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.

2021 November 4 evening

2021 November 4 evening

  As if to emphasize that winter is on its way, in addition to this morning’s European Winter Moth posted by Jeremy Tatum, here is an Erannis vancouverensis/defoliaria  photographed by Val George on the wall of his house in Oak Bay this morning:

 

Erannis vancouverensis/defoliaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Val George

 

Below are four pupae of Noctua pronuba reared from the eggs shown on September 19.

 

Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

2021 November 4 morning

2021 November 4 morning

    Jeremy Tatum writes:  Oh, dear!  – It’s that time of year again:

European Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)   Jeremy Tatum

2021 November 3 morning

2021 November 3 morning

    Jochen Möhr sends a photograph of a Juniper Carpet from Metchosin, November 1.   Comparison with the specimen shown on October 16 illustrates not only the variability of the species, but may let viewers know something of the problems that we who identify moths have to face!

Juniper Carpet Thera juniperata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

2021 November 2

2021 November 2

    Kate Woods photographed two American Ladies in a Sooke Garden on October 30:

American Lady Vanessa virginiensis (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Kate Woods

 

American Lady Vanessa virginiensis (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Kate Woods

 

Rosemary Jorna found some noctuid ova on a Manzanita leaf in East Sooke Park, November 1:

Moth eggs on Manzanita (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Rosemary Jorna

 

Moth eggs on Manzanita (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Rosemary Jorna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2021 November 1

2021 November 1

    Our contributors are testing us with difficult ones today – but I think we are up to it.

Aziza Cooper sends photographs of some tiny spiders from Swan Lake.  These, I think, are the same genus, at least, as the ones shown also by Aziza on October 5.  One is shown below. They are called money spiders in the UK and dwarf spiders in the US.

 

Money spider Erigone sp.  (Ara.:  Linyphiidae)   Aziza Cooper

 

Rosemary Jorna writes from the Kemp Lake area: A real mystery from my Big-leaf Maple today.  I have seen them before on the bark in the last few weeks.  If it was in the water I would think caddisfly  –  but on the maple?

Jeremy Tatum writes:  The first time I saw one of these I was equally puzzled.  It looked very, very like a caddisfly larva – but a long way from water?  It was Claudia Copley who put me on to the moth Family Tineidae (same Family as the clothes moths.)    A common species here is  Phereoeca uterella  this might be Rosemary’s one.

 

Caterpillar of tineid moth in case – possibly Phereoeca uterella (Lep.: Tineidae)Rosemary Jorna

 

After that hard work, it was a relief to get an easier one – already identified for us – from Gordon Hart, who writes:  On Whiffin Spit, at least two Autographa californica were nectaring on purple or pink flowers of an unidentified succulent beach plant; and on Billings Spit, several were flying around the Ivy which is just coming into bloom. I have attached a photo of one at Whiffin Spit.

The challenge with this one is to identify the flower.  How about Cakile edentula or C. maritima?

Added later:  Our viewers are always up to a challenge.  Steven Roias writes:  It is Cakile maritima. The two species are very easy to distinguish, and although the image isn’t ideal for plant ID purposes, there’s enough detail to draw from. The foliage on C. maritima has large deeply incised lobes at fairly consistent intervals along both leaf margins, which is visible in the photo.   Thank you, Steven.

Autographa californica  (Lep.: Noctuidae – Plusiinae)  Gordon Hart