Illustrated Guide to Orthoptera and Their Songs: The Insect Choruses of Japan

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Illustrated Guide to Orthoptera and Their Songs: The Insect Choruses of Japan
Author: Takashi Murai
Specifications: ISBN  978-4832914001
208 pages
14.8 x 21.0 cm / 5.9 x 8.4 in (WxH)
Category: Academic & Science
Publisher: Hokkaido University Press
Sapporo, 2015
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The Japanese countryside rings with the sound of insects. The chorus of autumn insects in particular has been one of the most beloved symbols of the season since ancient times, but there is no shortage of insects that raise their voices in the spring and summer as well. From Hokkaido to Okinawa, each region and each different landscape has its own distinctive sound created by the resident insects. These singing insects are an object of fascination not just for their songs but for their anatomical diversity and beauty as well. This book is a full-color guide to the Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids) of Japan, illustrated with photos showing the insects in their natural habitats. The entries are divided into two main parts, “Meadows” and “Forests,” each treating the insects by region, season, and habitat.

Insects can sometimes be heard singing solo, but more typically they are heard in chorus. The volume comes with two CDs that contain recordings of these insect choruses. The tracks primarily feature grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids, but since they are recorded live in natural settings, cicadas and frogs sometimes join the chorus, and the rustling of trees or other sounds are mixed in as well. A total of 121 species can be heard in the more than two hours of recordings. The tracks include insect choruses spanning the full length of Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa’s Yonaguni Island, with only the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands not represented. Readers can enjoy the soothing sounds of insects to their heart’s content.