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.

September 29

2019 September 29

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is a caterpillar of the Rough Prominent Nadata gibbosa.  It is usually found on oak, but I have occasionally found it on alder, as here, from near Esquimalt Lagoon.

 


Nadata gibbosa (Lep.: Notodontidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

The mandibles of Nadata gibbosa are yellow:

 


Nadata gibbosa (Lep.: Notodontidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

   Jochen  Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

 

1 Dryotype opina

1 Ennomos magnaria

1 Noctua pronuba

4 Pleromelloida cinerea

1 Schizura ipomoeae

1 Tetracis jubararia / pallulata

 

September 28

2019 September 29

 

   Jochen Möhr sends photographs, taken yesterday in Metchosin, of three individuals of the large geometrid moth Ennomos magnaria.

 


Ennomos magnaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Ennomos magnaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Ennomos magnaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

Jochen’s moths from Metchosin this morning, no photographs taken:

 

1 Dryotype opina

5 Ennomos magnaria

1 Noctua pronuba

8 Pleromelloida cinerea

1 Schizura ipomoeae

1 Sunira decipiens

2 Tetracis jubararia/pallulata

 

   Jeff Gaskin writes:  On September 26, Kirsten Mills tells me that she saw a California Tortoiseshell and two Painted Ladies on the concrete reservoir on Mount Tolmie.  She was there just before 5 p.m.

   Jeremy Tatum saw two Cabbage Whites on Anchorage Road, Esquimalt, today, September 28.

September 27

2019 September 27

 

   Ron Flower writes:  Yesterday, September 26, we photographed two moths at McIntyre Reservoir and a wasp at Outerbridge Park.

 

  Jeremy Tatum writes:  The moths are easy – but the ichneumonid wasp isn’t!  It bears more than a passing resemblance to Limonethe mauratur.  It’s even possible that that’s what it is.

 


Autographa californica (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Ron Flower

 


Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Ron Flower

 

Probably Limonethe maurator (Hym.:  Ichneumonidae)  Ron Flower

 

Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

 

2 Drepanulatrix sp.

5 Ennomos magnaria

1 Noctua pronuba

1 Plemyria georgii

6 Pleromelloida cinerea

1 Sunira decipiens

1 Schizura ipomoeae

1 Tetracis sp.

 

   Not all moths are as easy to identify as Ron’s  two above.  While the first of Jochen’s below is certainly Plemyria georgii, the second is more difficult.  It is Drepanulatrix  – but which one?  It could be D. secundaria, but, writes Jeremy Tatum, I’m going to go for  Drepanulatrix monicaria.

 


Plemyria georgii (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Drepanulatrix (probably monicaria)  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

   And if Drepanularix is tricky,  Eupithecia is downright hard!  Jeremy Tatum believes that the one below is probably Eupithecia annulata.

 


Eupithecia (probably annulata) (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum

September 26

2019 September 26

 

   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

 

1 Drepanulatrix sp.

1 Nadata gibbosa

5 Pleromelloida cinerea

1 Lithomoia germana

1 Sunira decipiens

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  In the original description of the moth below I had misidentified it as a probable Schizura ipomoeae.  Glad to have Libby Avis back from a short trip – she has corrected the error of my ways!  I was even in the wrong Family – it is a noctuid, not a notodontid.  Libby writes: It is Lithomoia germana, an unusual looking noctuid. It has much larger, more pronounced spots than S. ipomoeae and a very deep abdomen which makes it look a bit top-heavy when it’s at rest. We quite often get it here (Port Alberni) in late summer/fall and I’ve also seen it in Pemberton and at Manning Park. Nice to get a report from the Victoria area.

I suppose this might be a case of convergent evolution.  Apart from the conspicuous reniform and orbicular spots (typical of a noctuid) it does look rather similar to the notodontid genus Schizura.  They must have independently discovered how to look like a fragment of bark.


Lithomoia germana (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

September 25

2019 September 25

 

  A nice surprise – several  late-season (September 24) nymphalids! –

 

   Gordon Hart writes, from the Highlands: Anne-Marie saw a butterfly land in the apple tree  –  so I grabbed my camera and ran out to have a look. I managed a couple of pictures of a California Tortoiseshell, and then, while waiting for it to reappear, I noticed a Red Admiral on the Buddleia flowers. I also photographed a syrphid fly on some fall Asters.  [Jeremy Tatum writes:  The fly was identified for us – within minutes! – by Dr Jeff Skevington, in Ottawa!]

 

And Mike McGrenere writes, from Cordova Bay:  Barb and I watched a Satyr Comma land on the sunny stucco of our house this afternoon. It was there for about 30 seconds then flew off.

 

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Gordon Hart

California Tortoiseshell Nymphalis californica (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Gordon Hart

Hover fly Helophilus fasciatus (Dip.: Syrphidae)  Gordon Hart

   Jeff Gaskin writes:  I have only been seeing Cabbage Whites lately with 10 being seen today.  However, Kirsten Mills tells me that today,  September 25, she saw another Lorquin’s Admiral at Panama Flats near the grey shed.  She also found 2 Painted Ladies  :  1 at Cedar Hill Middle School,  and 1 near Doncaster Elementary School.  She saw 14 Cabbage Whites at Panama Flats,  and another 30 Cabbage Whites elsewhere.

 

Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

 

2 Drepanulatrix sp.

1 Ennomos magnaria

1 Euxoa sp.

1 Feltia jaculifera

1 Noctua pronuba

1 Dryotype opina

8 Pleromelloida cinerea

1 Sunira decipiens

1 Tetracis sp.  

 


Euxoa difformis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Dryotype opina (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Feltia jaculifera (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr