May 2007

Found in the grounds of Fukuoka Women’s University. This moth is not a good flier and is therefore presumably poisonous (if eaten by birds I mean), hence the bright colors. I couldn’t find a common name for this species, but its Japanese name is hiroobi-tombo-edashaku. A related and very similar-looking species (Cystidia couaggaria) is a pest of apples and other fruit trees – the caterpillars are referred to as plum cankerworms.

Cystidia truncangulataCystidia truncangulataCystidia truncangulataCystidia truncangulata

Lepidoptera: Geometridae (shakuga): Ennominae (edashaku)
Cystidia truncangulata = hiroobi-tombo-edashaku.

I found this incredible caterpillar on a tree at the side of a popular jogging track next to Nagatani Dam in Kashii, Fukuoka. What a beaut!!

Brahmaea japonicaBrahmaea japonicaBrahmaea japonicaBrahmaea japonica

Lepidoptera: Brahmaeidae
Brahmaea japonica
Japanese Owl Silkmoth = ibotaga

Location: Nagatani Dam, Kashii, Fukuoka (Google map)

On top of Mt Yukawa. This big dragonfly zoomed in and grabbed a butterfly right in front of my eyes. Very impressive!

I took a few photos but the dragonfly flew off, still carrying the butterfly. About half an hour later, by chance, I came across the half-eaten butterfly further down the hill.

Anax nigrofasciatusGraphium sarpedon nipponum

Anax nigrofasciatus = kurosuji gin yanma

Graphium sarpedon nipponum = aosuji ageha

Mt. Yukawa (471m) is the mountain that stands between our home and the sea. I’d climbed it a few times before, but Shinobu and the kids had never been up, so we decided to drive to the upper trailhead and hike the final one kilometer to the summit. The view is fantastic – looking out over Hatsu Harbor and Okagaki and along the coast as far as Kitakyushu. Lots of insects up there, too. We picked up a few ants to put in Aya’s “antquarium.”

Climbing Mt YukawaView from Mt YukawaView from Mt YukawaView from Mt Yukawa

This bird is called a Melodious Laughingthrush or Hwamei, which comes from the Chinese for “painted eyebrow.” According to the research article below, it’s one of the most popular pet species in China.
Biodiversity research: Wildlife Trade in Southern China.
Also see Wikipedia article: here.

Passeriformes: Timaliidae
Leucodioptron canorum (aka. Garrulax canorus)
Hwamei = Melodious Laughingthrush = gabichou

Location: Munakata (google map here)

The Japanese name for this beetle is “Uri” (gourd) Leaf Beetle because of the shape.

Aulacophora indicaAulacophora indica

Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae
Aulacophora indica
“Uri” (gourd) Leaf Beetle = uri-hamushi

Location: In our garden.

We gave Aya an “antquarium” for her birthday and she wanted to catch some ants to put in it, so we went into the forest to find some. We found a nest and she collected ten or so ants. Once she put them into the antquarium, they immediately got to work tunneling into the blue gel, which also functions as their food source according to the instructions. Link to supplier here:

We also found a queen, but unfortunately she died before we could put her into the antquarium…

Camponotus japonicusCamponotus japonicusCamponotus japonicusantquariumantquariumantquariumCamponotus japonicus

Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae
Carpenter ant = Camponotus japonicus = Kuro-oo-ari

This tiny (8mm) longhorn was on a leaf in the garden and at first I thought it was a weevil. Then I looked a bit closer and saw the long antennae. It would be almost impossible to spot on tree bark.

Pterolophia granulataPterolophia granulataPterolophia granulataPterolophia granulata

Coleoptera: Cerambycidae:
Pterolophia granulata
= atomonsabi kamikiri

This species of sawfly (shimajiro kuro habachi) seems to be pretty common, jumping from leaf to leaf hunting for prey. It is easy to identify with the distinctive white tips to its antennae and a white/yellow spot on its thorax.

Macrophya apicalisMacrophya apicalis

Insecta: Hymenoptera: Symphyta (sawflies) = habachi
Macrophya apicalis = shimajiro kuro habachi

There are so many wild strawberries (no-ichigo) in our local area. It’s always nice to be able to eat them when going for a stroll…

wild strawberries

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