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.

May 4

2016 May 4

 

   Rosemary Jorna sends photographs of a beetle (from Witty’s Lagoon) and a spider (from near Kemp Lake)- but we’ll have to be content for the time being to naming just their Families. We can’t always name them all!

 

Long-horned beetle (Col.: Cerambycidae)  Rosemary Jorna

Male jumping spider (Ara.: Salticidae)  Rosemary Jorna
      Annie Pang sends a photograph of a Harvestman.  We are mch indebted to Dr Robert Holmberg for identifying it as a male Phalangium opilio.

Harvestman Phalangium opilio (Opil: Phalangiidae) Anne Pang

   Jeremy Tatum sends pictures of two moths.  The first is an Indian Meal Moth, found in his Saanich apartment building yesterday.

 

Indian Meal Moth Plodia interpunctella (Lep.: Pyralidae)

Jeremy Tatum

   The second is a lifer for him. Reared from a caterpillar found on Garry Oak on Christmas Hill last August.  The adult moth emerged yesterday and was released on Christmas Hill.  Thanks to Libby Avis for identifying it as Digrammia muscariata.

 

Digrammia muscariata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

May 3

2016 May 3

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:   The longer I edit this site, the more amazed I am at the enormous diversity of invertebrates we have in our area, the huge variety of creatures that users manage to photograph, and the tremendous quality of the photographs.  Thanks and congratulations to all contributors are in order, and thanks to the several experts who have helped us with identifications.

 

   Annie Pang sends a photograph of a damselfly:

 

Damselfly Enallagma sp. (Odo.: Coenagrionidae)  Annie Pang

 

Val George sends a picture of a Green Comma from Gordon and Anne-Marie Hart’s Highlands house during the May 1 butterfly walk.  He writes that it shows the identifying features on both the dorsal and ventral sides.

 

  Green Comma Polygonia faunus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Val George

 

He also sends the top of a lupine flower seen at the Colwood turnoff during the butterfly walk.  The sharp-eyed will see on it two eggs of the Silvery Blue butterfly.

 

Silvery Blue eggs Glaucopsyche lygdamus

(Lep.: Lycaenidae)

Val George

 

 

Aziza Cooper sends some photographs of commas from Mount Cokely and from Taylor Road.  Commas are difficult but I believe these are Green Commas.

 

 

Green Comma Polygonia faunus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Aziza Cooper

Green Comma Polygonia faunus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Aziza Cooper

 

 

Green Comma Polygonia faunus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Aziza Cooper

 

 

   Rosemary Jorna agrees with several other observers that there have been very few Satyr Commas this year.  Jeremy Tatum has yet to see one.

 

Aziza sends a selection of other butterflies from a recent visit to Mount Cokely.

 

Western Brown Elfin Incisalia iroides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper

Two-banded Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus ruralis (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Aziza Cooper

Western Pine Elfin Incisalia eryphon (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper

Western Tailed Blue Everes amyntula (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper

 

Jody Wells photographed a tiger beetle at Cordova Spit.  These beetles run around so rapidly that Jody did well to get a photograph. Thanks to Claudia Copley for identifying it as Cicindela tranquebarica.

 

 

Tiger beetle Cicindela tranquebarica (Col.: Carabidae – Cicindelinae)

  Jody Wells

   Rosemary Jorna writes: I went looking for micro snails on our big leaf maples today May 2 2016 and found a second population; previous searches had not revealed them. The white curved shape is my fingernail.

 

 Vertigo sp. (Pul.:  Vertiginidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

Jeremy Tatum writes:   That’s all I have time for today!   There are more photos in the queue, so please have patience.  I’ll get them up in the next couple of days.

 

 

 

 

May 2

2016 May 2

 

    Message from Jeremy Tatum:   During May and June I expect to be very heavily occupied with priority work at UVic, and consequently I shall not always be able to deal with Invert Alerts as fast as we would all wish.  It is likely that I shall not be able to post Invert Alerts every day.  If your contributions do not appear immediately, don’t worry – they haven’t been overlooked.  It may sometimes take a few days before they appear. I’ll try to respond immediately to genuine “alerts”, such as a Colias alert or something like that.  I don’t think I’ll be able to do a posting today.  Sorry about that – I know several contributors have got some very nice pics in the queue.

