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.

July 28 evening

2019 July 28 evening

 

Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:

1 Clemensia umbrata

2 Dichagyris variabilis

3 Eulithis xylina

5 Hesperumia latipennis 

1 Hesperumia sulphuraria

2 Homorthodes hanhami

2 Lacinipolia pensilis

10 Lophocampa argentata

1 Nemoria darwiniata

2 Perizoma curvilinea

1 Pero mizon

2 Panthea virginarius

1 Pyrausta perrubralis

2 Schizura ipomoeae

1 Stenoporpia excelsaria

 


Dichagyris variabilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Dichagyris variabilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 

 


Hesperumia sulphuraria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 


Nemoria darwiniata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Pero mizon (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 


Schizura ipomoeae (Lep.: Notodontidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  This afternoon, July 28, I saw a Grey Hairstreak nectaring on Pearly Everlasting along Goldstream Heights Road.  That was the only butterfly I saw in that area.  Later, Bill Savale pointed out to me a Mylitta Crescent along the railway line just north of Malahat Station.  This evening, at 6:30 pm, there was a West Coast Lady and a Painted Lady on the Mount Tolmie reservoir, and three more Painted Ladies near the Jeffery Pine.

   More tomorrow morning…

 

 

 

 

July 28 morning

2019 July 28 morning

 

   Peter Boon writes:  I was hiking in Strathcona Park this past week and on the 24th July on the trail between Little Jim Lake and Cream Lake I observed the following butterflies.

Green Comma -2

Anna’s Blue – 30+, (mostly at Cream Lake)

Persius Duskywing -2 – photo attatched

Mariposa Copper – 1

I also had 2 Painted Ladies nectaring on my Buddleia in Nanaimo on 22nd July.

Persius Duskywing Erynnis persius (Lep.; Hesperiidae)  Peter Boon

 

   Natasha writes: I thought you might be interested in seeing these photos I took today illustrating an unusual scenario I watched unfold over a minimum of a five minute period.

While sitting outside in my garden in Gold River I happened to spot a butterfly on my butterfly plant. I rushed into my house and all the way downstairs to retrieve my camera hoping against hope it would still be in the same location once I returned.  And it was!  I’d noticed this species before but as it rarely stayed still for more than a brief moment I’d been unable to photograph it. Today was different, however.  I managed to take multiple shots with the creature seemingly oblivious to my presence. As I was considering how unusual this was. I took a closer look and realized that the poor thing was actually in distress. The tip of its tongue was caught inside the tight chamber at the centre of a flower.  In an attempt to free itself, the butterfly braced two legs against its tongue and pulled backwards. It tried this manouevre again and again in various positions but to no avail, it was well and truly hooked to that flower.

“Time to intervene,” I thought to myself so very carefully I used my fingernail to snip off the little flower head. I realized how dangerous this was because if it didn’t work the butterfly would then be carrying the heavy flower by the tip of its tongue and in addition because of the proximity of the flower to the butterfly I risked causing bodily harm to it. Unfortunately, my first ‘snip’ didn’t free the tongue, so, very quickly, I severed the flower even shorter.  Success!  Phew, what a relief – that was certainly a close call.

I’ve never seen such an occurrence before, have you Jeremy? I wonder how common/rare such a situation is….

 Jeremy replies:  If my memory serves me, there is an account in Lewis Clark’s Wild Flowers of British Columbia of a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell  being similarly caught in a Dogbane flower.

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Natasha

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Natasha

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Natasha

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Natasha

 

 

   Cheryl Hoyle sends a miscellany of insect photographs, July 27th on Colquitz River Trail.


Lucilia sp. (Dip.; Calliphoridae)  Cheryl Hoyle

 

Lorquin’s Admiral Limentis lorquini (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

   Here are two bumblebees multitasking – nectaring and copulating at the same time:


Bombus vosnesenskii  (Hym.: Apidae) Cheryl Hoyle


Bombus vosnesenskii  (Hym.: Apidae) Cheryl Hoyle

Unknown hymenopteran   Cheryl Hoyle

Suggestions, anyone?

 

   Annie Pang writes:  Here are some pics I got of Halictus rubicundus.  All of them are males.  Note the white bands are restricted to the apical portion of each tergal segment, with the area between the white bands mostly devoid of any hair.  The males have longer antennae as well.


Halictus rubicundus (Hym.: Halictidae)  Annie Pang

 


Halictus rubicundus (Hym.: Halictidae)  Annie Pang

 


Halictus rubicundus (Hym.: Halictidae)  Annie Pang

 

More this afternoon or evening…

 

July 27 evening

2019 July 27 evening

 

Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:

1 Lacinipolia pensilis

1 Drepanulatrix 

2 Hesperumia latipennis

2 Homorthodes hanhami

6 Lophocampa argentata

2 Panthea virginarius

1 Pyrausta perrubralis

2 Schizura ipomoeae

1 Schizura unicornis

More of Jochen’s recent moth photographs from Metchosin:


Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Soothsayer Graphiphora augur (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Idaea dimidiata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Oligocentria pallida (Lep.: Notodontidae)  Jochen Möhr


Schizura ipomoeae (Lep.: Notodontidae)  Jochen Möhr

   Aziza Cooper writes:  This Woodland Skipper was at the Two Waters development at the west end of Esquimalt Lagoon today, July 27. One Cabbage White was the only other butterfly I saw.

