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.

July 17

2019 July 17

 

   Rosemary sends two pictures of a European Paper Wasp from the Kemp Lake area, July 16:

 

European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

 

 

European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

   These wasps seem to have chosen yesterday for posing for photographs, for Cheryl Hoyle photographed one yesterday along the Galloping Goose trail:

 

European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

 

   Another miscellany of various insects from Cheryl:

 

This damselfly was quite beyond my ability to identify, but no trouble for Dr Rob Cannings, who kindly identified it for us, to species, sex, and age!

 

Immature female Tule Bluet Ennalagma carunculatum (Odo.: Coenagrionidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

 

 

Lorquin’s Admiral Limenitis lorquini  (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

 

   I believe the next one is a spider-hunting wasp.  There are too many species even to think about identifying it further, although Aporus luxus might be a reasonable guess.

 

Spider-hunting Wasp (possibly Aporus luxus??) (Hym.: Pompilidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

 

 

      Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:

 

After a night of full moon and pouring rain still very little at the light:

 

1 Hesperumia sulphuraria

1 Ochlodes sylvanoides (Picture attached)   

1 Scopula quinquelinearia

 

 

 

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

   Question:  In the above photograph, which is the foreleg, which is the middle leg, and which is the hindleg?  Question:  Do all hesperiine skippers perch like that?

 

  Here’s a puzzler from Rosemary Jorna, Kemp Lake.  This tiny insect (1-2 mm) was in a bowl of local raspberries.  Is it a beetle or a bug?  Where are its wings?  Charlene Wood points out that most beetles have 9-11 antennal segments, whereas bugs have 4 or 5.  So it’s a bug.  But no wings?  That means it’s a nymph.  That’s the best we can do so far!

 

Unidentified bug nymph (Hemiptera – Heteroptera) Rosemary Jorna

 

   Thanks to Annie Pang for confirming Cheryl Hoyle’s photograph below as  a Leaf-cutter Bee of the genus Megachile.  This is a large genus and it may not be possible to go to species.

 

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sp. (Hym.: Megachilidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

 

   Coincidentally, at the very time when I asked Annie for help with Cheryl’s bee, Annie had just written a short, illustrated paragraph about leaf-cutter bees, so here’s what Annie says:

 

Here are my first GPCG pics of a Megachile female bee, common name, Leafcutter Bee.

Once these bees mate, the males croak, having outlived their usefulness (don’t ask me, I didn’t make the rules!!)  but the females get really busy, busy, busy collecting pollen on their bellies (unique to Megachile bees and a good way to identify them) and look for a suitable place to lay their eggs, finding or forming pencil shaped holes. They form loaves out of the pollen they collect adding some of their own saliva with beneficial "stuff" in it for the "kid" and pack it in with each egg, then seal it off with some chewed up leaves.

If you find a few holes in some of your rose bushes, don’t sweat it. It is not a pest and will not destroy your roses. You just helped out the bee population. Win-win for they will pollinate your garden in return for a few wee bites.  Taken at Gorge Park Community Gardens,Victoria, BC. July 15, 2019.

Don’t ask what species ….there are 100s of  ’em.

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sp. (Hym.: Megachilidae)  Annie Pang

 

 

 

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sp. (Hym.: Megachilidae)  Annie Pang

 

 

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sp. (Hym.: Megachilidae)  Annie Pang

 

 

 

Leaf-cutter Bee Megachile sp. (Hym.: Megachilidae)  Annie Pang

 

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes that at present there are hundreds of Essex Skippers to be seen along the waterfront trail at Island View Beach, and hundreds to be seen at the Orchard end of Witty’s Lagoon Park.

July 16

2019 July 16

 

Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin after a full moon and foggy morning merely:

 

1 Amorbia cuneanum

1 Hesperumia latipennis (from yesterday)

2 Nemoria darwiniata (one from yesterday)

and several micros in places inaccessible to the camera.

 




Amorbia cuneanum (Lep.: Tortricidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:   This evening at 6:30 pm there were 4 Painted Ladies and a Red Admiral on top of Mount Tolmie.

   Gordon Hart writes: Today, Tuesday, July 16, Anne-Marie and I saw two Pine Whites flying very high up around the top of a Douglas Fir at Francis/King Park.

July 15

2019 July 15

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  At the top of Christmas Hill last night (July 14, 6:30 pm) two Painted Ladies and a Red Admiral.

