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.

2021 September 15

2021 September 16

    Aziza Cooper sends a photograph of a moth that was at her garage light on Salsbury Way on September 13.   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I had no idea what it was, so I sent the photograph  to Libby Avis, and, to my surprise she returned with the news that it is a colour variety of Neoalcis californiariaWe haven’t had one quite like this in Invert Alert before, but Libby sees them often at Port Alberni.

Neoalcis californiaria  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Aziza Cooper

   Corrigendum:   I had incorrectly labelled a fly in yesterday’s Alert as a syrphid.  Thanks to Jeremy Gatten for giving us the correct identification.  See yesterday’s Alert for the correction.

2021 September 14

2021 September 14

Jochen’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

1 Autographa californica

1 Eupithecia unicolor 

1 Neoalcis californiaria

1 Noctua pronuba

Autographa californica (Lep.: Noctuidae – Plusiinae)  Jochen Möhr

Eupithecia unicolor (Lep.:  Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

   Gordon Hart writes from Highlands:  There have not been many butterflies around, but yesterday, Monday, September 13, we saw four Cabbage Whites and a Grey Hairstreak. It was sharing a clump of Yarrow with some flies  and small beetles.

 

Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Gordon Hart

 

Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Gordon Hart

Sharing a clump of Yarrow with a fly (Bombyliidae) and a small beetle.  Gordon Hart

Thanks to Jeremy Gatten for pointing out that the fly is not a syrphid (as incorrectly labelled in an earlier version of this posting) but a bombyliid, probably genus Villa.

 

 

 

 

2021 September 13

2021 September 13

    Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is a Mint Moth from the garden of my Saanich apartment building this morning.

 

Pyrausta californicalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

Liam Singh reports an American Lady hilltopping on Christmas Hill in the late afternoon of September 12.  This is the second sighting of the species this year (see August 26 Invert Alert for August 25 photograph on Mount Douglas).  At 4:00 pm today, September 13, Nyjal Singh tells us that there were at least three ladies at the top of Christmas Hill.  One of them is certainly an American Lady; the other two are probably also American Ladies.  Nyjal has photographs of some these. Liam tells us that Rebecca Reader-Lee found and photographed another American Lady at Rocky Point yesterday, September 12.   We hope to post some photographs tomorrow.

Viewers who visit Christmas Hill to see these butterflies will probably want to keep their eyes open for a Horned Lark that has been there today.

There have been sightings of American Lady for each year from 2017 to 2021 inclusive.  There have been no reports of West Coast Lady so far this year, and none in 2020.  Thus it appears that in recent years the American Lady is commoner than the West Coast Lady.

It would be worth checking some other hilltops in the late afternoon.  I tried Mount Tolmie without luck.  Mount Douglas and Highrock Park should also be checked.

 

 

2021 September 12

2021 September 12

    Jochen Möhr reports three Neoalcis californiaria  and one Lithophane petulca at his Metchosin home this morning.

 

Lithophane petulca (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

Sharon Godkin took some interesting insect photographs at Rocky Point on September 10:

 

White-faced Hornet Dolichovespula maculata (Hym.: Vespidae)  Sharon Godkin

White-faced Hornet Dolichovespula maculata (Hym.: Vespidae)  Sharon Godkin

Praying Mantis Mantis religiosa (Mantodea:  Mantidae)  Sharon Godkin

Praying Mantis Mantis religiosa (Mantodea:  Mantidae)  Sharon Godkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2021 September 11

2021 September 11

    Aziza Cooper sends a photograph of a grasshopper (the one that looks like a Mourning Cloak!) from Clover Point, September 10:

Dissosteira carolina  (Orth.: Acrididae)  Aziza Cooper

   Richard Rycraft sends a photograph of the spider known variously as the European Garden Spider, the Cross Orb Weaver and doubtless other variations:

Araneus diadematus (Ara.: Araneidae)  Richard Rycraft