It was really warm and sunny today (around 25 degrees Centigrade) which brought out the reptiles. The kids caught ten lizards in the garden! And, while walking along a stream not far from the house, I spotted my first snake of the year: an 80cm-long shimahebi (Elaphe quadrivirgata). Unfortunately, it gave me the slip so I didn’t manage to get any decent pictures (just the one below of its body)…
This leaf beetle is quite small (about 5mm) but its coloration really makes it stand out. When I went for a walk this morning, I found lots of them on the plants growing alongside the stream that runs through the fields near my home. There were plenty of other leaf beetles too, but I haven’t identified them yet.
Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae (hamushi-ka): Cryptocephalus signaticeps (kuroboshi tsutsuhamushi)
We found a few of these tiny jewel beetles (tamamushi) on some leaves. They have white undulating lines across the elytra (hence the latin name “quadriundulatus”).
Coleoptera: Buprestidae (jewel beetles)
Coraebus quadriundulatus = shiroobi-nakaboso-tamamushi
Location: Near Munakata Common
Google map: here
This female oil beetle (blister beetle) was a surprise find – just sitting there in the open (and unable to fly or run)! Obviously very confident that the caustic “oil” that exudes from her limbs would be adequate protection from predators!! I found a male specimen last year and wrote quite a lot of information about oil beetles (here ).
Coleoptera: Meloidae: Meloe coarctatus (hime tsuchihanmyou)
(I hope this identification is correct)
This is a female (look here for male)
I went out specifically to find longhorn beetles today, so I was very pleased to find this nice specimen on oilseed rape (nanohana). It’s a red bamboo longhorn beetle (benikamikiri). I’d wanted to take it home to show the kids, but unfortunately it flew off just after I took the 4th photo – you can see that its wingcases (elytra) are beginning to open.
Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Purpuricenus temminckii (benikamikiri)
Found a group of approximately 50 yellow and black tussock moth caterpillars on ivy wrapped around a chestnut tree. Tussock moths are so-named because the caterpillars have four distinctive dorsal tufts of hair. The species I found is called dokuga – meaning poison moth – presumably because the caterpillars have poisonous hairs.
Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae: Artaxa subflava (dokuga)