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 December 29

2021 December 29

    On December 21, Gordon Hart found a chrysalis of a Tiger Swallowtail  (we can’t tell whether it is Western or Pale) at his Highlands home.  The silken pad in which it has embedded its cremaster is on a tiny fragment of bark which has become detached from the twig, so that the chrysalis is hanging awkwardly from its waist girdle.  Gordon is investigating the possibility of re-attaching the fragment to the twig so that the butterfly can eclode safely.

Tiger Swallowtail Papilio sp. (Lep.: Papilionidae)   Gordon Hart

2021 December 28

2021 December 28

    Carl Hughes reports a female Cabbage White from his house in Royal Oak on Christmas Day.  This reminds us that there were Cabbage Whites reported from Kemp Lake and from Highlands last winter (in January and March of this year).  All three records were, unsurprisingly, indoor sightings.  Cabbage Whites normally spend the winter in the pupal state, and the survival prospects of adults emerging in winter are not good.

  We presume this will be the last butterfly record of the year!

Female Cabbage White Pieris rapae (Lep.: Pieridae)  Carl Hughes

2021 December 24

2021 December 24

    Aziza Cooper sends pictures of a spider from her bathroom, and an unusually dark European Winter Moth.

 

Pholcus phalangioides (Ara.: Pholcidae)

Aziza Cooper

 

Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)

Aziza Cooper

2021 December 17

2021 December 17

    Val George sends photographs of two Western Winter Moths  Operophtera occidentalis  from the Goldstream Park Nature House, December 16.

Operophtera occidentalis (Lep.: Geometridae)  Val George

 

Operophtera occidentalis (Lep.: Geometridae)  Val George

 

2021 December 12

2021 December 12

    Gordon Hart writes:  Michael Simmons, of Brentwood Bay, sent me a photograph of a bee seen on Thursday December 9, feeding on a Winter Sun Mahonia in full bloom.  I think it is likely Bombus melanopygus, the Black-tailed Bumblebee, based on the bit of orange with very little yellow, and the fact that this is a common species on the west coast, with a long season.

Probably Bombus melanopygus (Hym.: Apidae)  Michael Simmons