500 Important Wetlands in Japan
Okinawa

No.475

Wetlands and Coral Reefs of Ikema-jima

map
Criteria for selection:2,3
Photo
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City:C/Town:T/
Village:V
Wetland type Biota Habitat Reason for selection
Hirara C Tidal flats,
Coral reefs,
Other wetlands
Insects Ikema-
shitsugen
With a rich variety of aquatic insects, this site is noted for its valuable environment among the Miyako Islands. Many aquatic insects have been observed here, including Ceriagrion auranticum ryukyuanum, Cercion sexlineatum, Ictinogomphus pertinax, Brachydiplax chalybea flavovittata, Tholymis tillarga, Limnogonus fossarum, Neohydrocoptus subvittulus, Helochares abnormalis and H. ohkurai. It is a natural pond providing habitat for large insects, such as Cybister rugosus, C. tripunctatus orientalis and Cybister sugillatus.
Crustaceans Ikemajima-shitsugen and neighboring coral reefs Ikemajima-shitsugen used to be a semi-closed inlet, but turned into a freshwater pond after the mouth of the inlet was closed for fishing port construction works. Since then, watergrass proliferated, filling up most of the wetland, with freshwater area remaining in the northwest area. It provides breeding grounds for dragonflies and introduced fish such as tilapia and guppy, and feeding and staging grounds for migrating birds including ducks and herons. Many Cardisoma hirtipes also inhabit the marsh and surrounding areas. Around the time of full moons between June and October, huge flocks of Cardisoma hirtipes come down to the beach to release zoea into the sea. Gravel tidal flat supports Uca tetragonon (an RDB species). With coral reefs developed in the sea and white sandy beaches on the island, an extensive area encompassing Ikema-jima and its surrounding sea area is important.

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