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 October 17

2021 October 17

    Jochen Möhr writes yesterday from Metchosin:  Well, after more than three weeks of absence – since September 23 – and after I had practically given up on checking around the black light, this afternoon  I finally discovered two moths at the ceiling:  Synaxis jubararia and Epirrita autumnataAnd this morning, two Epirrita autumnata and one Noctua pronuba.

 

October Thorn Tetracis jubararia (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Autumnal Moth Epirrita autumnata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

   Jeremy Tatum  shows a photograph of a Large Yellow Underwing caterpillar.

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

2021 October 16

2021 October 16

    Jeremy Tatum sends a photograph of a moth from the back door of his Saanich apartment this morning.   I believe this is not native to North America, but is from Europe.

Juniper Carpet Thera juniperata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum

   Jeff Gaskin writes:   After not seeing any butterflies in Victoria since October 8, I found some today, October 16.  I had four Cabbage Whites in the Burnside / Gorge community with two at the Gorge Park community garden  and the other two in the Gorge neighbourhood.  But the big surprise was a nice Mourning Cloak as I was walking down Christmas Hill.

2021 October 10 morning

2021 October 10 morning

    Jeff Gaskin tells me that Kirsten Mills saw a Lady (identity uncertain) on the top of Mount Tolmie on Thursday.  Butterfliers are encouraged to visit the tops of our hills where butterflies often hill-top in the late afternoons to see if there are more ladies, and, if so, which species they are.  Mount Douglas, Mount Tolmie, Christmas Hill and Highrock Park are obvious places to try. 

2021 October 9 morning

2021 October 9 morning

    Jeff Gaskin reports a Painted Lady on the summit of Christmas Hill, 3:45 pm, October 9.  If we get some sun, it might be worth going up there – especially in the late afternoon – just on the off-chance that it might be an American Lady.

   Aziza Cooper sends a photograph of a Yellow Woolly Bear from the Lochside Trail north of Blenkinsop Lake, October 8.  (woolly = British spelling,  wooly  = American;  here we takes our choice.)

Yellow Woolly Bear Spilosoma virginica (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Aziza Cooper

   And Ian Cooper sends another woolly bear from the same trail, October 6:

 

Banded Woolly Bear Pyrrharctia isabella (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Ian Cooper

    

    Three spiders and two bugs from Ian.   Thanks to Dr Robb Bennett for the spider identifications.  Robb writes:

 A is a female Agelenopsis grass funnel-web spider. Most likely A. potteri or A. utahana although there are other species in our neighbourhood.

B is an Antrodiaetus in her burrow. Local coastal species is A. pacificus.

C is a male Eratigena duellica

 

Grass funnel-web spider Agelenopsis potteri/utahana (Ara.: Agelenidae – Ageleninae)

Ian Cooper

Antrodiaetus pacificus (Ara.– Myg.: Androdiaetidae) Ian Cooper

Eratigena duellica (Ara.: Agelenidae)  Ian Cooper

 

Red-cross Shield Bug Elasmostethus cruciatus (Hem.: Acanthosomatidae)  Ian Cooper

 

Rhododendron Leafhopper Graphocephala fennahi (Hem.: Cicadellidae)

Ian Cooper

2021 October 7

2021 October 7

 (No October 6 posting, in case you were looking.)

    On August 22 we posted a photograph from Mark Wynja in Bowser of a Clouded Sulphur Colias philodice with an egg beneath it on a leaf of Beach Pea Lathyrus japonicus.  Mark found four eggs, and he has now succeeded in the tricky task rearing them to chrysalides.  Mark writes:

 Aug 20, 2021 – female Clouded Sulphur photographed (egg spotted on leaf below her)

 Aug 23, 2021 – collected eggs and parts of host beach pea

 Aug 24/25, 2021 – four caterpillars emerged

 Oct 3/4, 2021 –  first caterpillar has entered the pupal stage

 Oct 6, 2021 – two more Clouded Sulphur caterpillars have entered the pupal stage. One pupa has fallen from where it attached itself. The largest of the caterpillars has stopped moving and eating; it will likely pupate soon. 

 This whole process has taken 40 or more days from the caterpillars emerging to entering the pupal stage. They have spent their time in the rearing container with a regular fresh supply of beach pea.They are in our sunroom, out of direct sunlight, where it is only marginally warmer than the outside temperature.

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

 

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

 

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

   Kalene Lillico, Program Naturalist at Swan Lake, sent a photograph of what she described as a sweet little robber fly.  She also suggested a more prosaic name, Neomochtherus willistoni , and Dr Rob Cannings confirms that she was spot on – which is what you’d expect of a Swan Lake Program Naturalist.

Female robber fly  Neomochtherus willistoni (Dip.: Asilidae)   Kalene Lillico