Monday, November 16, 2015

The creepy critters of Japan

I'm not good with bugs. Confronted by a hairy spider I'd rather lease it territory and find a new apartment than deal with it directly. Peculiarly, snakes, mice and lizards do not worry me one iota, happy to pet them all. But cockroaches (which can also fly short distances by the way) again do, the same way as spiders. Moths and butterflies not a problem, even stag beetles I'm ok with. Which brings it down to a question of speed rather than design. Spiders are quick running critters.

Fortunately central Tokyo is a fairly hostile environment for bugs. I've seen a handful of cockroaches over the years and the house spiders are smaller than a penny, and even I can cope with that. You see the odd snake in Yoyogi Park, but these are black Rat Snakes and completely harmless or occasionally an abandoned pet liberated to a life of freedom under the trees. And the lizards are smaller than your hand, rare and not that keen on people either.

But outside Tokyo is a different matter. The Wolfman Spiders of Izu clearly descended from a 1950's B-movie and the Hymenoptera ants could carry away your car. Above about 1,000ft make sure you cover up if around grass lands or waterways, the bite of the buyo, or black fly, will leave you seriously considering amputation to relieve the itch. But it's the osuzumebachi, or Giant Hornet, that holds the record. It inflicts the final cut to more people in Japan each year than any other member of the animal kingdom, humans excepted. But humans can't fly and I don't like bugs. 

Enjoy a picture of a Minion. If you want a bug,
you can look those up yourself

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