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 August 26 afternoon

2021 August 26 afternoon

    Jochen Möhr sends photographs of two moths from his home in Metchosin this morning.

 

Dioryctria sp. (possibly delectella ?) (Lep.: Pyralidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

2021 August 26 morning

2021 August 26 morning

    Rarity Alert!

   Val George found this butterfly on the top of Mount Douglas, yesterday August 25.   I’m sure you all know what it is!

American Lady Vanessa virginiensis  (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Val George

 

 American Lady Vanessa virginiensis  (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Val George

   In case anyone is wondering, there was no Invert Alert yesterday. 

2021 August 24

2021 August 24

    Jeff Gaskin writes:  I found a rather worn Satyr Comma along the Lochside Trail about half way along south of the bridge at Blenkinsop Lake , yesterday August 23.

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  This is a good place to find the species – earlier in the year caterpillars are to be found in the nettles at the side of the trail.  Unfortunately,  it has been very dry this year, with heavy bicycle traffic (including electric motorbikes – that’s what they are and should be called), and all the vegetation at the sides of the trail are heavily covered in dust and grit.  The commas spend the winter in the adult state, and reappear in spring, when, with luck, they may find a good crop of clean, fresh nettles to lay their eggs on.

2021 August 23

2021 August 23

   Colias alert continued.   Jeremy Tatum writes: Because I have difficulty in distinguishing Colias species (I suspect I’m not the only one!) I asked Mark Wynja whether his suphur  (see yesterday’s posting) might possibly be a Western Sulphur (a non-migratory species that we get in the higher elevations on Vancouver Island) rather than the Clouded Sulphur (a migratory species, which is very rare here).  Mark replies:  Of the three likely Sulphurs the field marks match that of a female Clouded. I also sent the photos to both Mike Yip and Joachim Bertrands. They agree that it is a Clouded and not a Western. Joachim is very familiar with them as he has seen quite a number of Clouded this year in the BC interior. The silver center spot on underside hind wing of a Western is cleanly bordered by a single thin red circle and no little red satellite circle. The upperwings of the females are also different .

   Mark also reports:   After my sighting on August 20th Mike Yip saw a Sulphur at beach along Deep Bay Drive on Aug 21, and I saw a female Clouded Sulphur on Aug 22 on Deep Bay Drive. This is almost 5 km away from where the initial photograph was taken on Aug 20th.

  Jeff Gaskin reports:  A Lorquin’s Admiral was in the Cecilia Ravine Park,  and 14 Ringlets were  seen from Markham Road Camosun College lands and the Horticultural Centre lands yesterday, August 22.

  Richard Rycraft sends pictures of a Mint Moth Pyrausta californicalis from his garden.  There is indeed Mint in his garden although these moths were seen flying around Thyme.  Thyme and Mint are in the same botanical Family;  it would be interesting to know which plant these moths spent their caterpillar lives on.

Mint Moth Pyrausta californicalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Richard Rycraft

   Ben Buszka spotted this blue horned caterpillar in a backyard in Sooke.  It is Smerinthus ophthalmica. This was at one time called Cerisy’s Eyed Hawk Moth S. cerisyi – but that species has now been split into C. cerisyi and C. ophthalmica, and our  population is supposed to be ophthalmica. As far as I know, writes Jeremy Tatum, it has not yet acquired an English name.  Suggestions, anyone?   Unfortunately this caterpillar will not survive – the several white spots on or near its head are eggs of a tachinid fly.

Smerinthus ophthalmica (Lep.: Sphingidae)  Ben Buszka

2021 August 22

2021 August 22

    Colias alert!   Mark Wynja writes:  On August 20, 2021 I went looking for two Short-tailed Shearwaters reported sitting on the water at the foot of Bowser Road, Bowser. When I arrived there at the beach my attention was drawn to a yellow butterfly fluttering just above the high watermark, I grabbed my camera and carefully edged closer, it would only touch down for a second or two before flying again. Eventually I managed a single burst of photos that show a female Clouded Sulphur perched and flying up out of the frame.

    Jeremy Tatum writes:  The plant is a Lathyrus.  Notice the egg on the leaf below the butterfly.

Clouded Sulphur Colias philodice (Lep.: Pieridae)  Mark Wynja

 

Clouded Sulphur Colias philodice (Lep.: Pieridae)  Mark Wynja

 

Clouded Sulphur Colias philodice (Lep.: Pieridae)  Mark Wynja

 

   Jeff Gaskin writes:  A nice fresh Lorquin’s Admiral was seen in Cuthbert Holmes Park, August 21.  Everything else I saw today were just Cabbage Whites and Woodland Skippers.

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I saw a Ringlet Coenonympha tullia at Island View Beach today, August 22.

  Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin, August 21:  I was able to spot two Woodland Skippers on the dandelions and one Eupithecia sp. at the black light – not to mention two tiny, tiny micros.  No Pine Whites despite watching for them off and on for hours.  Here is a crab spider.  Does this critter really have eight eyes???   Jeremy Tatum replies:  I believe most (not all) species of spider have eight eyes.  I can’t imagine what the universe looks like with eight eyes!

Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisidae)  Jochen Möhr