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 (tatumjb352@gmail.com). 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.

2022 November 15

2022 November 15

    Identification of Melanoplus Grasshoppers.

    On November 1 and 4 we posted photographs of grasshoppers by Cheryl Hoyle and Aziza Cooper.  These were kindly identified for us by James Miskelly as Melanoplus sanguinipes.

 

   According to Merrill Peterson, there are about 50 species of grasshopper in the genus Melanoplus in the Pacific Northwest.  We have therefore labelled previous photographs of Melanoplus on this site as merely “Melanoplus sp.”  James tells us, however, that only three of these occur regularly on Vancouver Island, and they are not impossible to identify.  These are:  M. sanguinipes,  M. femurrrubrum and M. bivittatus.  James writes:  The species that is most similar to sanguinipes on Vancouver Island is M. femurrubrum, which does not have dark stripes on the outer face of the hind femur and (in our area) is rarely found outside of salt marsh habitat.  The third Melanoplus on Vancouver Island is M. bivittatus, which looks quite different.  It has a light stripe on each side that extends from above the eye through the pronotum and down the tegmen.  The outer face of the hind femur is dark above the midline and light below. It’s found in relatively moist meadows.

 

So – that should make it easy for all those who know what a pronotum, a tegmen and a femur are.  Of course, we have other grasshoppers to contend with, which are not in the genus Melanoplus.

 

Jeremy Tatum writes:  I saw my first male Winter Moth of the season at my Saanich apartment this morning.  I’m sure it won’t be my last.

 

Ian Cooper decided to go for a bike ride to Colquitz River Park and the Galloping Goose Trail in View Royal last night (November 14, 2022) to see what interesting creatures he might see.  He was not disappointed.  He asks that we enjoy his pictures.  I don’t think that will be hard.

Pimoa altioculata (Ara.: Pimoidae)  Ian Cooper

Linyphiid spider  (Ara,: Linyphiidae)  Ian Cooper

 

 

Metellina sp. (Ara.:  Tetragnathidae)  Ian Cooper

 

 

Antrodiaetus pacificus (Ara.: Antrodiaetidae)  Ian Cooper

Water Strider (Pond Skater)  (Hem.: Gerridae)  Ian Cooper

 

Arion subfuscus (Pul.: Arionidae)  Ian Cooper

 

 

2022 November 13

2022 November 13

    Cheryl Hoyle sends a photograph of a Seven-spotted Ladybird Beetle from View Royal.

Seven-spotted Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata (Col.: Coccinellidae)

Cheryl Hoyle

   Val George writes:  Today, November 13, I again saw this Woolly Bear (Isabella Tiger Moth) in the corner of a window at the entrance to the nature house at Swan Lake. It’s been there for over a week – this, and the spider webs it’s accumulated during that time, suggests that this is where it’s hibernating for the winter.

 

Banded Woolly Bear (Isabella Tiger Moth) Pyrrharctia isabella (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)

Val George

 

Jeremy Tatum writes: On November 11 I wrote: Here’s a female European Winter Moth.  Has anyone seen a male yet?  –  I haven’t.   Jochen Möhr responds from Metchosin:   I think I got what you were looking for in your post to Invert Alert of Nov. 11.  It landed on my office window, and as a bonus, you are getting a picture of the underside as well.

 

Male European Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.:  Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Male European Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.:  Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

2022 November 11

2022 November 11

 Jeremy Tatum writes:Uh-oh!  It’s that time of year again.  Here’s a female European Winter Moth.  Has anyone seen a male yet?  –  I haven’t.

Female Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jeremy Tatum

 

2022 November 8

2022 November 8

   Cheryl Hoyle sends a photograph of a spider seen in View Royal on November 7.

Philodromus rufus (Ara.: Philodromidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

2022 November 4

2022 November 4

    Aziza Cooper sends a photograph of a grasshopper from Layritz Park:

Migratory Grasshopper Melanoplus sanguinipes (Orth.: Acrididae)

Aziza Cooper