Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting


Where the huge ladybug, Callicaria superba, goes?

A ladybug species Callicaria superba is one of the largest in Japan, and is known to live also in western provinces of such as Shaanxi and Guizhou, China. It is interesting that the distribution is isolated.

It is found in mulberry leaves planted in the mountain areas in Japan, and feeds on  jumping plant lice, Anomoneura mori in scientific name, which is peculiar to mulberry trees. Both adults and larvae of the ladybug can be seen only in early summer (May to June) when this plant lice occurs.

I hear that it is increasing recently in eastern Japan as well. Also, I know that it is recently come to be found on wild mulberry trees that grow on the banks of the Yodo River, the vicinity of Osaka. So I think that it is widely increasing now.

It is unclear where and what the huge ladybug of 1 cm in size is doing from summer to spring. I suppose it spends by hiding somewhere probably in an adult stage.

If possible, I would like to attach a transmitter to its body that is used for ecological surveys of small animals. As the weight is getting lighter, I hope someday we can attach one to big ladybugs.


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