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

Japanese Wagtail: Motacilla grandis

The bird is so cute: Motacilla grandis



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


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


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.


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.

Vinegaroon: Sasorimodoki

by Riku Minei


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


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.

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.


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.

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.                                            

Red-billed leiothrix:ソウシチョウ

by E. Fukugawa

image00Red-billed leiothrixes is kind of sparrows. They are animals of foreign origin. Originally, they live in India, China, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Now they live in Kanto, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu in Japan. They look so pretty, but they are feared to break the ecosystem. They expel bush warblers.They are “Worst 100 of Japanese aggressive introduced species”.

Description and Taxonomy
Their total length is 14~15cm. The feather of back is green. The neck is yellow. There have red spot in the wing. The bill is red. They twitter in large voice. They eat insects, fruits, and seeds. Their breeding season is April~October. It is comparatively long. It is less than a month to leave the nest from birth, so it is thought that they can breed several times a year.

Range and Ecology
They live in mountain of 1000 meters or less. Especially, they live in growth of trees and bamboo. Originally, they live in India, China, Vietnam, and Myanmar, but, now, they live also in Japan. They make crowd of 20 birds. In autumn, they make crowd with great tits.

Use and Conservation
In Edo era, they were imported for pet. But, they were imported frequently in 1980s from China. They were much imported because it is easy to take care of them, and it is cheap. Since invasive alien species act was enforced, pet shops had many stock of them. Pet shops did not have much money to feed them, so many of them were set free. It is prohibited to raise them from 2005.

Wild Red-billed leiothrixes may break ecosystem. Specially, it is said that bush warblers are expelled by them. Wild Red-billed leiothrixes and bush warblers live in same place. The number of Wild Red-billed leiothrixes increase, so bush warblers are expelled. So we have to decrease the number of Wild Red-billed leiothrixes. I think we have to catch some of them and decrease their breeding. But it is cruel that they become extinct, so I want to make environment that both Wild Red-billed leiothrixes and bush warblers can live.

 They are feared to break ecosystem. But many people like looking them, because they are so cute. They are in thicket in many cases, so we can look them near the ground. They make crowd, so we may be able to look many of them.

Hammerhead shark

by S.Y.


image00A common Hammerhead shark is living the coast of the warm seas of the world. And they are living the sea of Kochi. I touched Hammerhead shark with a neighboring fishmonger for the first time in the days of a high school. I was fascinated what attractive. Hammerhead shark is called “Shumokuzame” from the form of the head such as wooden bell hammer ringing Japanese musical instruments in Japan, and in English, the form of the head is likened with a hammer and it is called “Hammerhead shark”.

Description & Taxonomy

Hammerhead shark is a generic name of a shark belonging to order Carcharhiniformes family Sphyrnidae. Nine kinds are known all over the world. Full length is 5 meters, and the big thing becomes 6 meters. Since the head spread horizontally like a hammer and it is sticking out, Hammerhead shark can be recognized immediately. The body back is gray and brown, yellowish-brown, and the ventral is white, there are not the fleck outstanding in particular.

Range & Ecology

Hammerhead shark lives the sea to 100 meters of depth of the water and sometimes sink to 300 meters of depth of the water. They live the offing mainly, but live the coast, a reef, and the estuary. They chase food and may come near a shore. Since eyes stick the both ends of the head, they have a view larger than other sharks, and food can be looked for easily. Hammerhead shark is a strong predator, and they feed not only fish and a cuttlefish and an octopus and Crustacea but also other sharks and prey on one another. Their favorite food is Dasyatis akajei, and they eat to the sting of a caudal fin. They move to high latitude sea area in summer, and come back to the tropical zone when it is winter. Although the life is unknown, probably about 30 years are presumed. Hammerhead shark forms a group uniquely as a shark, and acts. Occasionally the number may amount to hundreds of them.

Use & Conservation

Hammerhead shark is processed into the dried fish called “Maira” and “Tetsuboshi” in Kochi. It matches rice well. The things which is the most terrible for Hammerhead shark is fishery and indiscriminate hunting. It is said that the shark killed by human being becomes from 50 million to 100 million of them a year. In this situation the sharks become extinct. The important thing is Hammerhead shark is only one animal alike other animals, and everyone understands that they are by no means atrocious killer. Hammerhead shark is kept in many aquariums, and their mysterious shape attracts the eyes of many people. And it’s may appeal for the need of the conservation of the shark.


