Dragonfly: Anotogaster sieboldii

Magnificent!! This is the largest species of dragonfly in Japan and, at 10cm long, it’s an impressive sight. This one was zooming around a clearing and it flew just above my head several times before settling on a remarkably convenient perch — convenient enough for me to sneak up and take lots of photos. I was amazed at how tolerant he was of me and I managed to get within about 50cm before he flew away. A few fly-bys later he settled back on the exact same plant so I took even more photos. I loved the way he cleaned his big green eyes with his forelegs — he’s got to keep his eyes clean to hunt on the wing.

Anotogaster sieboldiiAnotogaster sieboldiiAnotogaster sieboldiiAnotogaster sieboldii

Odonata: Cordulegastridae
Anotogaster sieboldii
golden-ringed dragonfly = oni-yanma

Location: Yokoyama Village near Munakata Common (Google map link)

Nature’s Smiley

Cyrtarachne inaequalis

What a cute and unusual thing to find — a natural smiley in the forest!! I couldn’t decide what it was at first as it was only about 8mm across. I was just thinking it might be a young snail when it suddenly dropped off the leaf on a silk thread. Oh, a spider!! It’s a kind of orb-weaver spider and its Japanese name means that it looks like a bird dropping. It should be called the Smiley Spider instead.

Cyrtarachne inaequalisCyrtarachne inaequalis

Arachnida: Araneidae
Cyrtarachne inaequalis
orb-weaver spider (lit. “bird dropping spider”) = oo-tori-no-fun-damashi

Location: Yokoyama Village near Munakata Common (Google map link)

Weevil: Mesalcidodes trifidus

I often see these big black and white weevils hanging onto leaves like a cross between a koala and a (very small) panda! They walk very deliberately and drop off the leaf when disturbed. I think they are among my favourites.

Mesalcidodes trifidusMesalcidodes trifidusMesalcidodes trifidus

Coleoptera: Curculionidae (weevils)
Mesalcidodes trifidus
Weevil = ojiro-ashi-naga-zoumushi

Location: Yokoyama Village near Munakata Common (Google map link)

Skeletonized leaf

It’s remarkable how these Japanese beetles skeletonize leaves — they’re little artists really!!

Popillia japonica

Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Rutelinae (Shining Leaf Chafers)
Popillia japonica
Japanese beetle = mame-kogane

Location: Yokoyama Village near Munakata Common (Google map link)

Katydid: Gampsocleis buergeri

These huge katydids (bush-crickets) are everywhere at the moment. They sit perfectly camouflaged on leaves and then half jump, half crawl into the foliage making so much disturbance that it’s like a much larger animal is lurking there. Once you get used to spotting them before they disappear, it’s possible to sneak up and take photos.

Gampsocleis buergeriGampsocleis buergeriGampsocleis buergeriGampsocleis buergeri

Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae
Gampsocleis buergeri
Japanese katydid = kiri-girisu

Location: Yokoyama Village near Munakata Common (Google map link)

Weevil: Euops splendidus

Such a beautiful weevil… but my photos are very poor. The evening was setting in and I was among trees and the weevil was only 3mm long… If I find one again, I will catch it and take the photo in a well-lit place to show off the metallic gold and green.

Euops splendidusEuops splendidus

Coleoptera: Curculionidae (weevils)
Euops splendidus
Weevil = kashi-ruri-otoshibumi

Location: Yokoyama Village near Munakata Common (Google map link)

Hornet: Vespa ducalis

I stood taking photos of these hornets for quite a while but I think I should have been able to take better shots than these. I’ll try again next time. I guess there were 7 or 8 of them flying around and there’s a possibility I was nervous… Nah, I was fine. That’s just an excuse for poor photography!!

Vespa tropica pulchraVespa tropica pulchraVespa tropica pulchra

Hymenoptera: Vespidae
Vespa ducalis
(synonym = Vespa tropica pulchra)

hornet = hime-suzume-bachi

Location: Yokoyama Village near Munakata Common (Google map link)

Longhorn Beetles

Today was Longhorn Beetle day for me! I went out for 4 hours between downpours and walked around my local area to see what I could find. Everywhere I looked I spotted longhorns: 9 species in total. Not bad. Well, just to put that figure into perspective… there are about 800 species of longhorn beetle in Japan!

Psacothea hilaris hilarisPrionus insularis
Left = Psacothea hilaris hilaris; Right = Prionus insularis

Chlorophorus quinquefasciatusChlorophorus annularis
Left = Chlorophorus quinquefasciatus; Right = Chlorophorus annularis

Paraglenea fortuneiAllotraeus rufescens
Left = Paraglenea fortunei; Right = Allotraeus rufescens

Uraecha bimaculataMesosa longipennis
Left = Uraecha bimaculata; Right = Mesosa longipennis

Monochamus subfasciatus
Monochamus subfasciatus

Coleoptera: Cerambycidae:
Longhorn beetles = kamikiri

Location: Munakata Common (Google map)