   Layla Munger sends a photograph of an insect seen in the Oak Bay scented garden on July 14, saying: I think this is a wasp.  Well, it’s certainly a hymenopteran, and I think we can safely go to Suborder Apocrita, so we can call it a wasp in the very broad sense (sensu very lato), but beyond that I cannot confidently go.  Would anyone out there care to go to Family?  Please let us know.

Unknown wasp (Hymenoptera – Apocrita)  Layla Munger

 

Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:

2 Biston betularia

1 Eulithis xylina

1 Eupithecia cretaceata

1 Hesperumia latipennis

1 Hesperumia sulphuraria

3 Hormothodes hanhami

1 Idaea dimidiata

1 Malacosoma californica

1 Scopula quinquelinearia

1 Nemoria darwiniata

 


Eupithecia cretaceata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

The caterpillar of this pug moth feeds on the very poisonous flowers of Veratrum viride.


Scopula quinquelinearia (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 

 


Idaea dimidiata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr


Nemoria darwiniata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 

July 14

2019 July 14

 

  

Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:

 

2 Eulithis xylina

1 Hesperumia latipennis

2 Hormothodes hanhami

1 Lacinipolia strigicollis

plus a few micros, only one of which was within camera reach.  It looks very like one that Jochen posted on July 11, and which we labelled Eudonia sp. (probably commortalis) – so that’s how I’ll label this one!


Eudonia sp. (probably commortalis) (Lep.: Crambidae)

Jochen Möhr

 

   Cheryl Hoyle sends a miscellaneous collection.  First, a Common Whitetail from the Abkhazi Gardens:

 

Common Whitetail Plathemis lydia (Odo.: Libellulidae) Cheryl Hoyle

 

   Next, two photographs of spittlebugs.  I can’t be sure of the exact species, but in spite of the difference in colour, I expect the most likely species in both photographs is Philaenus spumarius.

 

Spittle Bug, most likely Philaenus spumarius (Hem.: Cercopidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

 

Spittle Bugs, most likely Philaenus spumarius (Hem.: Cercopidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

 

   I can’t say much about the next one, other that that it is some sort of a bug, probably a mirid, of which there are numerous species.

 

Probably a mirid bug  (Hem.: Miridae)  Cheryl Hoyle

 

The next, I think, is a greenbottle of the genus Lucilia.


Lucilia sp. (Dip.: Calliphoridae)  Cheryl Hoyle

 

  Next, two Banana Slugs, and a small unidentified snail:

 

Banana Slugs Ariolimax columbianus (Pul.: Arionidae) Cheryl Hoyle

 

   Lastly, a gall made by a cynipid wasp (or, more accurately, made by an oak in response to the presence of a cynipid wasp grub), probably Cynips mirabilis.

 


Cynips mirabilis (Hym.: Cynipidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

 

 

 

 

 

July 13

2019 July 13

    It must be getting late in the season – Invert Alert is starting to receive pictures of grasshoppers.  Unfortunately, I’m not very good at identifying them, so I’m just making wild guesses at the moment, and they are probably quite wrong.  If anyone out there can help, please let us know.  If observers can get a glimpse of the colour of the hindwings of any grasshoppers they photograph, that would be a great help. The first of these was photographed at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific (HCP), the second in View Royal, both on July 12.

Possibly Dissosteira carolina?? (Orth.: Acrididae)  Layla Munger

Possibly Camnula pellucida ?? (Orth.: Acrididae)  Cheryl Hoyle

 

   Layla photographed a Lorquin’s Admiral at HCP yesterday:

Lorquin’s Admiral Limenitis lorquini (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Layla Munger

 

   The Satyr Comma caterpillar that was preparing to pupate in yesterday’s posting has now pupated:

Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Jeremy Tatum

Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:

1 Callizzia amorata

1 Hesperumia latipennis

2 Lacinipolia strigicollis

1 Leucoma salicis

5 Nadata gibbosa

1 Perizoma costiguttata

1 Pero mizon

2 Scopula quinquelinearia

2 Sicya crocearia 

1 Spilosoma virginica


Leucoma salicis (Lep.: Erebidae – Lymantriinae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 


Leucania or Mythimna sp. (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr

 

 

 

 


Spilosoma virginica (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae) Jochen Möhr

 


Spilosoma virginica (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae) Jochen Möhr


Chlorosea banksaria (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr


Coryphista meadii (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr


Pero mizon (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr