Village of Omu-rice

In the central part of Kochi, there is a small village surrounded by mountains alongside a beautiful river. Even many people in Kochi might not know where this village is. But now, this village has gained attention inside and outside the prefecture. This village is called Hidakamura.  The reason why Hidaka gained attention is, believe it or not, omu-rice!

Continue reading Village of Omu-rice

Blue-and-White Flycatcher

flycatcherThe Blue-and-White Flycatcher is called ‘oruri’ in japan. It is one of three Japanese  songbirds of the order Passeriformes that can twitter very beautifully. The other two species are Japanese Bush Warbler ( uguisu) and Japanese robin (komadori) In summer we can listen Blue-and-White Flycatcher’s beautiful twittering.
Continue reading Blue-and-White Flycatcher

Lanius bucephalus : butcher bird

butcherbirdThe bird which imitates the cry of various birds is in the world. Performing a complicated song in imitation of the call of various birds (100 birds) which is the origin of the Japanese name, mozu (百舌鳥). Lanius bucephalus’ English name is butcher bird and a (bull headed) shrike. The origin of the name of this butcher bird stabs a twig with meat becoming the bait, and this is because it puts it in the turning point of the branch, and it covers it. By the way, a scientific name is Lanius bucephalus. Continue reading Lanius bucephalus : butcher bird

Mitrastema yamamotoi: Yakkosou

Introduction
yamamotoi
Mitrastema yamamotoi is a natural monument of Kochi and is a representative plant of Muroto. This was first discovered in Kochi and Tomitarou Makino, a famous botanist from Kochi, described this plant as a new kind. It is a parasitic plant of the Mitrastemon Yamamotoi family and is parasitic on the root of the tree of chinquapin. Continue reading Mitrastema yamamotoi: Yakkosou

Japanese Wagtail: Motacilla grandis

The bird is so cute: Motacilla grandis

wagtail

Introduction

There are various birds in Kochi. Motacilla grandis represents in Kochi-city. The Japanese name for this bird is “seguro-sekirei”. It means black back wagtail. The birds are so small and cute. They have two colors; black and white. You can see them near water. The common English name for this species is Japanese Wagtail. They are indigenous to Japan. They live in north of Kyushu. Continue reading Japanese Wagtail: Motacilla grandis

Balaenoptera brydei

By R. Fujimoto

Introduction

image00In the Pacific Ocean which spreads off Kochi, there is the grand Balaenoptera brydei.  In Kochi prefecture famous for whale watching a whale is sightseeing material. While there are several kinds of whales, Balaenoptera brydei is a kind currently liked by many tourists.This Balaenoptera brydei is introduced this time.

Description & Taxonomy

It is distinguished in outside because mustached hair is baleen is short and that apply near a nostril from rostrum edge and the right-and-left both sides of the upper surface of a snout have an upheaval line of one articles each although it is close species of a sei whale, that a trough is long and the tip has reached the navel, wide, and thick.

The length is also slightly smaller than a sei whale, and is only a maximum of 15.5 meters.

Although Balaenoptera brydei was presupposed that only the South Africa coast is inhabited once, it was discovered around the postwar years and Ogasawara Islands, and it became clear that it was also widely distributed over the North Pacific.

We decided that the International Whaling Commission will correct the appended chart of Convention for the Regulation of Whaling in 1970, and it treats this kind and a sei whale as another kind. The small fish which this kind uses as the staple food is the food of large-sized wide-ranging fish, such as a bonito, and a possibility that the group of large-sized wide-ranging fish is in the ocean space in which this kind is present also becomes high.

Moreover, there is a merit which protects itself from swordfish by being attached to a whale in a bonito, and katsuokujira of this kind or a close relationship forms one small ecosystem by one individual.

Use & Conservation
Balaenoptera brydei becomes known as the subject of whale watching, and is loved, and the whale is enjoyed as what is not eaten and is seen now when control of whaling is severe.

In the Fisheries Agency version Red Data Book, it is regarded as the rare animal and has become a candidate for preservation.

Etrumeus teres: ウルメイワシ

By Y. Iwata

Introduction

image00A round herring is a fish often eaten in Japan. However, few people know very much about a round herring. Therefore, I think that I would like to introduce a round herring.

