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.

December 5

2019 December 5

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Well, I suppose I asked for it!   Just when I was beginning to think that I

knew the difference between  Operophtera brumata and O. occidentalis, Jochen Möhr sends a bunch of

 Operophtera  photographs from Metchosin, most of which are shaking my confidence!   In fact,  I

 believe (but I could well be wrong) that all are probably O.  brumata,  though I’m going to label the first

one below as “sp.”,  since it has a small claim to be possibly occcidentalis!

 

  I’d be interested in photographs of females.

 

  Jochen also sends a picture of a Drepanulatrix ­species, presumably either monicaria or secundaria – but let’s just leave that as “sp.” for the time being!

 


Operophtera sp.  (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 


Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 

 


Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 


Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 


Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 


Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 


Drepanulatrix sp. (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 

 

 

 

December 4

2019 December 4

 

    Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin that the Operophtera are not only hanging in, they are getting more –  and he even has a late Drepanulatrix.  

 



Drepanulatrix sp. (Lep.:  Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Operophtera sp. (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 


Operophtera sp. (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 

 


Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 

Operophtera occidentalis (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

 

   Gordon Hart photographed an Operophtera on the sliding glass doors of his Highlands house; it seems to be Operophtera brumata:

 


Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Gordon Hart

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I had hoped to photograph one at my Saanich apartment today, but, unusually, there were none there – only a single Erannis, which I shall dutifully label Erannis vancouverensis, although I am more convinced than ever that it is really E. defoliaria.

 


Erannis vancouverensis (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

December 2

2019 December 2

 

Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:

   In the last two mornings, I had no customers on my wall any more.  

I started daily recordings on May 8, 2019.  So here is the summary for the season.

Total # of species recorded: 148

  May June July August September October  November
  08 – 31 01 – 30 01 – 31 01 – 31 01 – 30 01 – 31 01 – 30
# of observations 244 140 584 350 374 128 159
# of species 41 41 73 50 36 22 9
% of total # of species 28 28 49 34 24 15 6

 

But this morning, December 2, Jochen writes:

 

Looks like I am back in business:  This morning 3 Operophtera sp.

 

   So…, the question arises, writes Jeremy Tatum, which Operophtera?   Is it the European  O. brumata?   Or the native O. occidentalis (formerly lumped with O. bruceata)?  They are all very well patterned.  O. brumata  is often quite plain, but by no means all of them are. I cannot be 100 percent sure of any of these three, but my best guess is that the first two are probably brumata, while I think the third has a good claim to be O. occidentalis.

 

   Jochen’s are from Metchosin.  I wonder what species one gets in other rural areas, such as Highlands.


Operophtera (probably brumata) (Lep.: Geometridae)   Jochen Möhr

 


Operophtera (probably brumata) (Lep.: Geometridae)   Jochen Möhr

 


Operophtera (probably occidentalis) (Lep.: Geometridae)   Jochen Möhr

 

November 29

2019 November 29

 

   After a cold night in Metchosin, Jochen Möhr found only a rather dead Erannis vancouverensis  this morning – which gave a good opportunity to see the underside.



Erannis vancouverensis (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

November 28

2019 November 28

 

   Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:  The crowds are tapering off.  Yesterday (November 27), no Drepanulatrix and two  Erannis. Today just one Erannis – and even that one looks ready to take off.

 

o 

Erannis vancouverensis (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr