Friday, June 27, 2008

Okinawan Wildlife....

Okinawa is a tropical island, so that means we have some interesting flora and fauna. Case in point, see the photos we got of an Asian long-horned beetle we found on our tangerine tree up on our rooftop terrace. Here's some information from Wikipedia:

The Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) (ALB), sometimes called Starry Sky (Sky Oxen in China) beetle, is native to China and other areas of eastern Asia, where it causes widespread mortality of poplar, willow, elm, and maple trees.

Asian longhorned beetles are big, showy insects. They are shiny black with white spots dashed irregularly on their wings. Adults are typically 1-1.5 inches long. The distinctive antennae that give the beetle its common name are as long as the body itself in females and almost twice the body length in males.

The Asian longhorned beetle, or ALB, is an invasive species in the United States and it is a serious threat to many species of deciduous hardwood trees. During its larval stage the ALB bores deep into a tree's heartwood, where it feeds on the tree's nutrients. This tunneling damages and eventually kills the tree. Tree species considered ALB host species include all species of maple (Norway, sugar, silver, and red maple) as well as horse-chestnut, poplar, willow, birch, London planetree, ash, mimosa (silk tree) and elm.

Take a look! These guys are real "pests" back home in the States....

On another note, here is a photo I took of a road sign off the Okinawan Expressway. Okinawa is known to have wild boar, some of the locals actually go out and hunt them. I've never actually seen one, perhaps the sign is the closest I'm going to get...

Hope you enjoyed your first exposure to some of the wildlife of Okinawa. :)



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