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.                                            

Benkeigani: Chiromanates dehani

by K. Saito


Chiromanates dehaani is one kind of crab in fresh water. They are called “KURO BENKEIGANI” in japan.They live in almost every prefecture excluding Okinawa and Hokkaido. in Kochi, they live in Shimanto river. They are known creature of river cleaner.
They are nocturnal creature living in dark area,like a cave.So they are hided their body in howl in morning. And they are omnivorous that eat small fish, carcasses, and rotten leaves.

Description & Taxonomy

Chiramanates dehaani’s taxonomy is Arthropoda, malacostraca, Decapoda, sesarmidae, sesarmops.

It is just about 35mm. It size like a thumb. The shell is rugged, it looks like ”Musashibo Benkei” from which their Japanese name “Benkei gani” is derived. (By the way, ”Musashibo Benkei” was warrior in the Heian period, 794 to 1185.) Chiramanates dehani`s shell looks his angry face.

Their color is almost black except for claws which are white. It can hunt under cover of darkness hidden from both enemies and prey alike.

Range & Ecology

Chiramanates dehani live in waterside,riverside and shore between Oga peninsula and Boso peninsula in Japan.It shows they can stand salty water.There are many small fishes leaves and carcasses.

They live in ocean in their childhood. it look plankton. It called “zoea larva”. Zoea larva grow up in a shoal and become club’s look, they come to a river and copulate. After copulation, female Chiramanates dehani come to a seashore and spawn. This is the life cycle of Chiramanates dehani.

Use & Conservation

Chiramanates dehani is not eaten by man. It because Chiramanates dehani is not good taste and have smelling of earth.They are not eaten,but they are bred like crawfish. Almost time they bred is man catching them, but sometimes they are sold in pet shop.In online pet shop, they are sold 3000yen by pair.

On the other hand, they are decided general protection creature in Chiba prefecture.It shows they are decreasing in Kanto area. this is because waterside in Kanto become dirty place and introduced species increased.Even Chiramanates dehani is one of the example of be suffering from destroyed.We have to know that and make an effort to save waterside clean.


Chiramanates dehani is index of fertile river. If you want to see them in kochi, go to Shimannto river and thrust a branch into hole. Then, you get many interesting creature, and you can see the crabs that have Benkei’s face.

Black swallowtail(クロアゲハ)

by M. Iwabuchi


Black swallowtail is the most beautiful black butterfly. It is the largest of the swallowtails. It resembles other kinds when it is larva or a pupa, but it differs greatly when it becomes an imago. It is seen most ordinarily in black butterfly. So some people observe.


Black swallowtail is a scientific name Papilio protenor. It is a kind of the butterfly classified into butterfly order and the family of a swallowtail.


It is widely distributed from Taiwan and China to Himalaya. In Japan, it is distributed over Honshu (Akita and south of Iwate), Shikoku, Kyushu and Amami Oshima. There isn’t in Hokkaido. And it is few in the lowlands of the Tohoku Region. It is found in shaded places, such as a place where trees grew thick. But it seen from town to mountain. On a mountain path, it often sees taking on water from the damp ground.


Black swallowtail’s color is blackish. The length of the front wing of the imago is about 45-70 mm. Red points are located on an edge of the back side of a hind wing. Black swallowtail of Japan is a caudate process to a wing. Male’s front edge of  the hind wing has a white band. Growing white band changes yellowish. Female’s red points are more beautiful than male’s one.

It opens a wing when it stops between trees. But it closes a wing when it sleeps. This is common behavior in swallowtails.

It generates 2 to 4 times in September from April. There are two types of spring type and summer type. Spring type is smaller, progress red points and deeper-colored black than summer type.

It oviposits usually on the branch or the trunk of  a tree. The egg becomes orange color from yellow. Finally the egg becomes light brown. It hatches in about one week.

The larva becomes green from brownish. The green larva resembles swallowtail’s larva. But the brownish larva is different. The color is glossy and the pattern is like the dropping of a bird. Green larva takes off thing like the red horn which gives off a smell if it feels danger. The larva eats the leaf of citrus fruits, such as a trifoliate, a yuzu, a prickly ash and skimmia.

The chrysalis is two patterns with brown or green. The brown chrysalis stays over the winter. The chrysalis becomes black toward hatching. And it breaks a chrysalis and comes out. The flow of these series is observable also in the garden.

Where to see in Kochi

In Kochi, black swallowtail is seen at a roadside in October from May because Kochi is warm. Kochi is the place of production of yuzu. So you will see black swallowtail’s egg or larva or chrysalis if you turn the leaf of a yuzu. It is a familiar butterfly.

