July 2005


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.

Lepidoptera: Sphingidae
Hummingbird Hawkmoth = hoshihoujaku = Macroglossum pyrrhosticta

hummingbird hawkmothhummingbird hawkmoth

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.

Lepidoptera: Satyridae
Dryad Butterfly = janomechou = Minois dryas bipunctatus

Dryad ButterflyDryad Butterfly

Hoverflies (hanaabu) are not the easiest things to photograph, but this one obligingly stopped flying for a few seconds!

Diptera: Syrphidae

Here’s a web site all about hoverflies in Japan: http://homepage2.nifty.com/syrphidae/index.htm

hoverfly

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).

Lepidoptera: Sphingidae
Impatiens Hawk Moth = sesujisuzume = Theretra oldenlandiae

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.

Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae
Japanese Gypsy Moth = maimaiga = Lymantria dispar japonica

Japanese Gypsy MothJapanese Gypsy MothJapanese Gypsy MothJapanese Gypsy Moth

female (80-90mm) male (45-50mm)

Wikipedia article about the Gypsy Moth
Japanese Moths

I found this tiger moth (kanokoga) in the evening in dense vegetation.

Lepidoptera: Arctiidae
Yellow Tiger Moth = kihadakanoko = Amata germana nigricauda

Amata germana nigricaudaAmata germana nigricaudaAmata germana nigricaudaAmata 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.

Coleoptera: Curculionidae
Weevil = shirokobu zoumushi = Episomus turritus

Episomus turritusEpisomus 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.

Lepidoptera: Papilionidae
Swallowtail = namiageha = Papilio xuthus

Papilio xuthus (female)Papilio xuthus (male)

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

Rei reading about his new petsJapanese Rhinoceros BeetleJapanese Rhinoceros Beetle (male)Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle (female)

Saw three grey herons and two intermediate egrets near the road on the way to work this morning. Drove off the main road and parked on a farm track to take some photos from the car window. One of the herons was sunning himself on top of a bank (wings open and mouth open, facing the sun). The other birds were all hunting for frogs in the rice paddies. It was very relaxing to be able to watch these birds on the way to work – I never get tired of seeing them. A good start to the day.

Grey Heron: Ardea cinerea: aosagi
Intermediate Egret: Egretta intermedia: chuusagi

grey heron sunning itselfgrey herongrey herongrey heronintermediate egretintermediate egretintermediate egretintermediate egret

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