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.

2022 June 19

2022 June 19

    Rosemary Jorna photographed a sweat bee in the Kemp Lake area, June 18.  Thanks to Lincoln Best who identified it as Halictus (probably confusus).

 

Halictus (probably confusus)  (Hym.: Halictidae)   Rosemary Jorna

 

Halictus (probably confusus)  (Hym.: Halictidae)   Rosemary Jorna

 

Halictus (probably confusus)  (Hym.: Halictidae)   Rosemary Jorna

 

    Jeremy Tatum writes:  At last – three rather worn Painted Ladies near the Jeffery Pine on the top of Mount Tolmie, and a fourth one next to the reservoir.  Alas, one of them settled on the road next to the Jeffery Pine and was run over and killed by a car.  A Red Admiral was on the reservoir at 5:20 pm – quite likely the same individual that Val George photographed on May 8 (see May 9 entry).

2022 June 18 morning

2022 June 18 morning

 June Butterfly Count

Message from Gordon Hart

Hello, Butterfly Counters,

The June count period starts Saturday June 18 and runs until Sunday June 26. The April and May counts were down in numbers of butterflies compared with previous years, and June will probably continue this trend.

This is an informal census of butterfly numbers and species in Greater Victoria. The area is defined by the Christmas Bird Count circle, extending from Victoria to Brentwood Bay and Island View Road in Central Saanich, and west to Happy Valley and Triangle Mountain, and Langford Lake and Goldstream areas. 

You can submit a count any time over the count period, just use a separate form for each count and location. In the case of repeat or duplicate counts, I will use the higher numbers. To submit counts, please use the form on the VNHS website at: http://www.vicnhs.bc.ca/?p=33

If you have difficulty with the form, please send me an email with the information.

Thank-you for submitting your sightings and good luck with your count.

Gordon Hart,

Butterfly Count Coordinator,

Victoria Natural History Society

 

    Jochen Möhr sends a photograph of the double cocoon formed by the caterpillar of Malacosoma.  We have two species of Malacosoma – this one is probably M. californicum.

 

Malacosoma (probably californicum)  (Lep.: Lasiocampidae)   Jochen Möhr

   Rosemary Jorna has seven caterpillars from the ova laid by a Ceanothus Silk Moth (see May 6 and May 27 entries).  Originally feeding on Thimbleberry, they readily transferred to Hardhack, on which they are now being reared.  Here are two of the caterpillars now.

Ceanothus Silk Moth Hyalophorus euryalus (Lep.: Saturniidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

Ceanothus Silk Moth Hyalophorus euryalus (Lep.: Saturniidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

Ceanothus Silk Moth Hyalophorus euryalus (Lep.: Saturniidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

Ceanothus Silk Moth Hyalophorus euryalus (Lep.: Saturniidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

 

Ceanothus Silk Moth Hyalophorus euryalus (Lep.: Saturniidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

Ceanothus Silk Moth Hyalophorus euryalus (Lep.: Saturniidae)  Rosemary Jorna

2022 June 17

2022 June 17

    Aziza Cooper found this caterpillar on Fennel in her yard in Saanich.  Alas, it’s not an Anise Swallowtail butterfly – it’s a Silver-spotted Tiger Moth whose presence on the Fennel is purely incidental – its normal food is Douglas Fir.

Lophocampa argentata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Aziza Cooper

   Jeremy Tatum shows a caterpillar of Zotheca tranquilla found on Sambucus at Blenkinsop Lake, June 17.

Zotheca tranquilla (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

   Also at Blenkinsop Lake today, writes Jeremy Tatum, I saw (but was unfortunately not able to photograph) a beautifully pristine Hydrelia albifera (Geometridae) resting, with perfect wings fully spread, on a leaf of Cornus stolonifera, the larval foodplant.

2022 June 15

2022 June 15

   Rosemary Jorna showed pictures of a Ceanothus Silk Moth laying an egg on May 6, and a first instar caterpillar on May 27.  Now she writes:  I caught my Ceanothus Silk Moth “undressing”.  In slightly more technical language, that would be “undergoing ecdysis”.  The caterpillar shown below is fourth instar.  The head is down, near the bottom of the photograph.  Near the top of the photograph we see the last two segments of the caterpillar pulling away from the yellowish mass above it.  This yellowish mass is the shed skin of the previous (third) instar.

Hyalophora euryalus (Lep.: Saturniidae)   Rosemary Jorna

2022 June 14

2022 June 14

    Jochen Möhr sends photographs of two bumble bees from Metchosin, June 12.   Thanks to Steven Roias for identifying them for us.

Bombus melanopygus (Hym.: Apidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

Bombus sitkensis (Hym.: Apidae)  Jochen Möhr

   Jeff Gaskin writes:  Butterflies at Viaduct Flats this morning, June 14, included a Propertius Duskywing and at least four RingletsWestern Spring Azures are still around – I found a few of them at Quick’s Bottom today as well.