If you want to meet Hammerhead shark in Kochi, let’s go to Niyodogawa after the heavy rain. They come to the mouth of a river of Niyodogawa after the heavy rain. Hammerhead shark is one of a few sharks attacking the human being, but is not ferocious as a rumor because they becomes rarely aggressive. If you come across Hammerhead shark in the sea, please read the action exactly calmly. The probability attacked by a shark is hard to happen than being struck by lightning than being stung by the hornet.


by A. Sato


If you come across a dog called a “Tosa Inu” with huge brown body, drooping ears and impressive scary face, you’d better hope he’s a “good boy” in general. The Shikoku Inu is not to be confused with the fighting dog, even though in history it shared the same name.

It is the dog came to be known as the dog to introduce this time, and “Shikoku-Inu” now. This breed is becoming more popular overseas as well, I want you to know about it in addition to the more well-known Shiba-Inu and Kishu-Inu.

Taxonomy & Description

“Shikoku-Inu” is a canine, having the same classification as the Golden retriever Shiba-Inu. The size is from the feet up to the shoulder, from 46cm to 55cm and weighs between 15kg and 23kg. It is darker than Shiba-Inu has a large build, but it is not a particularly big dog.

This breed originated in Kochi Prefecture, was originally created for the purpose of hunting companion in mountain village near the Shikoku Mountains. It had to withstand hunting, and have the stamina and endurance. It is top class also in the Japanese dog. Once upon a time there was a classification system that included Hongawa, Aki, Uwajima varieties of the Shikok-Inu. However, due to mixed breeding, the difference between those varieties is no longer so.

Compared to other Japanese dogs, it has a sharp look, do not mistake many people to see Shepherd and Japanese Wolf. In some2000,fact,talk because they confuse the dog Japanese Wolf Shikoku and also in it was shaking the media.

Others are wary of the dog seems to have the blood of the dog in Japan, but to its master it is faithful. It is also possible that hound dog is also originally Shikoku-Inu, so pretty rough temper, would have to bite to others attention. As a matter of course, depending on how the discipline of the owner, you might become emotionally attached to others, however. If you have any if you have a Shikoku-Inu, owners will not have to study how firmly discipline should not be.

By the way, was called the Shikoku-Inu as “Tosa-Inu” originally. However, dog fighting was produced by hybrid of Shikoku dog and other dogs and like after – other called Japanese-Mastiff was born. Order came to be called “Tosa-Inu” even the dog, in order to distinguish the old Tosa, now referred to as “Shikoku-Inu”.

viewing, ecological

The Shikoku-Inu found only in a specific location is not available. However, compared to dogs such as Akita-Inu and Shiba-Inu, name recognition is quite low. Perhaps you think the Japanese “What is the Shikoku-Inu?” and often also asked to be returned to the same question from the Japanese.

This is because of the strength of will enough to be riding through the mountains and the roughness of temper. Unlike the docile Shiba, this character and stamina, to discipline civilians may be a little difficult when compared to Shikoku-Inu.
However, some ardent enthusiasts. So that no blood of the dog loves to Shikoku, some people have put the power to save. Shikoku-Inu itself, if you are starting from the time of the puppy, does not mean there is a big difference with his personality and other Japanese dog. I think discipline is also so easy to do.

If you want to see a lot of Shikoku dog, you’ll carry your feet and go to the exhibition. Owner has been training in order to show to people, can be seen Shikoku-Inu specific, is awe-inspiring figure.

Also, if you want to see kept, rather than a pet shop, it is recommended that you contact the Preservation Society. Only a low degree of well-known to breed, it is a thriving information between breeders and enthusiasts with each other, and those who rely on sources of information there, you will be able to get a good Shikoku-Inu.

It is a moderate exercise and discipline, that you must keep careful when most. Discipline is natural. Long as any dog, if you keep is more important than anything. Shikoku-Inu is a dog as a hunting dog and was issued birth. Always try to go for a walk twice a day.

In addition, Shikoku dog is so prone to allergic dermatitis. Performed such as brushing and shampoo moderately, please try to prevention.


