June 2010


It’s very hot and humid today and rain is forecast so I almost didn’t go out… But I couldn’t resist the urge to go and look for beetles! The best find of the day was this flower longhorn beetle, which I’d never seen before. It’s very wasp-like in appearance.

Leptura ochraceofasciataLeptura ochraceofasciataLeptura ochraceofasciataLeptura ochraceofasciata

Coleoptera: Cerambycidae
Leptura ochraceofasciata
Four-banded flower longhorn beetle (my translation) = yotsu-suji-hana-kamikiri

Location: Near Genkai Golf Club in Munakata (map here)

Walking home from the train station last night, I stopped at every vending machine to see what had been attracted to the lights. This is a false blister beetle (“false longhorn” is the translation of the Japanese).

Xanthochroa?hilleriXanthochroa hilleri

Coleoptera: Oedemeridae (false blister beetles):
Xanthochroa hilleri
False blister beetle = ki-iro-kamikiri-modoki

Location: Munakata Common (map)

I walked the 6km from the train station to my house last night — arriving home around midnight. This was by choice of course because I wanted to check for insects on all the vending machines, which act as great light traps in the countryside. There are about 20 on the way home. I found a few moths, bugs, and beetles. The most interesting was this fungus weevil; something I’d never seen before. It is not a true weevil because it lacks a rostrum (“snout”) and this species has unusually shaped antennae.

Ozotomerus nigromaculatusOzotomerus nigromaculatusOzotomerus nigromaculatusOzotomerus nigromaculatus

Coleoptera: Anthribidae (fungus weevils):
Ozotomerus nigromaculatus
Fungus Weevil = futamon-tsutsu-hige-naga-zoumushi

Location: Munakata Common (map)

I spent a couple of hours rooting around in what should be called “mosquito city” — an overgrown and forgotten corner of my local community that seems to be the main source of all the mosquitoes in the area. Being an altruistic soul, I fed them thoroughly so hopefully they will leave everyone else alone for a while!!
And the reason I spent so long there… I found lots of interesting things to photograph. The best find for me today was this rather nice weevil. Very tropical-looking!

Aplotes roelofsiAplotes roelofsiAplotes roelofsi

Coleoptera: Curculionidae:
Aplotes roelofsi
Weevil = tohoshi-osa-zoumushi

Location: Munakata Common (map)

This was a great find! It’s a small spider wasp (about 10mm) carrying a fairly big spider. The wasp seems to have bitten off the spider’s legs — presumably to make carrying it easier. The wasp will dig a hole and place the paralyzed spider inside. It will lay one or more eggs and, after hatching, the wasp’s larvae will then feed on the spider.

It was difficult to get a photo because it wouldn’t keep still. Also, I didn’t want to disturb it too much because it would have dropped its prey and flown away.
It’s a pity that I can’t identify it at the moment. I’ll try again later.

PriocnemisPriocnemis

Hymenoptera: Pompilidae (Spider Wasps)
Priocnemis species?
Spider Wasp = bekkou

Location: Munakata Common (map)

I found lots of these elm leaf beetles today — probably 20 or more. I hope that doesn’t mean the local elm trees are in trouble…

Pyrrhalta maculicollisPyrrhalta maculicollis

Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles)
Pyrrhalta maculicollis
Elm leaf beetle = nire-hamushi

Location: Munakata Common (map)

Rei and I went for a short walk near the house and found two of these metallic green/red jewel beetles. This species is wood boring and probably a pest, but that doesn’t stop it from being a very beautiful insect.

Ovalisia vivataOvalisia vivataOvalisia vivataOvalisia vivata

Coleoptera: Buprestidae
Ovalisia vivata
Jewel beetle = masuda-kurohoshi-tamamushi

Location: Small woods next to Munakata Common (Google map)

What a beauty!! I found this lovely white longhorn beetle underneath a leaf just on the edge of the forest. It’s antennae are almost three times the length of its body. (Why?!)

Olenecamptus formosanusOlenecamptus formosanusOlenecamptus formosanusOlenecamptus formosanus

Coleoptera: Cerambycidae
Olenecamptus formosanus
= takasago-shiro-kamikiri

Location: fureiai-no-mori Forest Park in Munakata (map here)

This river turtle (or terrapin) was huge! I didn’t realise they got as big as this. It was a good 30cm long and obviously heavy — just look at the splash it made when it jumped in. The name “slider” indicates a gentle sliding into the water but this thing launched itself from the rock!
The red-eared slider is an invasive species in Japan and it has become a pest in ponds and rivers. These turtles are native to the southern USA and were first introduced to Japan as pets in the 1950s. When they are young they are relatively easy to keep but once they reach full size they are often released in ponds and rivers. They can live for 30 years or more.

Trachemys scripta elegansTrachemys scripta elegansTrachemys scripta elegansTrachemys scripta elegansTrachemys scripta elegansTrachemys scripta elegans

Reptilia: Testudines: Emydidae
Trachemys scripta elegans
Red-eared slider = mishishippi-aka-mimi-game

Location: River Hikosan in Tagawa (map here)