Description&Taxonomy

The round herring belongs to order herring clupeidae herring, and if it grows, it will be set to about 30 cm.Since eyes seem to be greatly wet, it is called the round herring。The back side of the color of the body is indigo, and the belly side is silver.Moreover, the lower jaw has projected before for a while rather than the upper jaw.

Range & Ecology

The round herring inhabits the warm and shallow sea in the world, and, of course, also inhabits the Tosa bay. A round herring goes north from spring in summer, and goes south from autumn in winterTherefore, it appears in the Hokkaido coast in summer.Food is plankton.

Use & Conservation

A round herring is used as a dried food, and is also served as sashimi or grilled with salt.

Lycoris radiata: Higanbana

By T. Nakamoto

Introduction
 
image00Bulb plants perennial toxic whole plant.Six pieces of petals arrive radially distributed in the form of inflorescence.The clumps such as roadside, red-flowered in mid-September, but some white rare.The figure is unique, during the late summer and early fall, height 30 – 50cm scape leaf also branches of  also section also does not have projects on the ground, inflorescence wrapped in wrapped in its tip is attached only one.Flowers give a face and broken wraps.There is luster in the dark green leaves. Leaf can be seen during the winter figure, but it withered to become the next spring, nothing is growing in the ground until the fall approaches.
 
Description & Taxonomy
 
Amaryllidaceae is recognized classification system many (new Engler system, such as APG plant classification system), and is a taxon name commonly used, but are included in the lily family in Kuronkisuto system.
 
Range & Ecology
 
Western edge of the distribution in the Himalayan mountain system eastern Taiwan is continuous, Ryukyu Islands, Kyushu, the southern Korean Peninsula, Shikoku, and Honshu from so-called South China Yangtze River basin of south China’s Yunnan Province, from northern Indochina, eastern end is the Aomori prefecture (Ungerunia Ungernia genus of closely related are distributed to areas coated. green area surrounded by a red line on the left). In addition, the majority of this distribution area overlaps the laurel forest zone.
 
Use & Conservation
 
It is more common in cemeteries and ridges of paddy fields, but it is believed to have been planted artificially in order to:. Animal desolation the field rat, mole, and insects in the former case to avoid the hated poison of the bulb to (avoidance) so, in order to prevent burial and after insect repellent, corpse from being ravaged digging by animals in the latter case.
 
Bulb rich in starch. For lycorine is a toxic component is water soluble, for detoxification is possible if Sarase in water for a long time.Bulb is a crude drug name stone of garlic there is an expectorant and diuretic effect, but the amateur is to use as a folk medicine since it is toxic It is dangerous. Incidentally, galantamine which is one component of the venom has been used as a therapeutic agent for Alzheimer’s disease.
 
Viewing
 
Flowers is beautiful bright red, it will admire involuntarily and is in full glory in one side and in such bank

Yamamomo : Myrica rubra

By M. T.

Introduction

ƒ„ƒ}ƒ‚ƒ‚Myrica rubra is called yamamomo. It is a subtropical tree grown for its sweet, crimson to dark purple-red, edible fruit. Its fruit is a sweet-sour delicious. The Japanese name suggests the word peach, but Yamamomo and peach are totally different plant. Yamamoto is a Prefectural flower of Kochi.

Description and Taxonomy

Yamamomo can grow to a height of 10~20 meters. The leaf is 10 cm,dark green with cortex. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The root system is 5~60 cm deep, with no obvious taproot. The fruit is spherical, 1.5~2 cm in diameter , with a knobby surface. The surface color is typically a deep red, red , it seemed to display small red beads. It matures in July from June. The flesh is sweet and very tart. At the center of the flesh is a big signal seed.

It called Morella rubra Loureiro; Myrica rubra var. acuminata Nakai. It is usually cited as Myrica rubra. Yamamomo is a small family of about 30 types. For a long time it was said that family was separated by three genus, and many kinds were classified in the Myrica genus, and Yamamomo was included.

Range and Ecology

Yamamomo is native to eastern Asia, Japan, China. It grows in the warm place and is strong in heat. In Japan, it grows wild in lowland and the mountainous district from Kanto and to the south in Japan. In the south in southern Honshu, it is an important tree class constituting the forest in unproductive land such as the shore or the dry ridge of the low mountain. . It tolerates poor acidic soils, because it lives together with bacteria called franckia performing nitrogen fixation.Therefore it may be used for tree planting.