Shikoku-Inu is quick-tempered dog. The pet, such as Papillon and Chihuahua is not suitable. The orientation watch dog. However, how to discipline, depending on how the shepherd, it is also a gentle personality.The era of now there is no Tosa-Inu is also recorded in Kochi that was using the dog as Shikoku-Inu fighting dogs. 600 years ago, is the time of the 14th century from now. From the length of this history, Shikoku-Inu is going to love.

Common Cuckoo

by. C. Ogawa


This bird is a bird with an interesting habit. Parent does not make a nest. Because parents lay eggs in other bird’s nest. Parent is not parenting. Chicks hatched drop out of the nest all egg and chick. Chicks are not raised by real parents. The scientific name of this bird is Cuculus canorus. It is commonly referred to as cuckoo. Currently this bird is registered in the semi-endangered species.

Description & taxonomy

Total length is 33-36cm. the body is slender. Back from the head and wing is gray. Stomach from the chest is white and fine horizontal stripes. The female is gray part types has made a red-brown.

Cuckoo is animalia, chordate, vertebrata, aves, cuculiformes, cuculidae, cuculus, c.canorus.

Range & ecology

They inhabit the forest and grassland in Africa and Eurasian continent. But in Japan, they inhabit the mountains. And they prefer bright and open environment such as grassland, arable land and small forest. They are flying around May. They can be seen from many north central Honshu.

They are not child-rearing. Their eggs will hatch in other bird’s nest. Their chick hatch in a short time. So they are often faster than chicks born owner of the nest. Chicks hatched drop out of the nest all egg and chick. By doing this chick of cuckoo can be in hog feed. There is another individual that lays eggs in the same nest after an individual has laid an egg in the nest. If two individuals hatched at the same time, they are fit to drop. In addition, there are bird eggs of the cuckoo to eliminate. Eggs of cuckoo are being caught out. In that case they are against and mimic the pattern of other bird’s egg.

Use & conservation

The scientific name of cuckoo is Cuculus canorus. Cuculus is derived from cry. Canorus is latin and it means musical. In Russia, have used in folk music as the voice of sorrow to cry.

Currently this bird is registered in the semi-endangered species. So they are the most important biological protection.

Good luck.

Kantaro – Siebold earthworm

by M. Aikawa


Do you feel the impression of how the creature that earthworm? Bad feeling, No touch, In the soil…should have different impression. By the way , do you know “Kantaro”? It is a species of earthworm , and the annelid worms of the family Futomimizu, which is a large type.In general has been known by the name of Von Siebold earthworm, is said that the origin of the name.

Description & Taxonomy

Kantaro bear the scientific name to Pheretima sieboldi (Horst.), a large earthworm belonging to the genus of the family Futomimizu,Futomimizu rope, Annelida Oligochaeta. Although the length of the individual will be 25 ~ 28cm, to about 14 ~ 15mm thick and mature, with large populations more than 30g body weight, reach more than 40cm in length exists.
For the whole body is indigo blue, and determine the species is easy. Light hits the light and sleek, it is very beautiful earthworm.

Range & Ecology

Siebold earthworms are distributed around Shikoku, Kyushu, Chugoku and down into the Ryukyu Islands. But south of Yakushima they are not distributed. Closely related species are widely distributed around the world, particularly in Southeast Asia.

In Japan, over 60 species of the genus Futomimizu are distributed. They are living up to several cm from the surface of the soil under deciduous forest mainly, and seems to winter deep into the warm ground in the winter. That inhabit the forests of various types, such as cedar and cypress plantation and broadleaf forest. During the rainy season is often witness to appear on the surface.


Earthworm excrete feces on the absorption of particulate organic matter and microbial digestion, the small animals in the soil. By it, and has been the formation of soil suitable for plant growth.Therefore, it is treated as a beneficial insect in agriculture in general, be used for soil improvement. They are about the same amount of food ingested from half of body weight per day, that feces can be used as a high-quality fertilizer and soil conditioner.

There is a method given as feed for earthworms to organic matter such as garbage actively from this, that excrement be used as a fertilizer called “worm composting”.

View point

They can be found anywhere after a heavy rain, especially on the mountain behind the shrine in Asakura.