June 2007


Another of the longhorn beetles I found in a logpile (see this post). The small red dot on its leg is a parasitic mite.

Chlorophorus japonicusChlorophorus japonicus

Coleoptera: Cerambycidae
Chlorophorus japonicus
= eguri-tora-kamikiri

The third of the three species of longhorn beetles I found in a logpile (see this post). Its antennae were twice the length of its body, so it certainly was a long-horned longhorn beetle.

Monochamus subfasciatusMonochamus subfasciatus

Coleoptera: Cerambycidae
Monochamus subfasciatus
= hime-higenaga-kamikiri
[This was a little tricky to identify, so I hope that it is correct]

I thought I was really taking a photo of an ant on a leaf… but after looking at the preview of the first shot to see whether it was in focus, I suddenly realized that it was in fact an ant-mimicking spider (arigumo)! Amazing mimicry. It was only around 5mm so I couldn’t see much detail with my own eyes (poor eyesight!) but looking at the photos, you can see that it is holding up its front legs to look like antennae. It seems that this kind of jumping spider might mimic ants in order to hunt them, or maybe as a protective measure to prevent themselves from being eaten by predators (birds or wasps) that typically avoid ants because of the formic acid they produce.

Myrmarachne spp.Myrmarachne spp.Myrmarachne spp.Myrmarachne spp.

Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Salticidae (jumping spider)
Myrmarachne spp. (Myrmarachne japonica?) = arigumo

This yellow cranefly (kiirohoso-gaganbo) was resting on a leaf in a neighbour’s garden.

Nephrotoma virgataNephrotoma virgata

Diptera: Tipulidae
Nephrotoma virgata = kiirohoso-gaganbo

Found on a forest track. Very easy to identify with the characteristic white spots on its forewings.

forest trackEdessena hamada

Lepidoptera: Noctuidae
Edessena hamada = ooshirahoshi-atsuba

This noctuid moth (haguruma-tomoe-ga) was in amongst the grass in a dry bushy area next to the forest. Its red abdomen was visible when it flew.

Spirama helicinaSpirama helicina

Lepidoptera: Noctuidae
Spirama helicina = haguruma-tomoe-ga

Well, the weather’s hot and the mosquitoes are out in force again. I was trying to take photos of beetles in the forest this morning and, in the process, was donating blood to hundreds of mosquitoes. I need to start using repellent again. This species is called the Asian Tiger Mosquito or Forest Day Mosquito (Japanese= hitosujishima-ka) and it is pretty nasty! In fact, the scientific name for the genus Aedes comes from the Greek word for unpleasant or odious. It is known to carry dengue fever (but not in Japan luckily). The species is easy to identify with its black and white striped legs.

Link to Wikipedia article on this species: Aedes albopictus

Aedes albopictusAedes albopictus

Diptera: Culicidae
Aedes albopictus = Asian Tiger Mosquito = hitosujishima-ka

There were several of these colourful yellow-spotted leaf beetles (kiboshi-tsutsuhamushi) on some flowering sweet chestnut trees in the woods near our house. Quite a lot of other stuff too, which hopefully I’ll be able to identify and upload to this site.

Cryptocephalus perelegansCryptocephalus perelegans

Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae
Cryptocephalus perelegans = kiboshi-tsutsuhamushi

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