Half a century ago, in contrast to European countries, Japan and adjacent Asian countries were blank areas of knowledge in oribatid fauna. When the initial work on oribatid taxonomy was started by me in 1958, only six species of oribatid mites had been known from Japan. A steady stream of discovery of new species, however, increased the total number of oribatid species in Japan now to more than 650, of which 300 were described by me as new species. The results of my studies with special interest are 1) the founding of peculiar species inhabiting lichen growing on the back of New Guinean weevils and representing a new genus and a new family, 2) recognition of microhabitats of oribatids on the forest floors, 3) comparison of sensillar shapes between arboreal and soil living species, 4) disappearance and reappearance of soil animals along with succession of vegetation in tropical rain forests of Borneo, where shifting cultivation is predominated, 5) proposal of environmental diagnosis using oribatid mites as biological indicator, 6) oribatid mites inhabiting drifts on the sea shores, 7) city constructions as habitats of oribatid mites.
Current status of taxonomy of the anomuran crab family Porcellanidae (Crustacea: Decapoda) in the Indo-West Pacific is reviewed. Petrolisthes is the richest genus in the Porcellanidae, and include about 100 species in the world and 45 species in the Indo-West Pacific. Most of the species are known to live in the intertidal and shallow subtidal regions. Relationships between informal groups of Petrolisthes and its related genera are discussed on the basis of the larval characters. Geographical distribution and features of habitat of the Indo-West Pacific species of Petrolisthes are also discussed.
Japanese spiny lobster "Kanoko-iseebi" previously identified as Panulirus longipes femoristriga (von Martens, 1872) was well known to have three types of color variation. Recently these color variations of "Kanoko-iseebi" were separated each other in species or subspecies rank. Therefore new Japanese names were herein put to each species, i.e. "Aka-iseebi" toP. brunneifiagellum Sekiguchi and George, 2005, "Amami-iseebi" to P. femoristriga (von Martens, 1872) and "Kanoko-iseebi" to P. longipes bispinosus Borradaile, 1899.
Enteropneusts, acorn worms, are free-living vermiform marine invertebrates and classified into approximately 80 species. In Japan only seven species have been hitherto reported. Recently, we started taxonomical study of enteropneusts to clarify the fauna of Japanese enteropneusts. We have performed energetic sampling from 2005 by scuba diving and snorkeling in various seas in Japan, i.e., Izu Peninsula, Miura Peninsula, Noto Peninsula, and Okinawa Island. Then, we found 14 species belonging to seven genera. Three of those genera were new to Japan. One of 14 species was newly described as Balanoglossus simodensis by Miyamoto and Saito (2007), four of them were identified into previously reported species and the others are under consideration. This study shows that the fauna of Japanese enteropneusts is richer than that previously expected, and continuation of careful and vigorous sampling could bring us much information on the taxonomy and ecology of enteropneusts.
Numerous researchers, beginning with Busk (1884) and Ortmann (1890), have studied the Japanese marine bryozoan fauna. The first great monograph on Japanese bryozoan that of Ortmann (1890), was based on specimens from Sagami Bay. As the consequence of a long history of faunal studies beginning about 130 years ago, Sagami Bay is known to have a high diversity of marine organisms. Early collections made by two German zoologists, Ludwig Doderlein and Franz Doflein, are important, as they indude many type specimens. In the 20th century, Showa Emperor devoted considerable resources to both collecting in Sagami Bay and curation of the collections. Recently, the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, has conducted faunal surveys in Sagami Bay and collected additional specimens. Examination of the bryozoan specimens in all these collections by using modern methods like scanning electron microscopy is important for determining the bryozoan diversity and short-term changes that may have occurred in the bryozoan fauna in Sagami Bay. The bryozoan database will comprise a valuable tool for assessing the effects of future environmental degradation or change. In this paper, we review the history of bryozoan research in Sagami Bay and summarize new findings.