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.

June 1

2016 June 01

 

   Mike Yip sends an interesting photograph of a moth from his Nanoose Bay garden.  It is a Large Yellow Underwing, which has only in the past very few minutes emerged from its pupa, and its wings have not yet hardened and expanded to their full size.

 

Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Mike Yip

 

Devon Parker writes:  My Dad and I were at Jordan River again today (May 31) looking for Johnson’s Hairstreak. We managed to find one in the spot you visited with us and another specimen 0.5 km away. We also found a butterfly we haven’t seen there before, Western Spring Azure. There was also a species of diurnal moth nectaring on the willows.  Total for the day was.

2 Johnson’s Hairstreak
2 Western Spring Azures
1 Silvery Blue
6 diurnal moths (photo below)
4 Western Pine Elfins
1 Two-banded Grizzled Skipper
10 Comma sp. (Ear shaped white marking)

 

 

Thanks to Libby Avis for identifying Devon’s diurnal moth as Drasteria divergens.   For a photograph of the upperside, see June 5.

 

 Drasteria divergens (Lep.: Erebidae – Erebinae)  Devon Parker

 

Jeremy Tatum writes: Devon mentions the ear-shaped “comma” on the underside of the comma sp. hindwing.  I think that this rules out oreas and gracilis (which have a V-shaped “comma”).  I think the “ear-shaped” mark indicates either satyrus or faunus.  Amazingly I still haven’t seen a Satyr Comma this year. but Gordon Hart writes that he saw one on May 31 in his Highlands yard – a bit faded, but noticeably different from the smaller and darker Green Commas.

 

 

May 31 morning

2016 May 31 morning

 

   Aziza Cooper writes:  Amazing news – during my visit to the Goldstream railroad tracks, yesterday, May 30, I saw at least 37 Cedar Hairstreaks. This is a minimum count. There were so many it was hard to be accurate. One cluster of daisies had 14, and I have a photo with 10 in view at once. The location is along the tracks near the Watershed gates just south of the stream (Goldstream). Other butterflies there: one Pale Tiger Swallowtail and one Western Tiger Swallowtail, plus four Western Spring Azures.

 

  Jeremy Tatum visited Mount Tolmie yesterday (May 30) at 6:30 pm ,and saw, on or near the reservoir, 3 Red Admirals, 1 West Coast Lady, 1 Western Tiger Swallowtail, and one Lorquin’s Admiral (his first for the year).  And, near the Jeffery Pine, 3 Painted Ladies.

 

  On May 28 Gordon Hart found two beetles in his Highlands yard.  We are grateful to Scott Gilmore for identifying them.

 

Yellow Douglas Fir Borer Centrodera spurca (Col.: Cerambycidae)  Gordon Hart

 

Soldier beetle Podabrus sp. (Col.: Cantharidae)  Gordon Hart

 

May 30

2016 May 30

 

   Apologies for lack of action recently, but we are almost back in business.  First I caught a “bug” (not Hemiptera) and was out of action for a while.  Then at the weekend, just when I thought I’d catch up, telephone service to the Elliott Building was cut off all weekend, and with it, all access to Web, Internet, Email, Invert Alert.   Anyway, here’s a start on the backlog.  Sorry if I don’t manage to get all the exact dates and locations, but they are all local (Victoria) in the last few days.   This will be posted at about 4:00 pm, May 30.  If I have missed any contributions submitted before then, let me know!  Jeremy Tatum

 

  Aziza sends photographs of a butterfly, a spider and a fly.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  No doubt about the butterfly, of course. I haven’t sent the spider and the fly out to experts, but I believe I have managed to identify them myself.  I think they are right, but, if anyone thinks I’ve got them wrong, I’m sure s/he’ll let me know.

 

Lorquin’s Admiral Limenitis lorquini (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Aziza Cooper

 

Phidippus johnsoni (Ara.: Salticidae)   Aziza Cooper

 

 

 

Eristalis tenax (Dip.: Syrphidae)  Aziza Cooper

 

 

  

   Annie Pang sends photos of a varied assortment of insects.

First, a syrphid fly, identified by Matthias Buck as Syritta pipiens.

Syritta pipiens (Dip.: Syrphidae) Annie Pang

 

 

   Next another fly, as yet unidentified.  [Jeremy Tatum wonders whether it might be a stratiomyid, but this is very tentative.  Might also be a syrphid.]

