April 2006


Longhorn moths are pretty small but they have extremely long antennae (twice as long as the wings!). I’d never seen this type of moth before, but was lucky enough to find both a male and a female today. The female’s antennae have a thicker feathery section at the base.

Nemophora auriferaNemophora aurifera

Adelidae: Nemophora aurifera (hosoobihigenaga-ga)

I spent about 4 hours wandering around the small area of woodland about 100 meters from our house. The area has several clearings (sweet chestnut groves), a couple of ponds, and some mikan (orange) groves. Hardly anyone ever goes there and it’s a wildlife haven. The perfect place to spend a day looking for bugs.

chestnut grovedeadnettles and vetchCow parsleyorange grove
deadnettlesdeadnettles and vetch

Some of the most common plants:
sweet chestnut: kuri
dead nettle: odorikosou
vetch: karasunoendou
hedge parsley: yabujirami (seri-ka) – covered in bugs!

Great website for plant identification: http://www.botanic.jp/index.htm
Another plant website: http://www.mitomori.co.jp/hanazukan/hanazukan.html

This longhorn beetle was tiny – only about 5mm long. It was crawling around on the dense white flower cluster of a cow/hedge parsley (umbelliferae) and looked at first to be just another fly. But then I realized that it wasn’t a fly and had a more careful look. I’ve never seen a longhorn as small as this and I think it must be one of the smallest species there is.
Rhaphuma diminutaRhaphuma diminutaRhaphuma diminutaRhaphuma diminuta

Family: Cerambycidae
Sub-family: Cerambycinae
Species: Rhaphuma diminuta (himekurotora kamikiri)
[I’m not certain of this identification, but it seems to be correct, especially because of its small size]

Caught a glimpse of something red and very nearly passed it by, thinking it was a ladybird, but decided to have a closer look. Surprised to find that instead of a ladybird it was my first leaf rolling weevil (ashinaga otoshibumi). Very pleased with this find. I’ve seen them in books before, but had no idea that they lived around here. These beetles are quite strange-looking with elongated heads and thickened forelegs (femur). Called leaf-rollers because the female beetles lay their eggs on leaves and then roll the leaves up into protective cases for the young.

Phialodes rufipennis02Phialodes rufipennisPhialodes rufipennis

Super-family: Curculionoidea (weevils)
Family: Attelabidae (leaf-rolling weevils)
Species: Phialodes rufipennis (ashinaga otoshibumi)
[Link to info: http://www.d1.dion.ne.jp/~k_izawa/.]

Location: village lane near Munakata Common
Plant: Umbelliferae (seri); hedge parsley? (yabujirami?)

Phialodes rufipennisPhialodes rufipennis

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