Advantest Biotope

In accordance with our theme of coexistence with nature, Advantest established one of the largest biotopes to be created by a company in Japan, at our Gunma R&D Center in 2001, aiming to bring back to life the traditional rural landscape of the Kanto Plain.

Focusing on ponds, wetlands and streams, we have planted aquatic plants and trees that blend with the surrounding natural environment, aiming to form a network with that environment. It has grown into an ecosystem supporting diverse species of insects, birds and so forth.

The Advantest biotope is used for environmental education, enabling employees to learn about the importance of the global environment, and also as a place for communication with the local community.

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    Biotope: This word combines the Greek words "Bio", which means life, and "Tope", which means a place.

What's New in the Biotope

We share seasonal observations of flowers and organisms that live in the biotope through videos and photos.
The videos can be viewed from the link “Biotope Quarterly” below.

Biotope Quarterly

The Advantest biotope serves as a habitat for various organisms.
This newsletter introduces the various animals and plants that live in our biotope along with videos and photos.

Advantest biotope

Winter in the biotope - Trees that lose their leaves (2024. 2. 22)

Deciduous trees, whose leaves turn beautiful shades of red and yellow in autumn, completely lose their leaves in winter, revealing their trunks and branches.
Just as people look different from each other in many ways, so do trees. Here are some deciduous trees with distinctive barks that can be seen in the biotope in winter.

Leafless Deciduous Trees
Trident maple tree

This is a tall tree, standing 10-20 meters high.
The bark is grayish-brown and smooth on young trees. However, it peels off in large vertical strips as the tree grows.
This tree is said to be resistant to air pollution and is often planted as a roadside tree.

Trident maple tree
Bark of trident maple tree
Sawtooth oak tree

This is a tall tree, reaching a height of about 15 meters.
The bark is dark and rugged, with irregular vertical cracks.
The wood from this tree is relatively slow-burning, and has traditionally been used for firewood and charcoal.
Insects such as beetles are attracted to the sap that seeps from the trunk of the tree.

Sawtooth oak tree
Bark of sawtooth oak tree
Crape myrtle tree

The Japanese name for this tree is "Saru-Suberi (meaning "monkeys slip"), which derives from the fact that the trunk is so smooth and slippery that even monkeys may have difficulty climbing it.
The bark is reddish-brown and very smooth, and the trunk and branches grow in a sinuous pattern from side to side. Some crape myrtles can reach up to 10 meters in height.

Crape myrtle tree
Bark of crape myrtle tree
Winged spindle tree

This is a shrub that grows 1-3 meters tall. The bark is grayish-brown with a shallow striped pattern, and the branches have thin, rectangular wings.
This tree is called "Nishiki" tree in Japanese. "Nishiki" means "Japanese brocade", and refers to the vibrant red autumnal leaves.
In contrast, the bare branches in winter make the "wings" of the tree conspicuous.

Winged spindle tree
Bark and branches of
winged spindle tree
Branches of winged spindle tree.
They have flat, rectangular wings.
Japanese maple tree

The maple tree, which displays beautiful autumn foliage in the fall, completely loses its leaves in winter and looks like this. The bark of young maple trees is green and smooth, while the bark of mature trees turns light grayish-brown and has shallow vertical cracks. Most maple trees grow in semi-shaded areas and reach a height of 5 to 10 meters.

Mature Japanese maple tree
Young Japanese maple tree
Bark of mature
Japanese maple tree
Bark of young
Japanese maple tree

The videos of the Advantest biotope can be viewed via the "Biotope Quarterly Archive" below.

Biotope Quarterly Archive

Biotope description

Can be swiped left or right.
Location 336-1, Ohwa, Meiwa-machi, Ora-gun, Gunma Within the Gunma R&D Center site
Area 17,000m2 (100m × 170m)
Tall trees
about 30 species including kinds of oak (kunugi, konara, kashi)
Medium-sized trees
about 5 species including camellia, Japanese privet, etc.
about 15 species including kurume azalea, Japanese laurel, etc.
Aquatic plants
about 10 species including common reed, cattail, Japanese parsley, calamus, etc.
Composed of ponds, streams, ecotones*, meadows, woodland
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    Ecotone: An environmental transition zone bordering on a different environment, such as the water's edge, grasslands, woodlands etc.

Artificial insect habitats

We have put in place artificial insect habitats* within the biotope area, to support a variety of living creatures, and have kept track of how they are being used.

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    Artificial insect habitats: piles of logs, stones etc.

Wooden artificial insect habitat

The surface is dry but it is moist inside, so reptiles and insects live and lay eggs there.

Species observed
Reptiles: snakes (eggs), Japanese grass lizard etc.
Insects: small stag beetle (larvae), assassin bug, seven-spotted lady beetle, etc.

Bamboo artificial insect habitat

Bundles of cut bamboo sticks were put on the ground and above ground. Insects live in the bamboo and in the gap between the bundles.

Species observed
Insects: a kind of wasp (Isodontia nigella), solitary wasp (Anterhynchium flavomarginatum micado), type of earwig (Carcinophora marginalis), etc.

Stone artificial insect habitat

A house in which large and small stones are arranged in a pile. Insects live under and in the gaps between the stones.

Species observed
Insects: Enma cricket, Loxoblemmus campestris, Panagaeus japonicus Chaudoir, etc.