Shinobu and I went to Oshima in Munakata today. Lots of nature, but the best find of the day was this 1.5m Japanese Ratsnake (aodaisho). A beautiful creature. I caught it so that we could take a closer look. It went crazy after I grabbed it and wrapped itself around my arm, which took a bit of time to untangle as it was quite strong. Of course it was unharmed by the experience and slithered off into the bushes after I released it.
Japanese Ratsnake = Elaphe climacophora
In Japanese = aodaisho
I spotted this orange hairstreak butterfly sitting on a leaf on the side of Mt Joyama in Munakata. You can see that it appears to have another “head” (with antennae) at the back, at the lower edge of the wings. Several kinds of butterflies have these. The theory is that this has evolved to fool predators into attacking the wrong part of the body… In other words, if a bird tries to grab this butterfly by it’s head, it might be the fake head, and the butterfly can escape. Very cunning.
Orange Hairstreak (Japonica lutea) = aka-shijimi in Japanese