April 2008


This huge bumblebee (toramaru-hanabachi) was flying around taking nectar and pollen from dead nettles. I’m very happy with the shot of the bumblebee in flight.

Interesting site: UK Natural History Museum “Bombus Project” Bumblebees of the world

Bombus diversusBombus diversusBombus diversusBombus diversus

Hymenoptera: Apidae
Bombus diversus
Bumblebee = toramaru-hanabachi

Location: Near the lake above Yokoyama Village (Google map)

I’d never seen a spiky leaf beetle before, and then today I found two different species! This one is Dactylispa issikii and the other is Dactylispa subquadrata (here).

Dactylispa issikiiDactylispa issikiiDactylispa issikiiDactylispa issikiiDactylispa issikiiDactylispa issikii

Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae
Dactylispa issikii
spiky leaf beetle = take-toge-hamushi

Location: In orchards and bamboo/pine forest above Yokoyama Village (Google map)

I’d never seen a spiky leaf beetle before, and then today I found two different species! This one is Dactylispa subquadrata and the other is Dactylispa issikii (here).

Dactylispa subquadrataDactylispa subquadrataDactylispa subquadrataDactylispa subquadrata

Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae
Dactylispa subquadrata
spiky leaf beetle = katabiro-toge-hamushi

Location: In orchards and bamboo/pine forest above Yokoyama Village (Google map)

This species seems to be quite distinctive, but there are several similar species. I need to look again.

Athemus speciesAthemus speciesAthemus speciesAthemus species

Coleoptera: Cantharidae
Athemus species
Japanese = joukai

I thought that this metallic green weevil would be easy to identify, but there are several similar species in the genus Phyllobius, and other people’s photos on Internet seem to be confused. I’ll try to identify it again another time.

Phyllobius speciesPhyllobius speciesPhyllobius speciesPhyllobius species

Coleoptera: Curculionidae
Phyllobius species
Leaf Weevil = hige-boso-zoumushi

Location: In orchards and bamboo/pine forest above Yokoyama Village (Google map)

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

Aulacophora indicaAulacophora indicaAulacophora indicaAulacophora indica

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

Location: In orchards and bamboo/pine forest above Yokoyama Village (Google map)

I managed to get bitten by a couple of mosquitoes today, and was proud to capture a photo of the first one without killing it. How kind! I’m sure that the novelty of being bitten will wear off soon and I’ll be back to swatting at them as soon as I spot them!

Aedes albopictusAedes albopictus

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

Location: In orchards and bamboo/pine forest above Yokoyama Village (Google map)

The Verdalia Beetle (Rodolia cardinalis) is a very special ladybird, originally from Australia. It is famous as the first (or most) successful biological control agent, having saved the Californian citrus industry in the late 1880s from devastation by the cottony cushion scale (Icerya purchasi). According to this article from Cornell University, the 500 individuals imported from Australia bred so successfully that they wiped out the pest species in a very short time. It was also imported into Japan by the citrus industry, but has now become naturalized.

Rodolia cardinalisRodolia cardinalis

Coleoptera: Coccinellidae
Rodolia cardinalis
Verdalia beetle = bedaria-tentou

Location: In orchards and bamboo/pine forest above Yokoyama Village (Google map)

This species of ladybird comes in a wide variety of patterns. Its two most popular common names are 14-spotted ladybird and cream-spotted ladybird (UK), but these are not suited to the variety that I found! It has 12 black spots on an orange background…

Diagram of variations here: http://www2.mus-nh.city.osaka.jp/learning/Ent/Ladybeetle-key/calvia-quatuordecim.html

Calvia quatuordecimguttata

Coleoptera: Coccinellidae (lady beetles)
Calvia quatuordecimguttata
14-spotted Ladybird = cream-spotted Ladybird = shiro-juushi-boshi-tentou

Location: In orchards and bamboo/pine forest above Yokoyama Village (Google map)

I found many of these leaf-rolling weevils (hime-kuro-otoshibumi) today – mainly on young sweet chestnut leaves. The female beetle lays an egg on a leaf and then rolls it up to provide protection and a food source for the grub.

Apoderus erythrogasterApoderus erythrogasterApoderus erythrogasterApoderus erythrogasterApoderus erythrogaster

Coleoptera: Attelabidae
Apoderus erythrogaster
leaf-rolling weevil = hime-kuro-otoshibumi

Location: Near Munakata Common(Google map)

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