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.

November 14

2019 November 14

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Today is a day for small, obscure and unfamiliar invertebrates, mostly from Mr E, but we’ll start with one from my Saanich apartment this morning:

 

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

 

   Next, a bark louse, Family Psocoptera.  Libby Avis usually identifies most of our moths for us, but this time she excelled by identifying this obscure insect as well!

 

Bark louse Graphopsocus cruciatus (Pso.: Stenopsocidae)   Mr E

 

Bark louse Graphopsocus cruciatus (Pso.: Stenopsocidae)   Mr E

 

   Next, some extraordinary photographs of a syrphid larva  (Syrphidae = Hover Flies, also known as Flower Flies) apparently feeding on the slime of a Banana Slug.  Mr E even managed a superb movie of this larva in action.

 

Syrphid larva on mantle of Banana Slug Ariolimax columbianus   Mr E

 

Syrphid larva on mantle of Banana Slug Ariolimax columbianus   Mr E

 

Syrphid larva on mantle of Banana Slug Ariolimax columbianus   Mr E

 

 

Syrphid larva on mantle of Banana Slug Ariolimax columbianus   Mr E

 

   Last, some photographs of globose springtails.  Springtails (not insects these days, but hexapods) were formerly classified in a single Order Collembola.  Collembola is currently a Subclass of the Class Entognatha, divided into several Orders, the globose springtails being in the Order Symphypleona.   Something like that, anyway.   We believe Mr E’s springtails are in the Family Dicyrtomidae, genus Ptenothrix.  I shan’t tempt fate further by guessing at the exact species.

 

Globose springtail Ptenothrix sp. (Symphypleona:  Dicyrtomidae)  Mr E

 

Globose springtail Ptenothrix sp. (Symphypleona:  Dicyrtomidae)  Mr E

 

Globose springtail Ptenothrix sp. (Symphypleona:  Dicyrtomidae)  Mr E

Globose springtail Ptenothrix sp. (Symphypleona:  Dicyrtomidae)  Mr E

 

Globose springtails Ptenothrix sp. (Symphypleona:  Dicyrtomidae)  Mr E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 13

2019 November 13

 

    Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning, autumn soon giving way to winter.

 

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

Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

November 12

2019 November 12

 

   Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:  This morning merely a lonely E. autumnata

 

 

Epirrita autumnata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

November 11

2019 November 11

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here are two more of the difficult challenges that Mr E has set us.  The first is a leaf beetle of the Family Chrysomelidae.   This is a huge Family, so it is difficult to get an exact identification.  However, Scott Gilmore had a go and he believes it is a beetle in the genus  Altica.

 

Leaf beetle Altica sp. (Col.: Chrysomelidae)  Mr E

 

  Jeremy continues:  At first I had no idea what the creature below was, but now I believe it is a non-biting midge of the enormous Family Chironomidae.

 

Non-biting midge (Dip.: Chironomidae)  Mr E

 

More to come…

 

   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning.  No pics.  One each of:

 

Epirrita autumnata

Operophtera brumata

Orthosia mys

Sunira decipiens

Xanthorhoe defensaria

 

November 10

2019 November 10

 

   Mr E has been photographing all sorts of invertebrates that are going to be a challenge to identify.  We’ll start with two slugs from Prospect Lake.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  The first one doesn’t have the usual colour and pattern of a Banana Slug, but I can’t think of any other slug that looks like this one, so for time being I’ll label it as a probable Banana Slug Ariolimax columbianus.  I just don’t know what the second one is.  If any viewer has ideas on either of these slugs, please do let us know.

 

Probable Banana Slug Ariolimax columbianus (Pul.: Arionidae)  Mr E

Probable Banana Slug Ariolimax columbianus (Pul.: Arionidae)  Mr E

Unknown slug     Mr E

   Next a small spider.  Dr Robb Bennett writes that he “thinks” it is Enoplognatha ovata.  If that’s what Dr Bennett “thinks” it is, that will be pretty close to certain!

 


Enoplognatha ovata  (Ara.: Theridiidae)  Mr E


Enoplognatha ovata  (Ara.: Theridiidae)  Mr E

    More to come as we try to identify them!

 

In the meantime, here are Jochen Möhr’s moths from this morning:

 

2 Epirrita autumnata

1 Operophtera sp.

1 Orthosia mys

2 Sunira decipiens

2 Xanthorhoe defensaria

 


Xanthorhoe defensaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

   Jochen’s next two moths remind us that autumn will soon be giving way to winter:

 

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

Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr