This Green Lacewing larva (J: kusakagerou no youchuu) was crawling across our dining room table. I think it came into the house on some vegetables. As you can see, it’s covered in debris, presumably to protect itself. Lacewing larva such as this eat other small insects, especially aphids (J: abura-mushi), so they are useful to gardeners. They are sometimes called “aphid lions”!

This is a very small mantis — about 3cm long. Munakata, Japan.
English name: Japanese boxer mantis
Japanese name: hime-kamakiri
Scientific name: Acromantis japonica

This Hirata Stag Beetle was walking along the same path as me near Yamada Village in Munakata.
Japanese name: hirata-kuwagata
Scientific name: Dorcus titanus

Lots of dragonflies (J: tombo) out and about yesterday as well. Here are two species of damselfly (smaller/thinner) and one true dragonfly.
The blue one looks like a ruler so in Japanese it’s called monosashi-tombo i.e. “ruler damselfly” (it’s a male). The brown one is a female monosashi-tombo. The one with black wings is called haguro-tombo i.e. “black-winged damselfly”. The final picture is an almost-impossible-to-photograph flying Golden-ringed dragonfly (J: oniyanma), which never seem to keep still.
monosashi-tombo = Copera annulata
haguro-tombo = Calopteryx atrata
oniyanma = Anotogaster sieboldii (probably)

This very large hoverfly looks and behaves remarkably like a wasp. It’s one of the biggest hoverflies at 20mm in length.

Japanese: shirosuji-naga-hanaabu
Scientific: Milesia undulata
Found at Yokoyama Village in Munakata (Fukuoka, Japan)

English: Angled Sunbeam
Japanese: uragin-shijimi
Scientific: Curetis acuta paracuta
Found at Yokoyama Village in Munakata (Fukuoka, Japan)

English: Japanese Oakblue Butterfly
Japanese: murasaki-shijimi
Scientific: Narathura japonica
Found at Yokoyama Village in Munakata (Fukuoka, Japan)

I met some entomologists looking for Chestnut Tiger Butterflies (asagi-madara) in our local insect park (hotaru-no-sato), but it was a windy day and pretty cool so they said that they didn’t expect to find any. The reason they were looking is that it’s part of an annual “catch and release” programme to determine the migration paths of this species. It’s amazing how far they fly — coming all the way down to Kyushu from Nagano. Munakata seems to be a popular stopping off point for them.
Anyway, by chance (and because I was looking!), I found four of these butterflies during my walk along a disused mountain road, shielded from the wind. I saw four but only managed to get photos of two of them.








Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae
Paranatica sita
Chestnut Tiger Butterfly
Japanese name = asagi-madara

This beautiful (newly emerged perhaps) Japanese Giant Silkworm Moth (Saturnia japonica, or Caligula japonica) was on a wall in Yamada Village, Munakata. It’s a native of East Asia and has a wingspan of 10-13cm.


Lepidoptera: Saturniidae
Saturnia japonica
Japanese Giant Silkworm Moth
Japanese name = kususan

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.

editDSC05263 japonica lutea

editDSC05264 japonica lutea

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

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