Fiddler Crab

by T. Takayama


First fiddler crab is Decapoda class sand crab family Uca arcuata. Fiddler crab`s gap length is from 20mm to 40mm there is a difference between variety sort of fiddler crab, gap width is 35mm. Eyestalk have a compound eye. It is long. Orbit of the eye grow too. Typically from the left and right eye is the center. Shell has an inverted trapezoid. The body color is red but sometimes difficult to determine the mud wearing colors easily.

Fiddler crab look over in over a large area while stand eyestalk in the case of fiddler crab live on the surface of the earth.


Second, fiddler crabs lives in tidal flats and mud hardened area. But human activity become a major threat, has reduced the habitat. Fiddler crab live in the seashore around the mouth of a river in the tropical zone and the subtropics. There is a liking for bottom material by each kind. Fiddler crab live in various place such as a beach at ebb tide, mangrove , a sandy beach and boulder.

Next, Ministry of the Environment published Red date list in 2000, had been semi-endangered species were unique and endangered in 2006 due to revision of the increased risk of extinction.

Given name

Next fiddler crab is named “taucchogane and ganetsukegani, magani” in the coast of Ariake sea.fiddler crab are caught with “ariakegani and yamatoosagani”.

Same group

Finally there is a white line fiddler crab. Gap width is 18mm. White line fiddler crab is smaller than fiddler crab. White line fiddler crab lives in a sandy beach and boulder. White line there are far more White line fiddler crab`s habitat than fiddler crab.

Fiddler Crab

by T. Oda

Class fiddler crab has 10 Japanese types. Fiddler crab and hakusen fiddler crab are distributed in Kyusyu and Western. Nansei island and ogasawara island have many types.

Description, Taxonomy, Range, Ecology & Whatnot

F1ddler crab fiddle Gap length is 20mm,gap width is 35mm.Typically,from the left and right eye is the center. Shell in an inverted trapezoid. The body color is red but sometimes difficult to determine in the mud what the colors are easily.

They live in tidal flats and mud hardened area. However,human activity became a major threat, and has reduced the habitat.Invertebrate Red List published by the Ministry in 2000,had been semi-endangered species,and were unique and endangered in 2006 due to revision of the increased risk of extinction.The breeding season is mid-August from mid-June.During this time,females lay eggs twice.Fiddler’s food is plankton and tiny creatures in the sand.

Hakusen fiddler crab fiddlers fiddling Gap width is 18mm. It inhabits sandy beach near the mouth of mud mixed.Ministry of the environment is Red List has been revised to class Ⅱ as near threatened and endangered fiddler crab,at the beginning of the 21st century,more than the fiddler crab habitat.The food is similar to hakusen crab.


Factors threatening its survival,the development of the rivers,wetlands development,coastal development,water pollution,and limit origin.

Common Jay (Graphium doson)

by M. Yabumoto

Mikadoageha or the Common Jay (Graphium doson) is a special protected butterfly in Japan. Mikadoageha’s subspecies live in the world.

Description & Taxonomy

Mikadoageha is a same genus as Aosuziageha among the butterfly in Japan. Mikadoageha became the Japanese name because L.H.Leech, an entomologist in Britain, offered the name to the Meijitennou.

There are very few differences of color, a spot and so on.The caterpillar eats leaves such as Ogatamanoki.It occurs from the first time to the third time. The imago often visits flowers.

Mikadoageha sucks nectar in the top of the trees and the innerpart of branches. The eggs are produced in the back of young leaves.They pass the winter in the pupal stage.The imago are seen from early summer to early autumn.

Range & Ecology

Mikadoageha live in a variety of places, for example, Okinawa, Yamaguchi, Mie, Kyusyu, and low land of Shikoku.The distribution is limited, and there are a lot of variations of species.

Use & Conservation

Mikadoageha has something to do with human beings. It lives in Ushioetenmangu, Yoho temple and Ushioe junior high school the city of Kochi.

Only a small number of the individuals are special protected animals of Japan, so we cannot collect it. The protected animal of insects which is designated specially is Genzibotaru.


If you want to see Mikadoageha, don’t destroy Mikadoageha’s habitat. If you are careful, we will keep see Mikadoageha forever.

Bata: Orthoptera Caelifera

Locust is a general term for nimalia Arthropoda Insecta Orthoptera Caelifera. In the family along with Pyrgomorphidae Acrididae Tetrigidae and so.

Locusta migratoria

They hop along because their hind legs are well developed and they have ala. The front ala is thin and opaque, while the hind ala is thick and clear. Total length is about 35mm ~ 65mm and body color is protectively colored green and brown. This color matches with their habitat, but, in high population density, it becomes a blackish color.

They live in dry grassy areas in the Tropic and Temperate zones. Like the Katydids and the cricket, it is an Orthoptera and has a similar form but is actually quite different. Compared with the Katydids and the cricket, the locust’s rearing environment is an arid zone, short plants and open ground. Other example, the locust’s body is long in front and behind, ear in the chest, the female’s ovipositor isn’t long, and most of the kinds female is bigger than male.

