Hummingbird hawkmoths (hoshihoujaku) are amazing to watch, darting from flower to flower and hovering to drink the nectar. I’ve noticed plenty in the garden this week, but failed to get any pictures until yesterday evening. I used the flash which helped to reduce the motion blur, but these photos are still far from perfect. I’ll try again soon.
Hummingbird Hawkmoth = hoshihoujaku = Macroglossum pyrrhosticta
Saw lots of Dryad Butterflies (janomechou) in the bushes and grass, but they were very easily disturbed so I ended up taking a couple of photos using the telephoto.
Dryad Butterfly = janomechou = Minois dryas bipunctatus
Hoverflies (hanaabu) are not the easiest things to photograph, but this one obligingly stopped flying for a few seconds!
Here’s a web site all about hoverflies in Japan: http://homepage2.nifty.com/syrphidae/index.htm
I found this hawk moth on the door of my car and recognized it as an Impatiens Hawk Moth (sesujisuzume), a moth that I’d been hoping to see since finding a caterpillar last year (here).
Impatiens Hawk Moth = sesujisuzume = Theretra oldenlandiae
This female gypsy moth (maimaiga) had not long emerged from its pupa, and was sitting in a conifer tree. I’m not sure about the situation in Japan, but in the United States, the gypsy moth is a very serious pest of hardwood trees.
Japanese Gypsy Moth = maimaiga = Lymantria dispar japonica
female (80-90mm) male (45-50mm)
Wikipedia article about the Gypsy Moth
I found this tiger moth (kanokoga) in the evening in dense vegetation.
Yellow Tiger Moth = kihadakanoko = Amata germana nigricauda
In Japanese, weevils are called zoumushi, which means “elephant insects,” because their heads are elongated into a beak or rostrum (with mandibles at the end). The species I found today had a relatively short rostrum. It had a very effective defence behavior – dropping from the leaf when disturbed. In the second picture below you can see it has flattened itself against the leaf and is hanging on with only the legs on one side, the other legs tucked in ready to drop. As soon as I moved closer, it released its hold, fell and disappeared somewhere in the undergrowth.
Weevil = shirokobu zoumushi = Episomus turritus
There were so many swallowtail butterflies (ageha) flying around our neighborhood this afternoon. I managed to get pictures of both a male and a female. These really are magnificent butterflies.
Swallowtail = namiageha = Papilio xuthus
Found a nice web site today:
Butterflies of Miyazaki
The children insisted on buying a pair of Japanese Rhinoceros Beetles (kabutomushi). They are now enjoying life in a big tank in our living room, stuffing their faces with fruit jelly (which I’m sure is not a common food in the wild!). This is a breeding pair so we hope that the female will lay eggs soon and then we can see the whole life cycle.
These beetles are magnificent creatures and are very popular summer pets in Japan. The ones we bought were relatively cheap at 2,000 yen for the pair, but the most expensive ones (bigger tropical species) in the same shop were 21,000 yen each!
Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle = kabutomushi = Allomyrina dichotoma