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.

April 2

2015 April 2

 

   Scott Gilmore sends photographs of a looper caterpillar that he found on a Douglas Fir in Upper Lantzville yesterday.

 

Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae) Scott Gilmore

 

Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae) Scott Gilmore

 

 

   Libby Avis writes:  I’m sending along a couple of March Flies, female on the left and male on the right. The genus is Bibio but I don’t know the species. Quite distinctive because the males’ eyes are so much larger than the females’. Came across a number of these on the Log Train Trail in Port Alberni yesterday.

 

   Jeremy Tatum comments: Although these are often called March Flies, in our area they are usually most noticeable in April.  The group is named after a common European species, Bibio marci, which does not mean “of March”.  Rather, it means “of Mark”, so called because the species is often abundant near to St Mark’s Day, which is April 25, and they are perhaps better referred to as St Mark’s flies.

St Mark’s fly  Bibio sp. (Dip.: Bibionidae)  Libby Avis

March 31

2015 March 31

 

   Jeremy Tatum sends a photograph of a weevil from his Saanich apartment this morning.  It was identified for him by Scott Gilmore, who writes:  Your beetle is Otiorhynchus singularis (Raspberry Weevil) a native of Europe from the Curculionidae family. The genus is quite common (at least here). There are no native species in the genus, 5 species are known from BC and I have had 4 of them in my backyard. I am not even sure the 5th species is recorded from the island.

 

Raspberry Weevil Otiorhynchus singularis (Col.: Curculionidae) Jeremy Tatum

 

   Scott sends a photo of another Bark Louse from the same cedar tree in his Upper Lantzville backyard. The attached picture is of Ectopsocus briggsi (Ectopsocidae family) that he found on March 10th.  Kindly identified by Diane Young.

 

Bark louse Ectopsocus briggsi (Pso.: Ectopsocidae) Scott Gilmore

 

 

   Rosemary Jorna writes, from Otter Point:     There were a half dozen of these bees landing on the damp stones of our path this afternoon. It was good to see them as I have not seen that many yet this spring.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  If there’s anyone out there who can identify it, please let us know.  In the meantime I hope I’m not committing some dreadful blunder in labelling it Andrena sp.

 

 

Andrena sp. (Hym.: Andrenidae) Rosemary Jorna

 

 

   Bill Katz sends a photo of Coryphista meadii  from that famous garage on Summit Hill.

 

Coryphista meadii (Lep.: Geometridae) Bill Katz

 

March 30

2015 March 30

 

   Gordon Hart writes:  On the VNHS field trip to  the “Mossy Maple Grove”, we found a few invertebrates around and on the ancient moss-covered maples. I have attached a picture of a Monadenia fidelis out for a walk. We also saw the black and yellow millipede Harpaphe haydeniana, and a small brown cylindrical millipede.

 

Monadelia fidelis (Pul.: Bradibaenidae) Gordon Hart

 

 

   Scott Gilmore writes from Upper Lantzville:  On Febuary 14th my son and I found a bark louse nymph on a Red Cedar in our backyard. I learned last year that you can raise some bark louse on Cheerios and that you might end up with adults. I kept the nymph and gave it a Cheerio, some cedar and a moist environment. Most days I would see the barklouse hanging out on the Cheerio eating or grooming. Eventually on March 2nd I found it on the cedar and it was no longer a nymph but an adult. It took a while to get some decent photos (always difficult of things that are around 2mm long). I sent the specimen to Diane Young in Texas who identified it as a male Lachesilla pacifica.  

 

 

Bark louse nymph  Lachesilla pacifica

(Pso.: Lachesillidae)

Scott Gilmore

Bark louse Lachesilla pacifica (Pso.: Lachesillidae)  Scott Gilmore

 

 

Bark louse Lachesilla pacifica (Pso.: Lachesillidae)  Scott Gilmore

 

March 28

2015 March 28

 

   Jeremy Tatum sends three photographs taken today.  He writes:  I am gradually trying to learn to identify our pugs.  Eupithecia ravocostaliata is one of the larger ones, with distinctive markings, and relatively easy to identify – although even it has a look-alike (E.. nevadata).  This one was on the wall of my Saanich apartment this morning.

 

  In yesterday’s posting, I showed the pupa of a Sara Orangetip with the colour of the wings of the imago showing through.  Sure enough, the butterfly – a male – emerged today.  After photographing it, I took it out to Munn Road, where the caterpillar came from last year.

 

  Finally, a snail, Cepaea nemoralis, from McIntyre Reservoir.

 

Eupithecia ravocostaliata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum

Sara Orangetip Anthocharis sara (Lep.: Pieridae) Jeremy Tatum

Cepaea nemoralis (Pul.: Helicidae) Jeremy Tatum

 

   Bill Savale reports two Cabbage Whites from Poplar Avenue, Saanich, on March 27.

March 27

2015 March 27

 

   Libby Avis sends some recent photos of noctuid moths from Port Alberni:

Acerra normalis from Feb 25th

Pleromelloida conserta March 11th

Xylena curvimacula March 16th

Xylena nupera March 13th

 

Acerra normalis (Lep.: Noctuidae) Libby Avis

Pleromelloida conserta (Lep.: Noctuidae) Libby Avis

 

Xylena curvimacula (Lep.: Noctuidae) Libby Avis

 

Xylena nupera (Lep.: Noctuidae) Libby Avis

 

 

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  On March 14 I showed a photograph of an Orangetip chrysalis.  Here is the same chrysalis today – you can see the wing colour of the butterfly that will shortly emerge.

 

Sara Orangetip Anthocharis sara (Lep.: Pieridae) Jeremy Tatum

 

   Barb McGrenere writes:  Mike and I took a walk up the road to Observatory Hill this afternoon (March 26) and saw eight Sara Orangetips on the way up and near the summit; and one California Tortoiseshell basking on the asphalt beside one of the telescope buildings and then basking on the roof over the entrance to that building.

 

 Gerry Ansell writes:  On a walk up Christmas Hill late this afternoon (Friday March 27), Wendy and I saw our first Milbert’s Tortoiseshell of the year.  We also saw at least four Sara Orangetips and one Cabbage White.