Monday, October 27, 2008

Bugs II

Japan is also home to a large number of truly enourmous insects, these are some that I photographed near and at the school where I work.
A male stag beetle, prized as pets, can live for 3-4 years. Wild ones such as this can fetch a price of a few thousand yen. Very rare ones go for over 10,000 yen, sometimes even more!

This is a female Rhinocerous Beetle, it lacks the Rhino-like horn of the males but is almost as large. She was particularly hefty and quite strong. This beetle is about 5cm long.

A large Praying Mantis. Well camoflaged, they wait, wait and wait then when something tasty comes along...BAM! Lunch is served stabbed by and stuck to the forearms, eaten alive to preserve 'freshness'. As is a particularly nasty 'sashimi' dish that I will not partake in, I prefer my fish dead. Raw or cooked, it must be dead.

Sometimes they like to take a walk across the parking lot, and strike a pose for the camera.

Cleanliness is next to godliness I have heard.
Which god might this be?

It spotted me spotting it as it was stalking prey.

Antheraea yamamai. A bit like a flying plush toy.

It's 'The Hungry Catepillar'!

Dragonflies have the most jewel-like eyes. All 5 eyes.

Apiphobics may want to skip the next picture.
Vespa Mandarinia, the Asian Giant Hornet! Each is 5cm long, they kill people every year in Japan. Japanese people also eat them. This appears to be a group that has left the main nest and will escort a Queen, presumably in the centre of this mass of hornets. In this picture we can see 11 hornets, I don't know how many are on the other side of the leaf. None of them challenged me as I took the picture, sans flash, and quickly got out of there.

Leucauge subblanda: A rather beatiful little spider.

Dolomedes sulfureus. A large golden spider, I was most surprized by its colour.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Last of the shots from Adventure World in Wakayama

There was a dolphin and whale show happening at the largest of the pools in the aquarium complex.
Dancing with the dolphins.
Flying with a whale.
Cheeky whale. Better give it the fish now.
A Sea otter, contemplating just how cute it is.
When you feed them, they get pushed into a higher energy state.

Low energy.

Meerkats, recharging in the sun.
Eye Ram Ewe
Stereotypical, but bananas ARE good. It's a chimp, not a monkey.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Here are some of the birds that were represented at Adventure World in Wakayama. This mackaw greats visitors as they first come to the park.

A horned owl, which was thoroughly unimpressed with being photographed.

This little bit of grey fluff is a baby Adelaide penquin.
All grown up.

The Emperor Penguin family.

It will bite your head, it really will. Your head will fit in its beak.
(no, the pelican did NOT bite me)


A Red Crowned Crane, a very large beautiful bird and one of the rarest in the world.

Monday, October 13, 2008


This last weekend I went to 'Adventure World' in Shirahama, Wakayama. They have a panda breeding program there. We went to see the baby pandas but they were not on display. I did get a few shots of their father Eimei, and their half siblings Aihin and Meihin.

Emei, taking a rest on his tire.

One of the twins born in 2006, snacking on some bamboo.

Aihin and Meihin wrestle to find out which is cutest.

It's ok, they are still friends. :)

And a lesser panda!

I'll be putting up some more shots from Adventure World soon!

Monday, October 6, 2008


One of the first close-up shots of a spider I have taken.
Agelena Opulenta, surrounded by leftovers on the wall of the school I teach in.

A freshly molted spider, possibly Nephila Clavata.

Tetragnata praedonia, the long-jawed spider. You can see the jaws, underneath the 4 front legs.

So this is the full size of a picture my camera takes on the highest resolution!

er... no it isn't. Looks like blogger resizes these automatically. The blogger generated image is 1067x1600.
Argiope bruennichii, Wakayama

This is how big the 'face' would be (once you click it), the original image is 2848 x 4272 pixels.

This one was waving his pedipalps up and down, busting a move.

Agelena Opulenta, found on a hedge in Wakayama.

Nephila clavata, Wakayama.
This very large spider (body length 4-5cm) builds huge webs about 1.5 to 2m across. Here it is just about to dine on a small bug that has been trapped in the web.

Courtship is dangerous!

Start up of the photoblog!

Welcome, to my blog which will feature photographs taken almost exclusively by me.
I hope to use this to motivate myself to improve my photography and to let others see just what I have been taking photos of.

The first few posts will likely be rather large as I put up some of the photos I have taken recently and work out how this blog software works.