium” for her birthday and she wanted to catch some ants to put in it, so we went into the forest to find some. We found a nest and she collected ten or so ants. Once … Continue reading

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White-tipped sawfly

This species of sawfly (shimajiro kuro habachi) seems to be pretty common, jumping from leaf to leaf hunting for prey. It is easy to identify with the distinctive white tips to its antennae and a white/yellow spot on its thorax. … Continue reading

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Carpenter ants nuptial flight

These are pretty big ants (around 10mm long). The hole was in sandy soil and opened directly (i.e. without a mound). The nuptial flight was just about to start when I came across the hole, and it was interesting to … Continue reading

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Digger Wasp

Adult digger wasps (jigabachi) feed on pollen. They also hunt caterpillars, but they use these as food for their young. The adult female digs a burrow in the sand, catches a caterpillar, which she paralyzes using a special poison, and … Continue reading

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Two species of hornet

This was at night in a forest park near Nogata, called Tsurugi-dake Natural Park (map here), and it’s a great place to find stag beetles (kuwagata) and Japanese rhinoceros beetles (kabuto-mushi). I found two species of hornet (and lots of other things!) feeding … Continue reading

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Japanese carpenter bee

Walking along a path in Tsurugidake Nature Park (in Kurate, Fukuoka), I was stopped in my tracks by this big male carpenter bee (kumabachi = “bear bee” in Japanese) which kept flying straight towards me and hovering in front of … Continue reading

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