Use

The fruit of the Yamamomo is eaten fresh and is processed into jam and wine. There are two main types of Yamamomo, a sour type used for making dried fruit and a sweet type used for juice and fresh eating. So the bark include a lot of tannin, it may be used as medical use. It might be planted a tree in the fields and moutains. Nowadays it is planted in a park and the street as a roadside tree. How to propagate is by grafting and layering.

Viewing

The main producing center is Tokushima and Kochi in Japan. The seasonal time of Yamamomo is a short period of less than one mouth. So it may be said that Yamamoto is a precious fruit letting you feel the season. If you would like to eat Yamamomo, go to Kochi (or Tokushima!) in the rainy season.

Vinegaroon: Sasorimodoki

by Riku Minei

Introduction

image01Do you know vinegaroon? They are insects that are like scorpions. They are in Kochi. In night, if you smell vinegar in forest, please look  where you are stepping. Probably you can see them.

Description & taxonomy

Its average size is from 20 to 25mm. It is called `scorpion` because of its appearance. Japanese name is Sasorimodoki. But it is close to spider. It lives in tropical area and subtropical area. Vinegaroon has about 100 species. It has two spiecies in Japan. There are Typopeltis stimpsonii in Kyusyu, Typopeltis crucifer is on Yaeyama island. Kochi`s Vinegaroon is thought to be Typopeltis stimpsonii. It`s a range spreads every year and it live in Kobe and Ogasawara island now. We can recognize it by scissors form. Kochi`s vinegaroon is thought that be brought by people.

Range & ecology

It lives under stones and prefer humidity. It`s staple food is insect, a cricket or a grasshopper. It is cannibalistic. It catches insect by using scissors. In winter, it hibernates. It has poison that smell vinegar. `Vinegaroon` cause this poison. If people touch this poison, causes Dermatitis and maybe loss of eyesight. If you touch vinegaroon, you must wash your skin.

Use & conservation

image00 It is specified Endangered species in Kochi. In Kumamoto prefecture, it is specified Natural treasure. It is thought that its numbers are decreasing because it is carniverous and the number of cockroach or cricket which it feeds on is also decreasing.

[Note: images from Wikipedia]

 

Cissites cephalotas: Hirazugensei

by K. Seo

Introduction

image00In 1935, an insect like small beans of about 3cm was discovered by Mr. Sasaki, a teacher of Ali junior high school. It is called Cissites cephalotas. The common Japanese name is Hirazugensei. It means Gensei of flat head. But this insect was discovered in Kochi at first, so often it is called Tosahirazugensei and is the Prefectural Representative Insect of Kochi.

Description&Taxnomy
Length is about 3 cm. Color of the body is vivid red, six legs and big jaw is black. Male jaw is large and powerful looking, but female jaw is small.

As mentioned above, at 1935 it was first observed in Kochi. Later Dr.Kawano who was professor in Hokkaido university, named the male Sasakihirazugensei, named the female Tosahirazugensei. In other words, he thought that the different sexes were two different species. But at present these two species are one species, this fact is established. Also later there are records in Inoguchi, Kawakita, Ibiki etc. in Aki city.

This is included of family Meloidae. In this family there are more 10 species for example Kirogensei etc・・・. It is certain thing which the rare insect is collected in Aki city. So this insect is a souvenir insect as Kochi.

Range&Ecology

Hirazugensei live in Honsyu,Shikoku,Kyusyu district of japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia, and it is found in forest mountain (low~middle level) etc. Especially, this insect lives around nests (beats) on the plains.

It is known that Hrazugensei has a relationship with a certain beetle (Kumabachi). Larva of Hirazugensei grows in nest of Kumabachi. Adult comes out from nets of Kumabachia from June to July. But it is unknown how the larva invades the nests, or what food the larva eat to grow. Therefore the appearance in nests is not known. There are unknown points about Hiratagensei. The cause of this is that Hiratagensei is rare insect. (Appointed associate endangered species in Kochi) But a lover of insects in Kochi wish that they understand myself about ecology of Hiratagensei which is recorded at first in Kochi.
 
Viewing

Hirazugensei live around the nests of animals in the plains. So searcher should search nest of Kumabachi (it could be found in temples, old house, a house made of wood) at first, next look nests below.

Many Japanese children enjoy collecting insects. However, as they get older, people often lose interest in insects. This interesting discovery can make people interested again at any age. If you are lucky, you can find HIrazugensei.Lets come back to curiosity.