 

Unidentified fly (Dip.: Stratiomyidae? Syrphidae?)  Annie Pang

 

 

 

 

Unidentified fly (Dip.: Stratiomyidae? Syrphidae?)  Annie Pang

 

 

   Next, a bee.  Can someone identify it for us?

 

Unidentified bee.  Can anyone help?  (Hym.)  Annie Pang

 

 

   Next, a sphecid wasp.

 

Prionyx canadensis (Hym.: Sphecidae)  Annie Pang

 

And a ladybird beetle:

 


Harmonia axyridis (Col.: Coccinellidae)   Annie Pang

 

 

  Jeremy Tatum sends a picture of a moth from the cottonwood trees south of Blenkinsop Lake:

 

Enargia infumata (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jeremy Tatum

 

 

   Jeff Gaskin writes: On May 27 I did a little poking around in Layritz Park and Camosun College (Interurban Campus) and found just a few butterflies.  First of all I saw a colony of Common Ringlets (or Large Heaths) totalling 5 on the Camosun College grounds in a field right near where the paved path or trail comes to the road. Also at Camosun were a Pale Tiger Swallowtail and along the trail up to Broadcast hill were 2 Lorquin’s Admirals.

 

   Aziza Cooper writes:  On May 27, I visited Quick’s Bottom and Viaduct Park looking for Vancouver Island Ringlets (Large Heaths).. At Quick’s Bottom, I found 69 in the small overgrown field next to the gravel path between Markham Road and Wilkinson Road.  North of Markham Road in the Viaduct Flats area, in the field on the east side, I again found dozens of Ringlets, for a conservative total of 53. Here, the area was too big for me to cover thoroughly, so there could easily be double that number. In contrast, the field on the west side of the strip of forest had only one Ringlet. I also walked along the Layritz Park gravel trails and into the daisy patches a little, and found only one Ringlet. The Ringlets are generally near patches of daisies, and there are large areas of daisies in all the fields there. It would be interesting to walk transects for a systematic survey.

 

Large Heath (“Ringlet”)  Coenonympha tullia (Lep.: Nymphalidae – Satyrinae) 

Aziza Cooper

 

 

 

 

 

May 27

2016 May 27

 

   Annie Pang sends some pictures of flies from the Gorge area.

 

Merodon equestris (Dip.: Syrphidae)  Annie Pang

 

Probably Lucilia sp. (Dip.: Calliphoridae) Annie Pang
The female (separated eyes) is in front;  the male (eyes close together) is behind.

 

 

Probably Hybomitra sp. (Dip.: Tabanidae)  Annie Pang

 

Probably Hybomitra sp. (Dip.: Tabanidae)  Annie Pang

 

[Thanks to Claudia Copley for the tentative identification of this fly.  Jeremy Tatum writes: These flies have a very painful bite, and I am terrified of them.]

May 25

 

2015 May 25

 

Annie Pang sends pictures of a Two-spotted Ladybird beetle, and of a bumblebee seeking nectar in a Foxglove.

 

Two-spotted Ladybird Adalia bipunctata (Col.: Coccinellidae)  Annie Pang

Bombus centralis (Hym.: Apidae)   Annie Pang

  Gordon Hart sends a picture of a cicada from his Highlands garden.  Thanks to Claudia Copley for the identification as a teneral Okanagana sp.

 

Cicada Okanagana sp.  (Hem.: Cicadidae)   Gordon Hart

 

Libby Avis sends photographs of a caterpillar of Enypia packardata from Rathtrevor Park, Parksville, May 4.   We are not sure how (or if) it is possible to distinguish this caterpillar from that of E. griseata, but we assume, from its range, that it has to be packardata.

 

Enypia packardata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Libby Avis

Enypia packardata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Libby Avis

   Gerry and Wendy Ansell write: On Tuesday May 24, 2016, we saw three Purplish Coppers on the Indian Reserve north of Island View Beach Regional Park.

 

Male Purplish Copper Lycaena helloides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Wendy Ansell

  Jeremy Tatum shows a third variation of a Large Yellow Underwing.  See also May 19 and 23.

 

Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

Jeff Gaskin writes: “Today, May 25, I looked for butterflies on the Galloping Goose trail from Sooke Road at Glen Lake Road to the Colwood exit of the Island Highway. My results are the following:  Cabbage White 25, Western Tiger Swallowtail  6,  Lorquin’s Admiral  2,  Pale Tiger Swallowtail  1,  and Western Spring Azure  1.