Monday, August 19, 2013

BUGS in Japan

So lots of people have requested that I make a video about BUGS here, because they have heard horror stories about Japanese bugs. I can tell you that those stories are all probably true, because the bugs here are insane, nothing like what you would find in Canada. This is all pretty traumatizing for someone with the worst arachnophobia EVER, but I'm trying my best. If I can survive here, I guarantee anyone can.

So first lets start off with the spiders. The spiders are in a whole different class than the ones in Canada. I regularly see spiders bigger than my hand fully stretched out, and they are FAST as hell. Here are some pictures that will scar you forever:



They're not poisonous, but if you're like me you don't really give a shit about that because they're scary as hell regardless whether they are dangerous or not. Good thing is you will only find these in the Summer, I haven't seen them around in the Winter at all. 

The next bug that I am terrified of here are the giant hornets. These are called suzumebachi in Japanese, suzume = sparrow (because they are pretty much as big as a bird) and bachi = bee.


 Apparently you can die if you are stung by one of these. During my first homestay in Japan I got stung by a big bee, but I didn't see closely what it was. My homestay mother started panicking and grabbed my leg and tried to suck the venom out with her mouth. It was an... interesting... experience. Anyways, so these guys are dangerous so try to avoid them at all times. I don't see them around too often, but they seem to hang around in parks. 

The other bugs here don't really bother me. Cockroaches are really common here, I know some people are bothered by those, but I can live with them. The mosquitoes are annoying as hell, I find myself waking up almost every night to kill one. But that's really about it for bugs that suck. 

Now for the cool bugs!! This is a kabuto mushi (rhinoceros beetle):


They are a common pet for children here, and can be found in the forest. If you don't want to go hunting for one, you can also buy them at the pet store :) They don't bite and they eat jello! I used to own a few, but I let them go. 

The butterflies here are gorgeous


These black ones I see around a lot, and also swallowtails. I was a  bit of a butterfly geek growing up so this makes me happy :3 

If you have any other questions about Japanese bugs, let me know! 




  



23 comments:

  1. I'm a butterfly geek myself and I've wanted to see those black swallowtails flying for years but that hasn't happened yet. (The specimen you show above doesn't really have swallowtails but it belongs to genus Papilio, most of whose species have elegant tailish wings.) That butterfly is called Nagasaki-ageha, where Nagasaki is name of the city in Kyushu. The species used to occur only in Kii Peninsula and further West, but it is said now that they fly in Kanagawa and Tokyo. Ahhh they don't seem to want to fly in front of my eyes!

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    1. Oh really?? I didn't know the black ones were also swallowtails :D I always see them outside of my classroom windows and haven't seen one up close enough to notice any tails.

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    2. Visit http://spindasis.sakura.ne.jp/ageha/nagasaki/nagasaki.html and scroll the page down all the way to the bottom. The specimen there, allegedly caught in Kyoto, has tails. But another related Web page says in Japan the ones with tails in Main Island are extremely rare. In Taiwan there are both types, with and without tails.
      BTW your picture is of a male. Nagasaki-ageha is one of the rare butterfly species whose females are more gorgeous than the males.

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  2. that hornet is like a real life Pokémon!

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  3. I was a little scared about the hornets when I went over last summer...luckily, I had no incidents with them! I'm more afraid of bees and things with wings and buzz than I am spiders, but the spiders are indeed ridiculous (T_____T) Do you get cockroaches in your apartment often? How big are they? (>___<)

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    1. Yeah I've had several cockroaches in my apartment, they haven't been too big, 6cm maybe?

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    2. I just imagined Sharla chasing a cockroach with a measuring tape. XD
      Sorry :D

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  4. I saw a wasp like that when I was in Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens in 2010. I think it came towards me because of my bright red Mario hat, which it may have found threatening, but luckily, I swatted it away quite hard and it fell to the ground. I didn't kill it, but wouldn't have gone for any bright red hats for quite some time after that event, I dare say.

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    1. Yikes! Thanks for the heads up. Won't be wearing my red hoodie to the park!

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  5. Is the "Suzumebachi" lethal to dogs as well?I worry about my baby because I cant really avoid parks :/

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    1. I'm not sure, but my guess would be anything lethal to humans would be lethal to dogs as well :( But they are huge and you see them coming, so you will probably have time to run and hide!

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  6. Not surprised wasps are still assholes in Japan.

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  7. Are the bees in japan like bees over here in that if you don't move they don't sting you?
    (by here i mean america but i'm pretty close to the border so bees are probably the same as they are in Canada)

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  8. Why did I stare at these pictures......for 10 minutes.
       ...fearing for my life...

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  9. Have you ever encountered a Mukade?

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  10. I'm moving to Tokyo in October and kind off wondering if the mosquitoes is really bothersome around that time of the year?

    And the spiders are awesome! Really want to see some of those, especially when they aren't poisionous.. :)

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  11. Oh my gosh, the spiders! TT - TT
    I have the worst case of arachnophobia in the world, I swear. Just seeing them from a distance or even just pictures scares the crap out of me.
    I guess I've decided that I'm going to Japan in the winter then. xD

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    1. Just came back to say that I totally had nightmares about giant tree-dwelling spiders from this. xD;;

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  12. Wow, they look like the exact same spiders we have here in Australia: which I do not like at all. They just sit up in the corner of the ceiling... they sit in my postbox in summer. You go to get the mail and hey there you are how you going

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  13. Hey hope you're well!

    I miss the bugs in Japan! In England there aren't really any about (probably because there are lot of predators like birds) and you don't get to see the really beautiful butterflies like Ageha or the cool ones like the Praying Mantis.

    I believe it is true about the Suzumebachi, although I think it's the Second time you get stung by them that's the problem, because you get a strong allergic reaction (I think it's called something shock) which can lead to death.

    Hope you're enjoying Japan, I haven't got around to watching all your videos yet but what I've seen already has really made me want to move back there 。゚+(σ´д`。)+゚・クスン…

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