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.

October 5

2019 October 5

 

Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

 

3 Drepanulatrix sp.

1 Pleromelloida cinerea

1 Tetracis jubararia/pallulata

1 Udea profundalis

 

 


Tetracis jubararia/pallulata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Udea profundalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes: At this time of year, this site is becoming a little less busy, so I may from time to time take the opportunity of musing on random topics.  Today:

 

    What is a chrysalis, and what its its plural?.  The first part is fairly easy.  A chrysalis is an informal “nontechnical” name used for the pupa of a butterfly.  One sometimes hears talk of a moth chrysalis, but it is probably best to restrict its use to the pupa of a butterfly, and not to use it for a moth pupa.  The word comes from the Greek chrysos = gold and it refers to the gold colour of, or gold spots on, the pupae of some nymphalid butterflies.

 

  For the plural we have a choice of three spellings, any one of which might be defended as “correct”!

  1. If we accept that “chrysalis” is a perfectly normal English word, I see nothing at all objectionable to forming its plural in the usual English way, and spelling and pronouncing it chrysalises.
  2. On the other hand if we feel that it has not quite reached the status of an English word, and that it still looks a bit “foreign” (i.e. Greek), then we can use the Greek form of the plural, namely chrysalides.  [Analogous words:  iris, irides;  proboscis, proboscides]
  3. The spelling chrysalids for the plural is often seen, and it is the spelling that I usually use.  It is open to the objection that it is not correct in either English or Greek.  In its defence, it may be pointed out that the spelling chrysalids for the plural has been used for hundreds of years (Moses Harris used it in the 1760s), and it has become so usual and so established, that it may be taken as the normal or “correct” spelling.

 

So, in brief, you can use any of these spellings, and stand on solid ground.  The one thing that is certain, is that there is no word “chrysalid” in singular or plural!

October 4

2019 October 4

 

   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

 

2 Drepanulatrix sp.

2 Dryotype opina

1 Lambdina fiscellaria

1 Platyptilia carduidactylus

2 Pleromelloida cinerea

2 Sunira decipiens

3 Tetracis jubararia/pallulata

 


Sunira decipiens (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jochen Möhr

 


Platyptilia carduidactylus (Lep.:  Pterophoridae) Jochen Möhr

 



Lambdina fiscellaria (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 

 

   Naturalists who are familiar with spreadwing damselflies might keep a look-out in British Columbia for

Archilestes californicus.  This is a new species for Canada.  I have just been notified via Dr Rob Cannings of the discovery of the fourth British Columbia record, in the Osoyoos Desert, by Eckert Cameron.  This is what it looks like:

 


Archilestes californicus (Odo.: Lestidae)  Eckert Cameron

 

   Rob describes it as follows:  Archilestes californicus is a very large (4.5-6 cm long) brown spreadwing with a white-striped thorax. The male’s eyes and labrum are blue; the abdomen is brown above with darker areas tinged with green; segs 9-10 are pruinose; the paraprocts are short and parallel, visible from above; the pterostigmas are tan or whitish.

   If anyone thinks he or she sees or has photographed this species in British Columbia, let us know, and I’ll pass it on to Rob if it looks good.  Jeremy Tatum

 

 

October 3

2019 October 3

 

   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

 

 

1 Hypena californica

1 Lithomoia germana 

2 Pleromelloida cinerea

3 Tetracis jubararia/pallulata

1 Drepanulatix sp.

2 Dryotype opina

October 2

2019 October 2

[Sorry to be posting this so early in the day – I’m not expecting to be back at the computer again today.  Jeremy]

 

Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin, October 1 and 2:

October 1

1 Dryotype opina

1 Lithomoia germana

2 Pleromelloida cinerea 

October 2

2 Drepanulatrix sp.

2 Dryotype opina

1 Ennomos magnaria

1 Hypena californica

1 Lithomoia germana

2 Pleromelloida cinerea 

1 Tetracis jubararia/pallulata

 


Dryotype opina (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Xanthorhoe defensaria (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 

 

   Jeremy Tatum sends a photograph of a moth reared from a caterpillar found on Gumweed at Island View Beach, where the moth was released this morning.

 


Cucullia montanae (Lep.: Noctuidae)  JeremyTatum

 

 

 

 

October 1

2019 October 1

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:

 

    Because of a computer glitch, I was not able to post an Invert Alert on September 30.  This one combines September 30 and October 1.

 

    Erratum:  A tentative Schizura was misidentified on the Septemmber 26 Alert.  See September 26 for details.

 

  Here’s a caterpillar of the Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata from Aylard Farm on September 29.  The head is at the  bottom.

 


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

 

   On September 30, I saw about half-a-dozen or so Cabbage Whites between Martindale and Island View Roads.   Will we see any butterflies in October?  Sulphurs have been known to appear in October.  There’s still a chance of some moth caterpillars – October is the month for the Banded Woolly Bear.  Panama Flats is a good location for these.

 

Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin, October 1:

 

1 Triphosa haesitata

1 Drepanulatrix sp. 

1 Dryotype opina

1 Ennomos magnaria 

1 Lithomoia germana 

1 Plemyria georgii

2 Pleromelloida cinerea

1 Tetracis jubararia or pallulata

1 Platyptilia carduidactylus

 

   Jochen writes: Because it is the last day of the month, here is the total tally for my September observations on one wall.  They are numbers of observations, not of individuals, because I have no control over which individuals are observed numerous times.  For instance, I am sure all five observations of  Lithomoia germana  are of the same individual.  There is no way of knowing how many individuals are covered by the species for which there are many observations.  

 

374 observations 

covering 

36 species

 



Platyptilia carduidactylus (Lep.: Pterophoridae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Plemyria georgii (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 



Triphosa haesitata  (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 

 

  At Press time:  Jeremy Tatum writes:  A few Cabbage Whites still flying around several agricultural fields in Central Saanich today, October 1 – so we do have some October butterflies!