They are incomplete metamorphosis. (Egg – larva – Imago) Eggs is laid in shallow earth. When larva. they have no ala but as imagoes develop ala, females get an ovipositor. In Japan, imagoes die in winter so, eggs stay over the winter.

Migratory locust often cause severe damage to agricultural areas. The plural locust is called Migratory. They are often locust plague and eat a lot of grass. No grass land cause many disaster. These past few years, it aren’t many examples like this in Japan because of agricultural chemicals and breeding environment’s destruction.

There arre about 5,500 kinds of locust in the world, and about 445 kinds of locust in Japan. Locusta migratoria, length about 40mm ~ 70mm, body color is green or brown and, live in grassland. Gastrimargus marmoratus, length about 40mm ~ 60mm, body color is green or brown and, black markings for its hind leg. The Acrida cinerea, lengths is about 50mm ~ 80mm, there is a difference in female and male. For example, length (females are bigger than males), jump (females can’t jump so far), and male scan chirp.

We can see many locust every day, but don’t know well about them.

Amenbo: Gerridae

Gerridae Aquarius paludum paludum, which have long legs for living a life on the water, includes Hemiotera Gerridae. In Japanese, the name is Amenbo but there are many kinds elsewhere, and it is classified in different ways. The appearance is different by a course, but the basic structure of the body such as a feather or a way of speaking is the same as Hemiotera. Gerridae has stink gland in a body that smell like candy, from which the Japanese name is derived (ame is candy).


The larva and imago are flesh-eating. They eat insects which fell into surface of the water by injecting digestive juice and body sucking the fluid. When Gerridae looks for game, it senses a small ripple occurs on the surface of the water and catches a position of the game.

Gerridae supports itself on its fore legs and hind legs and uses its middle leg to kick the surface of the water and move. The quick jump is possible by how to kick surface of the water. However, it uses all six legs to moves on foot like a land model.

There are many kinds of Gerridae inhabiting Japan. I took up three kinds in Gerridae. Aquarius elongates is biggest Gerridae in Japan and the length is 19-27mm. Not only the body but also a leg and the antennae are long. The length is markedly big in comparison with other markedly, and Gerridae. Aquarius elongates inhabit the gentle ponds and rivers of the flow and seen in Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu for from May to October.

Aquarius paludum paludum are called Amenbo or Namiamenbo in Japanese. The length is 11-16mm and it seen commonly in Japan. Aquarius paludum paludum inhabit the gentle pond and marsh without the flow and it is seen from April to October. Geris lacustris length is 8-11mm small, Gerridae resembles Aquarius paludum paludum closely. The slight hair of the silver gray grows to both sides and the forewing of the prothoraces rear one. Geris lacustris inhabits gentle ponds and marsh, the puddle of the flow and it seen in Japan from May to October.

Gerridae is distributed widely from the tropical zone to the subarctic zone and it is an aquatic insect distributed over the various surfaces of the water the small puddle, pond, lake, river and sea. It the day of the early fall, it is seen making a big crowd. In winter, it enters the land and winter in the bottoms of fallen leaves. They mate from April to July.

The female diving underwater and carried a male on board and lays an egg to the stem of the waterweed. The egg hatches in about 10 days and larva molt five time to became imago.

Gerridae float on surface by surface tension. Water pollution by life drainage and seawall main tance, then surface tension weaken. Gerridae drown. So Gerridae is environmental work.

Because Gerridae habitation over a wide area, can be seen many watersides.

Autumn Darter

Typically red dragonfly refers to dragonfly belonging to Libelluidae Sympetrum,
but in the narrow sense it may point only to Akiakane. It is one of the most of popular dragonflies, and the name means of color and is found in fall. Other names of red dragonfly are Akanetonbo, Akane, Akanenba and Akatonbou. It is also called Tougarashitoubo and Kaminaritonbo in Tohoku. Continue reading Autumn Darter

Cabbage butterfly

Cabbage butterfly can be compared to other butterflies such as swallow tail etc. Swallow tail is bigger than cabbage butterfly, length is 80~120mm. Cabbage butterfly is about 55mm. Swallow tail is green, yellow and black spots color while cabbage butterfly is wing color is white but reverse side is thin black color. Front wing point is black and front wing and back wing have two black spots. Their eyes have compound eyes and heads have club feeler. Continue reading Cabbage butterfly


Insects are many many species, for example butterfly, moth, dragonfly etc. Mantises belong to the class insect. We think they evolved from cockroaches. They have scythe and are oviparous. Their head is triangle with compound eyes. Feelers are two and short. Also they have wings– there are front wing and back wing. The back wing is thin and clear. Ground mantises are degenerate and they can not fly. They menace to other animals. Continue reading Mantis