Now is the Winter of Our Discontent Made Absolutely Chock-Full of Giant Insects by This Awful Sun of Kiso

Insect #1: The Very Hairy Caterpillar

Known in Japanese as 毛虫, or kemushi (latin name: hairicus caterpillicus), the hairy caterpillar spends most of its days wriggling through the undergrowth on a warpath directly to my house.

When threatened (i.e. by my broom), they curl up into a ball. They also carry actual, literal toxins that can induce pain, inflammation, and in a small number of cases intense visions of a religious nature.

Insect #2: The Suicide Ladybirds

At first glance mistaken for a cute, photogenic critter, the テントウムシ, or tentoumushi (latin name: mortem insectum) is in fact a master at infiltration and guerilla tactics.

A warm day will see hundreds of these engaging in suicidal human wave tactics against any available screen door or window. While most will fail, their sheer weight of numbers ensures dozens slip through into the house, where they can finally fulfil their purpose: immediately dying for absolutely no reason all over my carpet.

Insect #3: The Anti-Hoover Spider:

Its legspan measuring an easy 8~10cm, the 人喰い蜘蛛, or hitokuigumo (latin name: anthropophagos spiderum) is a curious species with an extremely limited habitat: the wall just next to my wife’s head while we’re watching TV in the evening.

This species can be scientifically distinguished from similar species by its hateful gaze, swift movement, and incredible resistance to tried-and-tested ‘just hoover it up and don’t think about it too much’ disposal methods.

Isolated reports from various field workers hold that this species is responsible for all the bad things in this tragic world, but such claims are as yet unsubstantiated.

Insect #4: The Abandoned Apiary:

Fortunately discovered in a place that was not our house, the 恐怖の巣, or kyoufu no su (latin name: scarius alvarium) appears to be an abandoned hornets’ nest perched in the rafters of an abandoned building. However, looks are deceiving: this apparently long-dead hive is burdened with the weight of consciousness – a presence still seething with life after all these year.

Abandoned by its wasps, it broods over long, cold winters and scalding-hot summers. One day, as the birds call out on a spring morning, something will emerge from its paper-dry walls, clutching and sputtering and hungry.

Object Class: Keter

Addendum: specimen was first observed on ██/██/████, and again on ██/██/████. A field team of ██ personnel was dispatched, resulting in █████████████████████████████████████████. Surviving members reported █████████ and ██████████████████████████████ an intense sensation ███████████████ “boiling water” in the █████ lobe of █████. Further field operations ███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████.

Insect # 5: The Cricket?

The 不明のキリギリス, or fumei no kirigirisu (latin name: monstrum volantes) has the curious scientific property of ‘really long antenna’. If threatened (i.e. with a hoover) it will leap around to heights dozens of times its own, seemingly at random.

Unlike the anthropophagos spiderum, however, it is resistant, not immune to such vacuum-based attacks. The fumei no kirigirisu can be found in many different environments, from difficult-to-reach corners of a room to directly inside the shower first thing in the morning.

Insect #6: The Preponderance-of-Legs

Last but not least is the ゲジゲジ, or gejigeji (latin name: CrusCrusCrusCrusCrus), which is perhaps the most haunting of all previously-encountered specimens (fortunately, the aforementioned dreaded mukade, or Giant Centipede, has yet to make its way into our house).

The gejigeji (here pictured dead and thoroughly dessicated, placed outside my front door in the night in what must surely be some kind of warning or sick threat) contains approximately 25 – 8,000 legs, each disquietingly long and spindly.

Like the self-amputation-of-the-tail-as-defence-mechanism of certain species of geckos, the gejigeji will shed parts of its body when threatened, or otherwise touched.

However, instead of losing its tail, the legs of a gejigeji will flake away like so much sickly dandruff, only to continue twitching and moving once separated from the body.

Gejigeji observed in the wild (i.e. inside my house) can vary in length between 5 and 15cm, though surely even longer specimens are yet be discovered in such places as ‘under my bed’ or ‘on the back of my neck I definitely felt something there’.

So there you go – a (sadly incomplete) Pokédex of the insects I’ve encountered so far. Apparently May and June are even worse months for insects, though, so don’t be surprised if a Part 2 of this regrettable post slithers onto your Facebook feed, or drops from the social media ceiling into the warm folds of your Twitter feed one day in the not too distant future. Speaking of which…

(Thanks for reading this post! I honestly didn’t think it would be so long, but I got kind of carried away. If you enjoyed it, it would be great for you to share it with someone you love, or someone you hate, provided they can’t stand insects. Give it a share, a fav, a retweet, or whatever you like.

And consider following me on Twitter, following my wife’s Kiso Valley Diary Instagram, or if you’re an absolutely wonderful human being, support me on Patreon. Every little bit helps!)

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