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Aziza Cooper

 

  Jeremy Tatum writes that there was a West Coast Lady on the Mount Tolmie reservoir at 6:30 pm, July 27

 

July 27 morning

2019 July 27 morning

 

     Val George writes:  This Amblyptilia pica was in my garden in Oak Bay this morning, July 26.  It was flying around some geraniums, which I understand is one of its caterpillar food plants.  [Yes, it even has an English name – Geranium Plume Moth.  Jeremy Tatum]


Amblyptilia pica (Lep.: Pterophoridae)  Val George

 

   A few more of Jochen Möhr’s recent moth findings in Metchosin:

Probably Leucania farcta (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Perizoma costiguttata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr


Pseudothyatira cymatophoroides (Lep.: Drepanidae – Thyatirinae) Jochen Möhr


Apamea amputatrix (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr


Ypsolopha canariella (Lep.: Ypsolophidae) Jochen Möhr

 

 

July 26 afternoon

2019 July 26 afternoon

Ren Ferguson writes:  I had the most wonderful time observing butterflies, bees and other invertebrates on Mount Tuam, Salt Spring Island, yesterday July 25th.

It was a perfect butterfly day. Everywhere I looked there were Common Woodnymphs on the wing, second in numbers were Zerene Fritillary followed by Painted Lady, Woodland Skipper and my first Pine White of the season.

Every thistle patch I visited was full of action. One area in particular had almost 20 woodnymphs. I had one hang from one of my ears for some time imbibing on my sweat. The Zerene were super active with pairs making high speed spiral flights and attempts at mating.

In the “Zerene Pair One” photo you can see what appears to be a female shunning the advances of a male by holding her abdomen up in the air. This is just my theory and perhaps others with more experience could help out here.     Zerene Pair Two shows another interaction. I am not sure if the males of this species have pheromone producing areas on their forewings, as I have read of other fritillary species. I also observed a pair of Zerene drop down into the grass. They were lined up head to tail and the individual at the rear was flexing its forewings forward and back in quick movements like a dance.

  The “mystery” photo includes an insect (Hymenoptera) I would like to know. There were many of these seen yesterday. This individual has a black tip to its abdomen but others had an entirely luminous chestnut coloured abdomen. [Jeremy Tatum writes:  It appears to be the same species as the one posted by Layla Munger on July 15.  Identification suggestions, anyone?]

I am unclear as to what was happening with all of those butterfly behaviours but any rate spending the day with so many was sheer delight!

Cris Guppy comments:

The lifted abdomen of the female is indeed to tell the male to “bug off, I am not interested”. It is likely that she was also emitting rejection pheromones at the same time, although I do not think anyone has proven the pheromones for fritillaries. Whites, including Cabbage Whites, do the same thing and they have been proven to emit rejection pheromones.

Male fritillaries do emit pheromones from their wings, so the male behaviors were likely to waft the pheromones over to the female’s antennae.

Butterflies are fun to watch!

Zerene Fritillary  Speyeria zerene (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Ren Ferguson

[Thanks to Cris Guppy for confirming the species.    Jeremy Tatum]

Zerene Fritillary  Speyeria zerene (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Ren Ferguson

Zerene Fritillaries  Speyeria zerene(Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Ren Ferguson

Zerene Fritillaries  Speyeria zerene(Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Ren Ferguson

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Ren Ferguson

Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Ren Ferguson

Common Woodnymph Cercyonis pegala (Lep.: Nymphalidae – Satyrinae)  Ren Ferguson

Unknown wasp (Hymenoptera – Apocrita) Ren Ferguson

 

 

   Jochen Möhr sends a picture of a flutter fly on his window in Metchosin today:

 


Toxoneura muliebris (Dip.: Pallopteridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

Jochen had a very active night with moths – 55 individuals and 29 species – not counting numerous other micros:

2 Amphipyra tragopoginis

2 Biston betularia

4 Campaea perlata

1 Clemensia umbrata

3 Coryphista meadii

3 Dasychira grisefacta

2 Drepanulatrix sp

2 Eulithis xylina

1 Hesperumia latipennis

1 Hesperumia sulphuraria

2 Homorthodes hanhami

2 Hydriomena californiata or marinata

1 Lacinipolia pensilis

4 Lacinipolia strigicollis

4 Lophocampa argentata

1 Lophocampa maculata

1 Nadata gibbosa

3 Nemoria darwiniata

2 Neoalcis californiata

3 Panthea virginarius

1 Perizoma costiguttata

1 Perizoma curvilinea

2 Pseudothyatira cymatophoroides

1 Pyrrausta perrubralis

1 Schizura ipomoeae

1 Scopula quinquelinearia or junctaria

2 Spiramater lutra

1 Ypsolopha canariella

Here are three of them.  Some others will appear in future postings:


Coryphista meadii (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Drepanulatrix secundaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Campaea perlata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr