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.

Head shot- Ryuyu Green snake

Head shot- Ryuyu Green snake

 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

Nudibranchs – Colorful sea slugs of Okinawa

Nudibranchs are shell-less gastropods. They are some the most bizarre looking underwater animals found in our oceans. They can be challenging to to find due to their small size and confusing patterns. Nudibranchs are slow moving, delicate and lack a protective shell. Some are extremely distasteful and bright colors warn predators that they are toxic. Some even have the ability to ingest stinging cells and use them as a form of protection.

The best way to find sea slugs:    Move slow!  Search around sponges, hydroids, sea squirts, anemones, soft coral, rocks and reef ledges.

Train the eye:  They can be challenging to find, I recommend tagging along with experienced divers that already have an eye for finding them.

Below are some of my favorite images of sea slugs. Photography by Shawn M Miller.

Chromodoris willani

Chromodoris willani © Shawn Miller

Phestilla melanobranchis

Phestilla melanobranchis© Shawn Miller

Phyllidia varicosa

Phyllidia varicosa© Shawn Miller

Roboasta gracillis

Roboasta gracillis© Shawn Miller

Chromodoris aureopurpurea

Chromodoris aureopurpurea© Shawn Miller


Aldisa albatrossae

Aldisa albatrossae© Shawn Miller

Tritonospsilla alba

Tritonospsilla alba© Shawn Miller

Phyllidia elegans

Phyllidia elegans© Shawn Miller


Gymnodoris nigrocolor – parasite© Shawn Miller

Chromodoris kuniei

Chromodoris kuniei© Shawn Miller

Chromodoris annae

Chromodoris annae© Shawn Miller

Chromodoris sp

Chromodoris sp -space odyssey© Shawn Miller

Janolus sp

Janolus sp© Shawn Miller

Noumea angstolutea

Noumea angstolutea© Shawn Miller

Chromodoris coi

Chromodoris coi© Shawn Miller

Phyllidia coelestis

Phyllidia coelestis© Shawn Miller

Flabellina rubrolineata

Flabellina rubrolineata© Shawn Miller

Glossodoris cruenta

Glossodoris cruenta© Shawn Miller

Chromodoris annae -Ryukyu flare

Chromodoris annae -Ryukyu flare© Shawn Miller

Learn more about the beautiful sea slugs of Okinawa.  Check out Dr. Bolland’s Website!

Diving and Jiving in Okinawa, Japan

Okinawa has some of the best diving in the world. The Ocean is filled with beautiful coral reefs and vast amounts of marine life only found here. The water is warm and the clarity is outstanding. If you ever get the chance to scuba dive in Okinawa, go for it and do not hesitate. Below are a few of my underwater photographs over the years. All the images were photographed on scuba in the beautiful waters of Okinawa-Japan.

This Lion-fish is one of the many venomous animals in the ocean.


Shortfin Lionfish (Dendrochirus brachypterus) with Lightning eyes .                                                                             Underwater Macro Photography.

Many different marine organisms fluorescence with the proper wavelengths of light.

Okinawa nature photography

Underwater Flourescent Photography -Razor coral

Light rays at Maeda point. this is the most popular diving spot in Okinawa

shawn miller photography

The light gleams through the clear waters of Okinawa.

This is one of the most popular fish to photograph underwater.

shawn miller -okinawa nature photography - ikelite housing

Baby Tomato Anemonefish – Amphiprion frenatus