May 1

2016 May 1

 

   The VNHS had its monthly Butterfly Walk today.  An excellent day, but we are all (especially me, Jeremy Tatum) so exhausted after it, that we’ll postpone a report on it until tomorrow!

 

Jeff Gaskin reports a Mourning Cloak at Swan Lake, on the main trail in front of Saanich Municipal Hall on April 28.  He also reports four or more Silvery Blues along the highway (Sooke Road) on the lupins at the Colwood exit.

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I found this dragonfly nymph exuvia at Swan Lake on April 28.   Thank you to Rob Cannings for identifying it as a California Darner.

 

California Darner Rhionaeschna californica (Odo.: Aeshnidae)  Jeremy Tatum

   Scott Gilmore found a couple of interesting beetles at Upper Lantzville on April 30.

 

 Helops laetus (Col.: Tenebrionidae) Scott Gilmore

Cryptorhyncus lapathi (Col.: Curculionidae)   Scott Gilmore

 

Annie Pang sends a picture of a female Western Spring Azure, and a small bee, which L.R. Best suggests is a small carpenter bee of the genus Ceratina, and a brown lacewing.

 

 

Female Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Annie Pang

Small carpenter bee  Ceratina sp.(Hym.: Apidae)  Annie Pang

Brown lacewing (Neu.: Hemerobiidae)  Annie Pang

   Here is another view of the little reddish-brown moth that Ron Flower and Gordon Hart saw at Munn Road on April 27 (see April 29 posting).

 

Leptostales rubromarginaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Ron Flower

 

Jeremy Tatum writes: Here is a caterpillar of Enargia infumata.  found between two cottonwood leaves along Lochside trail south of Blenkinsop Lake today.

 

Enargia infumata (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

Here is a Spotted Tiger Moth from the campus of the University of Victoria today.

 

 Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

 

April 30

2016 April 30

 

    Here is Mike Yip’s geometrid from Cross Road, Nanoose Bay, April 29.  It is Xanthorhoe defensaria.

 

Xanthorhoe defensaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Mike Yip

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Bill Savale and I went to the Kinsol Trestle today, hoping to find Western Tailed Blues.  No luck – the Lathyrus that they depend on were not yet in flower. Besides Western Spring Azures and Cabbage Whites, we saw a Red Admiral and a Two-banded Grizzled Skipper.  Jeremy adds that at 6:00 p.m. this evening there were a Red Admiral and a California Tortoiseshell on the Mount Tolmie reservoir.

 

   Annie Pang sends a picture of a Two-spotted Ladybird.

 

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

 

   Rosemary Jorna writes: I’ll bet this Ladybird Beetle found on the spit at Witty’s Lagoon, April 30 2016, is Harmonia axyridis.  Jeremy Tatum responds: With that big black W on its thorax, so do I!

 

 

Harmonia axyridis (Col.: Coccinellidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

   Rosemary continues:  This little bug that appeared on the lens of my camera at Witty’s Lagoon, April 30 2016, was tentatively identified as a spittle bug nymph by the naturalists at Metchosin’s Biodiversity Day.  [Yes – I’ll go along with that – Jeremy.]  She also sends a photograph of a bee from the same area.

 Spittlebug nymph, possibly Philaenus spumarius (Hem.: Aphrophoridae)

Rosemary Jorna

 

Honey Bee Apis mellifera (Hym.: Apidae)  Rosemary Jorna.

 

   Mike Yip writes from Nanoose Bay:  It really felt like butterfly weather this morning so I decided to check out the Sundew Main logging road. As usual, Western Spring Azures were abundant, and commas continued to be non-existent. [I still haven’t seen a Satyr Comma! – Jeremy]  Species available were a pair of first-of-year Mylitta Crescents, 5 Pale Tiger Swallowtails, 1 Sara Orangetip, 2 Western Brown Elfins, 4 Grey Hairstreaks, 5 Two-banded Grizzled Skippers, and 1 Cabbage White.  A late afternoon walk at the Cross Road trail was relatively quiet with only a few Western Spring Azures, 3 Western Brown Elfins, one Western Tailed Blue, and one Mourning Cloak. The Western Tailed Blue had better tails than the previous one I sent you.

 

Western Tailed Blue Everes amyntula (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Mike Yip

 

Mourning Cloak Nymphalis antiopa (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Mike Yip

 Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Mike Yip

Male Mylitta Crescent Phyciodes mylitta (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Mike Yip

 

Western Spring Azures Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Mike Yip