Saturday, May 7, 2011

ID Challenge: Ingrid's caterpillar

Ingrid sent me this lovely picture of a caterpillar, along with a challenge to ID the wee critter :D

November 2010, Ehime, Ingrid Lezar

At first glance, whenever I see a hairy caterpillar, my thoughts automatically jump to Arctiidae as they are quite a hairy bunch :P.
This fellas hair is different however. It alternates between bristles (the whitish spikes on its sides) and haired projections (the yellow tufts on its back). This is a distinctive feature of the family Lymantriidae. It's interesting to note that this family is actually absent from New Zealand. I must see one of these with my own eyes whilst I'm in Japan :D!

As for the exact genus and species, I'm tempted to say Calliteara pseudabietis AKA リンゴドクガ AKA the apple toxic moth . This species is found in Shikoku (as well as 北海道 Hokkaido,本州 Honshuu,九州 Kyuushuu,対馬 Tsushima, and 屋久島 Yakushima).
See the picture below: 貴代美 11/11/2005

However, we are missing the hairy, red projection on its little backside. So, as I don't know enough about this family, I'll just leave the ID at Lymantriidae. The best way to confirm the species ID of a caterpillar is to actually keep it and see what it turns into! :P

I'll leave you with a picture of what this cutie might have turned into:

Mighty fine and furry legs I must say!!

Thanks Ingrid! :)

Spilarctia sp. (ヒトリガ科 Arctiidae)

Spilarctia sp.
科:ヒトリガ科(Arctiidae) ヒトリガ亜科(Arctiinae)

5/5/11 Ehime 愛媛県
Also found whilst yakiniku-ing :)

My fav photo of this fine and fluffy specimen

Playing dead makes it nice and easy for me to take photos

Look at my antennae! I'm a real stunner ;)

Such a beautiful moth!! Its gorgeous colouring with the pale yellow, orange, black and the striking red make me so happy. And, the FLUFFINESS!!!! A definite cutie ;D.

Eilema sp. (ヒトリガ科 Arctiidae)

Eilema sp.
科:ヒトリガ科(Arctiidae) コケガ亜科(Lithosiinae)

Eilema is a genus of moth in the family Arctiidae。

5/5/2011 Ehime 愛媛県

One of a few pretty moths I have for you today, found whilst yakiniku-ing (having a bbq!). It was attracted by the spotlight we were using to see how char-grilled our meat had become :P.
This little fella was about 15mm long.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Kabutomushi カブトムシ

Japanese rhinoceros beetle
Allomyrina dichotoma

A species of rhinoceros beetle found in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China.

My pet kabutomushi (Left:Male Right:Female)

科名: コガネムシ科 
体の大きさ: 32~53mm(雄の角をのぞく)
分布: 北海道~九州、奄美大島、沖縄諸島 


Family: Scarabaeidae
Body size: 32~55mm (Not including the male's horn)
Distribution in Japan: Hokkaido~Kyushu, Amamiooshima & Okinawan Islands
Adult stage: June~August
Larvae feeds on: Compost, detritus

Key Points: Gathers around the sap of oak trees etc. and ripe fruit.

This super cute pair of kabutomushi was given to me by a friend whose bro found them in a nearby forest. I kept them for about 2months last summer before they made their journey to beetle heaven :P. The males usually die after mating many times, and the females after laying their eggs. First time I'd actually seen and held beetles so big!! Quite an experience :D.

Mr. Kabutomushi giving me his best profile shot

Profile view of Mrs. Kabutomushi ^^

In their happy, little dirt filled home :) (I'm sorry that it's not as big as your forest!!!) That yellow jelly is specially made kabutomushi food!

Kabutomushi jelly!! These beetles are very popular pets amongst kids, so you can actually buy specially made food for them in the supermarket :D

I had a great time with these guys watching them fossik around and burrowing about in the dirt. They spent a lot of their time fully buried. In fact, the first night I had them, they buried themselves and I was quite perplexed as to how they had managed to escape. I found them about 30mins later after having determined that there was no way they could have pushed open the lid :P.

Definitely recommend spending some time with these amazing critters!


And Quintin, just for you:

Pokemonidae, Heracrossa quintinius


Yookoso! Yookoso!

So, this blog is going to be my own personal project to log all of the creepiest and crawliest of critters I come across whilst in Japan! Enjoy :)