Sea Turtle Art Show – Okinawa, Japan

Please come out to the Sea Turtle Art show on August 12th 2017. The event will take place at the Okinawa Brewing Company at 2:00-6:00 pm. We will have original art work, prints and postcards for sale.  This is a collaboration with local artists to bring awareness to sea turtle conservation and what you can do to save our oceans. Part of the profits will be donated to sea turtle conservation and related causes.

* CJ and friends will be performing live music for the event.

Turtle art show

Turtle art show

Baby sea turtle making the journey to the ocean. Okinawa, Japan.

Baby sea turtles leaving the nest

Baby sea turtles leaving the nest – Photography by Shawn Miller

The beautiful sea turtles of the Ryukyu Islands

Green Sea Turtle

Green Sea Turtle -Photography by Shawn Miller

Our trash is becoming a serious problem on our shorelines. All of us can do better to reduce our waste and protect out natural environment.

Trash on our shorelines

Trash on our shorelines -Photography by Shawn Miller

I often find single use items washed on our shorelines. Plastic bags, forks, spoons, pet bottles,straws, razors, medicine prescription containers, flip flops, hair combs, tooth brushes, bento boxes, Styrofoam, shotgun shells, and rope are the common items washed ashore.

Beach trash -hermit crabs

Beach trash - Crabs with beach trash homes by Shawn Miller

The event turnout was better than expected. A big thanks to all that supported the event and to the contributors and local artists.

A few photographs of the event  -

Turtle art show -Okinawa, Japan

Turtle art show   “The wall of art “

Turtle art show -Okinawa, Japan

Turtle art show -Okinawa, Japan

Turtle art show –  Pollution print

Turtle art show – Laowa 12mm F2.8 D dreamer perspective


Good times at Okinawa brewing company-

Have a great day !


Ryukyu green snake – Reptiles of Okinawa by Shawn Miller

The Ryukyu Green snake (Cyclophiops semicaricartus) is a non-venomous snake found throughout the Ryukyu Islands. They are fairly common here on Okinawa. I often find them in the Yanbaru forest. They are harmless and pose no threat to your safety.

  • Scientific name: Cyclophiops semicaricartus
  • Local name: Ryukyu Ao Hebi - Ryukyu Green snake
  • Distribution:  Ryukyu Islands
  • Habitat:  Forests and grasslands
  • Diet:  Earth worms
  • Average size:  60cm -80cm
  • Color:  Olive green with a yellow belly
 Ryukyu Green snake (Cyclophiops semicaricartus)

Ryukyu Green snake (Cyclophiops semicaricartus)

There’s a snake on my snake boot! I highly recommend wearing snake boots while herping in northern Okinawa.  Check out my post on venomous snakes of Okinawa for more info.


Snake boot – Ryukyu Green snake (Cyclophiops semicaricartus)

A juvenile Ryukyu green snake interested in the Canon 100mm 2.8 lens.

Ryukyu snake on the Canon 100mm macro lens

Ryukyu snake on the Canon 100mm macro lens

The snakes are sometimes found crossing the road a night.

 Ryukyu Green snake (Cyclophiops semicaricartus)

Ryukyu Green snake (Cyclophiops semicaricartus)

The  Ryukyu Green snake feeds on earth worms, no need to kill it.

Road Kill - Ryukyu Green snake (Cyclophiops semicaricartus)

Road Kill – Ryukyu Green snake and beetles

Have a great day – Shawn Miller

The Coconut Crab – Terrestrial hermit crabs of the Ryukyu Islands

Coconut crabs are the largest terrestrial hermit crabs of the Ryukyu Islands. They are scarce on the Island of Okinawa due to over-hunting. They are sold in local fish markets for high prices. The meat of the the coconut crab is sought after and considered a delicacy.  No conservation programs are set in place to protect this native crab. It is currently listed as data deficient on the IUCN list of Threatened species.

  • Scientific name: Birgus latro
  • Common name: Coconut crab, robber crab and palm thief
  • Distribution: Majority of the Ryukyu Islands
  • Habitat: Coastal forest
  • Diet: Seeds, fruit and carrion
  • Average size: 20-40 centimeters
  • Color: Purple, blue or orange
Coconut crab- Okinawa

Coconut crab- Okinawa

How to tell the difference between a coconut crab and a hermit crab. They look very similar to the blueberry hermit crab at first, but the coconut crab has protective spines near its eyes. Hermit crabs do not have these spines since they have adapted to retreat into a shell to protect their eyes. The coconut crab does not depend on a seashell as it gets larger. I still have yet to find a juvenile coconut crab adapting with a seashell.

spines that protect the eyes

spines that protect the eyes

Terrestrial hermit crabs live in the coastal forest where the treeline and coastline meet. They are the caretakers of the coastal forest. They mainly feed on plants, flowers, fruits and seeds in the treeline. They also help disperse seeds in the forest, specifically the screw pine tree seeds.

The Climber- robber crab

The Climber- Adult coconut crab

Pandanus trees with spiky sword shaped leaves provide a perfect environment for the Coconut crabs to thrive.

Pandus odifer

Pandus odifer – favorite food

A juvenile climbing on Pandanus tree

Juvenile coconut crab - Okinawa

Juvenile coconut crab – Okinawa

Okinawa’s harsh limestone coastline. The female must make the journey over this rough terrain to lay her eggs in the ocean.

Coconut crab - Onna village

Coconut crab – Onna village

Photographed on on a white portable outdoor studio for the Meet Your neighbours project. ( Connecting people worldwide with the wildlife in their community )

Coconut crab- MYN technique

Coconut crab- MYN technique

Meet Crabzilla! – The most aggressive crab I have encountered on Okinawa.   Coconut crabs are fearless and have bone crushing power. You do not want to get caught by the claw, You play you will Pay!!

Crabzilla -Okinawa

Crabzilla -Okinawa

Coconut crabs spend their day hiding in burrows.  They venture out searching for food late at night.  This juvenile was found crossing the road.

Let's dance- Coconut crab

Let’s dance- Coconut crab

Have a great day!