This blog provides an informal forum for terrestrial invertebrate watchers to post recent sightings of interesting observations in the southern Vancouver Island region. Please send your sightings by email to Jeremy Tatum (jtatum@uvic.ca). Be sure to include your name, phone number, the species name (common or scientific) of the invertebrate you saw, location, date, and number of individuals. If you have a photograph you are willing to share, please send it along. Click on the title above for an index of past sightings.The index is updated most days.

April 18

2015 April 18

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:   Yesterday (April 17) there were several Satyr Commas in Lochside Drive between Blenkinsop Lake and Lohbrunner’s.  Also at 4:00 pm there was a California Tortoiseshell basking on the Mount Tolmie reservoir.

 

   Today (April 18) in the Hydro line next to Spectacle Lake I saw a Western Pine Elfin, a Mourning Cloak, and several Sara Orangetips.   To find a Pine Elfin you must first find a few Lodgepole Pines – the butterfly is closely associated with that tree.

 

   On March 22 I posted a photograph of an ichneumonid coccon.  The insect emerged from its cocoon today (April 18), and here it is.   Thanks to Scott Gilmore for identifying it as Ophion sp.

 

Ichneumon wasp Ophion sp.  (Hym.: Ichneumonidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

   Val George writes:  Here is a photo of a Brown Elfin from Government House this afternoon, April 18.

 

Western Brown Elfin Incisalia iroides (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Val George

 

 

   Annie Pang writes: Got this caterpillar at Gorge Park, Victoria, B.C. April 17, 2015.  It was literally “hanging by a thread” from a Douglas Fir next to a Lodgepole Pine.  It was small and you can see (if you look closely) the thread coming from its mouth.  I just put a stick under it so I could hold it to get these shots.  Any ideas what it is?  Its appearance is great camouflage as it just looked like a piece of twig hanging from the tree.  [Jeremy replies:  It is Neoalcis californiaria.]

 

Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)   Annie Pang

 

 

   Karen Ferguson writes:   Attached are photos of Propertius Duskywings that I took today (April 18). I was working in the Mt. Maxwell Ecological Reserve Garry Oak Meadows. Duskies were everywhere on the wing today and many were mating as can be seen in one of the photos. Lots of territorial activity and it was also interesting to watch them nectar on the freshly opening buds of the oak trees. The buds were barely open, certainly no flower present so I suppose there is something available for the taking.  [Jeremy asks:  Were they nectaring – or ovipositing?!   Garry Oak is the larval foodplant.  Maybe you can find some eggs!]  I saw an Anna’s Hummingbird checking them out too. Also present were Sara Orangetip, Satyr Comma and a blue that was too fast for me.

 

Female Propertius Duskywing Erynnis propertius (Lep.: Hesperiidae)

 Karen Ferguson

 

Propertius Duskywings Erynnis propertius (Lep.: Hesperiidae)

Karen Ferguson

 

Jeremy comments:  I think that’s the female above, the male below.