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.

March 29

2020 March 29

 

  More on Rosemary Jorna’s empidid flies.  They were evidently capturing and killing other insects – but was it dinnertime, or did they have some other purpose?  Male empidid flies have a habit of catching other insects and presenting them to their girlfriends while courting, much as we attract our girlfriends with a bunch of flowers.  Rosemary obtained this photograph near Kemp Lake today.

 

Maybe Empis barbatoides (Dip.:  Empididae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:

Thanks, Libby Avis, for going the extra mile in the effort to identify these moths!  

Here is today’s crop – to the best of my abilities.  

 

1 Egira crucialis

5 Eupithica sp.

2 Eupithecia ravocostaliata/nevadata

7 Hydriomena manzanita

1 Melanolophia imitata

2 Orthosia hibisci

1 Orthosia praeses

6 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli

1 Xanthorhoe defensaria 

 


Orthosia praeses (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Orthosia hibisci (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Orthosia hibisci (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Egira crucialis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Melanolophia imitata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Xanthorhoe defensaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

March 28

2020 March 28

 

      Jochen Möhr’s tally from Metchosin this morning:

 

1 Acerra normalis

1 Egira curialis

1 Egira simplex

10 Eupithecias, including 2 ravocostaliata/nevadata

14 Hydriomena manzanita

3 Orthosia hibisci

11 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli

1 Feralia deceptiva

 


Orthosia hibisci (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Orthosia hibisci (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Orthosia praeses (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Egira probably simplex (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 


Egira curialis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 


Acerra normalis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Feralia deceptiva (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

March 27

2020 March 27

 

   Rosemary Jorna writes from Kemp Lake:  Yesterday  30 or more of these very small flies were flying around the Huckleberry Bush in our yard. Most of them were carrying a bundle and would alight briefly before taking flight again. They were too small, quick and against the light. At first I thought mating; but now the camera is downloaded it looks more like dinner time. 

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  This is a fly of the Family Empididae.  It would need a specialist to identify it with any certainty, although I think it is probably in the eponymous genus Empis, and there is a reasonable possibility that it is Empis barbatoides.

 

Maybe Empis barbatoides (Dip.: Empididae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

Maybe Empis barbatoides (Dip.: Empididae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

   Jochen Möhr’s March 27 tally from Metchosin:

 

1 Acerra normalis

1 Egirra crucialis (picture attached)

2 Eupithecia spp. (one picture attached)

1 Eupithecia ravocostaliata/nevadata

7 Hydriomena manzanita

6 Venusia obsoleta/ pearsalli

 

 


Eupithecia annulata/ochracea (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Egira crucialis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

March 26

2020 March 26

 

   Jochen Möhr’s March 25 tally from Metchosin:

 

No noctuids, but 5 Venusias

Other than those, there were 

3 Eupithecias (probably annulata)

1 E. ravocostaliata/nevadata

1 Hydriomena manzanita

 

   Here are pictures of two of Jochen’s Venusias.  

 


Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

   Jochen also photographed a micro  – we don’t yet know what it is!

 

Unidentified micro moth (Lep.)  Jochen Möhr

 

   Today, Jochen writes:

 

2 Eupthecica ravocostaliata/nevadata

5 Hydriomena manzanita

1 Orthosia hibisci

6 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli

 

No pictures taken.

 

   Gerry and Wendy Ansell saw their first butterfly of the year yesterday – a Cabbage White

by Saanichton Bay.    The few nymphalids that have been reported this year are species that spend the winter in the adult state.  Gerry and Wendy’s butterfly is the first report of a butterfly this year that spent the winter as a chrysalis.  Jeremy Tatum writes that he hasn’t yet seen a butterfly of either sort.

 

  Jeremy writes:  Today I had my first moth of the year emerge after having been reared as a caterpillar last year – always an exciting event.  Shown below.

 


Behrensia conchiformis (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jeremy Tatum

 

 

 

 

 

March 24

2020 March 24

 

   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

 

1 Egira curialis

2 Eupithecia sp. (annulata?)

1 E. ravocostaliata/nevadata

3 Hydriomena manzanita

3 Orthosia hibisci (pictures of two of them attached)

4 Venusia obsoleta /pearsalli

 


Egira curialis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Orthosia hibisci (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr

 

 


Orthosia hibisci (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes: Yesterday, March 23, I found a rather unusually coloured and marked moth pupa at Munn Road.  I’ll be very interested to know what the moth is when it emerges –  I don’t think it’s any moth that I’m familiar with.

 

Moth pupa   Jeremy Tatum

 

Moth pupa   Jeremy Tatum