A pretty poor photo I know, but this little leaf beetle flew off before I could get a second shot…

Lema diversa

Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles)
Lema decempunctata
= tohoshi-kubi-boso-hamushi

Location: On the edge of Munakata Common (map)

This entry was posted in Coleoptera, Insects. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to

  1. Rod Walters says:

    Hi Nigel,

    I’m from Bristol and I live in Matsuyama. I sometimes visit your blog to find out about fauna that I see around here. This time I came to check about the deathly potential of karasu-hebi. The farmers around here insist they’re poisonous and they wagged their fingers at me the other day when I discussed it with them over sake.

    I seem to have been misinformed about the Japanese name of the beetle in this post. I’ve only ever seen them on kuko plants and I marvelled at their ability to appear only on those plants, even though there were only five in my garden and one about a mile away. I’ve posted a bit about them in these posts; http://matsuyama-eco-home.blogspot.com/search?q=leaf+beetle

    Do you happen to know what else they feed on? They made growing kuko so miserable that I gave up (two can play at beggar thy neighbour!) People around here say that kuko used to be a common wild plant but there are none now. I wonder if this beetle is responsible for that.

  2. Nigel says:

    Hi Rod,
    Great to hear from you! Thanks so much for comments.

    Yes, a lot of farmers are really too anti-nature in my opinion. They assume all snakes are venomous and kill them on sight. Karasu-hebi are non-venomous but they do act all tough when you grab them!

    I’m sorry but I had to laugh at your description of the beetle problem you’ve been having. For once “little shits” seems to be a description rather than an insult! However, I’ve never heard of them being called kuso-hamushi and when I searched for that name in katakana, there were only 7 results, the main one being the site you had already found. If you search for the name in all my beetle books, tohoshi-kubi-hoso-hamushi, you get 2,000 hits. Here’s a good one for larvae photos: http://aoki2.si.gunma-u.ac.jp/youtyuu/HTMLs/tobosikubibosohamusi.html

    It seems that they only eat kuko.

    I looked at your blog — fantastic stuff!!!
    I hope we get the chance to meet some time. If you’re ever in Fukuoka, let’s go out for a beer.

  3. Rod Walters says:

    Hi Nigel,

    Thanks for the response.

    tohoshi-kubi-hoso-hamushi … that’s a big name for a crappy little beetle that eats only kuko.

    Today when I cycled along the sea wall, I spotted a kuko in a field. I checked it for ‘tohoshi-kubi-hoso-hamushi’ but there were none, to my surprise. But instead, it was afflicted by a ghastly blight that made raised black blisters on all of the leaves. Half the branches were bare. This is possibly one of the most miserable plants I’ve ever encountered.

    I’ll certainly give you a shout if we go to Kyushu again. Do let me know if you’re likely to be in Matsuyama.

Comments are closed.