When I first saw this tiny clearwing moth (sukashiba), I thought it was indeed a little wasp, but then I noticed it had a thick hairy body, so I realized what it was. Their defence mechanism is, of course, that looking like a wasp helps to protect them from predators.
There are about 40 species of clearwing moth in Japan, so I am not certain of my identification. However, it looks most similar to the pictures of Trichocerota constricta (munabuto-hime-sukashiba) on JPmoth. I was confused at first because it didn’t seem to have the distinctive forelegs of this species, but looking at the side view (picture 6), it is possible to see that the forelegs are tucked under the wings, and the middle legs are in the forward position.
Thank you to Professor Yutaka Arita (Meijo University, Faculty of Agriculture) for confirming my identification. He sent me an email saying that this is a female.
Trichocerota constricta = munabuto-hime-sukashiba
Location: On vegetation next to a pond (near Konominato, Fukuoka)
The family Oedemeridae includes pollen-feeding beetles that are commonly called false blister beetles in English. The Japanese name kamikiri-modoki means false longhorn (kamikiri). I found this specimen on a vending machine at night (near Inunaki Dam in Fukuoka).
Xanthochroa katoi = katou-kamikiri-modoki
I found this beautiful Saturniid moth (oomizuao) hanging onto the front of a vending machine at the side of a mountain road (near Inunaki Dam). Apparently the adults lack functioning mouthparts, so they only live for a couple of weeks. What a pity that they spend their two weeks of life bumping into the lights of roadside vending machines!
This species (Actias artemis) looks very similar to the Luna Moth (Actias luna) that is found in North America. You can see a picture here.
Actias artemis = oomizuao
Most “darkling beetles” (tenebrionids) are black, as the name suggests, but this species (kiiro-kuchi-mushi) is bright yellow. I found this specimen among some dead leaves next to a vending machine at night (near Inunaki Dam).
Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae (darkling beetles)
Cteniopinus hypocrita = kiiro-kuchi-mushi
At around 25mm, this is one of the biggest species of click beetle in Japan. I found this one under a lighted signboard on a mountain road (near Inunaki Dam in Fukuoka). This specimen is a female. The male has very large feathery antennae. [Note: You can see part of one wing poking out from under the elytra.]
Coleoptera: Elateridae (click beetles)
Pectocera fortunei = hige-kometsuki
This pair of clearwing moths (oomomobuto-sukashiba) were very difficult to access – on some vegetation in the middle of a stream and it was also getting dark – hence the terrible focus. Better JPmoth pictures here. Looking quite similar to bumblebees, they are probably less prone to predation by birds.
Melittia sangaica nipponica = oomomobuto-sukashiba
Large clearwing moth
This quite large longhorn beetle flew into the tree above me while I was looking at a harvest mouse. It was about a meter above my head so I stretched up to take a photo, which disturbed it so it fell off the leaf and… landed on my trousers. Very convenient!
Acalolepta luxuriosa luxuriosa = sen-no-kamikiri
This juvenile harvest mouse (kaya-nezumi) was sitting on a fern right next to the path. It posed for a couple of photos and then scrambled off into the undergrowth.
Class: Mammalia; Order: Rodentia; Family: Muridae
Micromys minutus = Harvest mouse (kaya-nezumi)
Lots of these small blue longhorns (ramii-kamikiri) on plants at the side of a path next to rice fields.
Paraglenea fortunei = ramii-kamikiri