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.

June 15

2020 June 15

 

  Rosemary Jorna sends a beautiful photograph of a clearwing moth.  They are not seen very often, and are hard to photograph, so this is quite an achievement.  We have several native clearwings (Sesiidae), but this one is a rather recent European invader, Synanthedon myopaeformis, known variously as the Red-belted Clearwing or the Apple Clearwing.

 

Red-belted Clearwing Synanthedon myopaeformis (Lep.: Sesiidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

   Rosemary has also been photographing some bees in the Kemp Lake area.  Thanks to Linclon Best and Annie Pang for identifications.

 


Bombus occidentalis (Hym.: Apidae)  Rosemary Jorna


Bombus caliginosus or vosnesenskii (Hym.: Apidae)  Rosemay Jorna


Bombus melanopygus or bifarius (Hym.: Apidae)  Rosemary Jorna

   Mr E photographed these beetles and a spider near Sooke.  Scott Gilmore identifies the beetles as Pidonia scripta.   The spider is young, which makes identification difficult, but Robb Bennett says probably Misumena, though possibly Mecaphesa.  Why is the spider facing away from the beetles?  Is it frightened, or hasn’t it noticed them, or is it being cunning?  One viewer suggests that it is just embarrassed at possibly being mistaken for a voyeur.

 


Pidonia scripta (Col.: Cerambycidae)

and probably Misumena sp. (Ara.: Thomisidae)     Mr E

 

Rosemary Jorna photographed the following fearsome-looking mygalomorph spider near Kemp Lake:

 


Antrodiaetus pacificus  (Ara. – Myg.:  Antrodiaetidae)  Rosemary Jorna


Antrodiaetus pacificus  (Ara. – Myg.:  Antrodiaetidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

 

June 14

2020 June 14

 

   Jochen’s moths from Metchosin this morning.  No photos.

 

1 Callizzia amorata 

1 Enypia packardata

2 Iridopsis emasculatum 

1 Lophocampa maculata

1 Tyria jacobaeae

1 Nadata gibbosa (same one, still there and still alive)

 

 

Lynda Dowling, from Happy Valley Herb Farm, sends via Gordon Hart a photograph of a  Mesoleuca gratulata photographed in May this year:

 


Mesoleuca gratulata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Lynda Dowling

   Claudia Copley sent the photographs below (taken by Darren Copley on June 12) of a chrysalis on the house of a friend, Chris Nation, in Gordon Head. The caterpillar that formed it was seen there in June 11, and it had formed the pupa by the following day.  This makes a nice record of breeding of a California Tortoiseshell here.   In case you are wondering, the butterfly within is facing to the left in the first photo below, and it has its back to you in the third photo.

 

California Tortoiseshell Nymphalis californica (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Darren Copley

California Tortoiseshell Nymphalis californica (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Darren Copley

California Tortoiseshell Nymphalis californica (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Darren Copley

  Jeremy Tatum writes:  Today I went to Munn Road hydro line – butterfly hotspot – for a couple of hours, and I saw one Western Spring Azure – the first butterfly of any sort that I have seen since June 1.  Twelve straight days without a butterfly – I’m getting desperate!

 

June 13

2020 June 13

 

   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

 

1 Callizzia amorata 

1 Drepana arcuata 

1 Enypia packardata

1 Eudonia commortalis

2 Iridopsis emasculatum 

1 Leucania dia

1 Lophocampa maculata

1 Nadata gibbosa (still the same, still alive!)

1 Perizoma curvilinea

10 Tyria jacobaeae

1 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli 

 

The first photo may be Eudonia commortalis, but others in the crambid subfamily Scopariinae look very similar, so it is hard to be certain.

 

Possibly Eudonia commortalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Jochen Möhr


Lophocampa maculata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Jochen Möhr


Enypia packardata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Leucania dia (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Drepana arcuata (Lep.: Drepanidae – Drepaninae)  Jochen Möhr

   Jenny Romeo photographed this Pacific Sideband Snail on Mount Douglas on June 11.  It was sitting on a bed of liverworts on a large standing tree.

 

Pacific Sideband  Monadenia fidelis (Lep.: Brachybaenidae)  Jenny Romero

Pacific Sideband  Monadenia fidelis (Lep.: Brachybaenidae)  Jenny Romero

   Gordon Hart, writing from Highlands, writes:  Today, Saturday June 14, I saw a Pale and a Western Tiger Swallowtail, one Western Spring Azure, and one Cedar Hairstreak.

 

Rosemary Jorna saw a Pale Tiger Swallowtail in her Kemp Lake area garden, and a Pale Tiger Swallowtail and a Western Spring Azure on Mount Quimper.   She also photographed this Zebra Jumping Spider:

 


Salticus scenicus (Ara.: Salticidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

June 12

2020 June 12

 

   Val George and Jeff Gaskin each report their first Lorquin’s Admiral of the year, yesterday, June 11  –  Val’s on Mount Tolmie, and Jeff’s on Wascana Street.   (Rosemary Jorna saw one on Broom Hill, June 6).

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Glad someone is seeing some butterflies.  I haven’t seen a butterfly of any sort since June 1, and I haven’t yet seen a swallowtail this year!  I’m probably spending too much time writing up Invert Alert, and not enough outside!

 

   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

 

1 Agrotis obliqua / vancouverensis

1 Callizzia amorata 

1 Drepana arcuata 

1 Enypia packhardata

1 Homorthodes hanhami

1 Iridopsis emasculatum 

1 Lacinipolia pensilis

1 Nadata gibbosa (still the same)

1 Plagodis phlogosaria

1 Stenoporpia excelsaria

2 Tyria jacobaeae

1 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli 

 

   Libby Avis writes:  The Agrotis is interesting. Could be obliqua or the dark form of vancouverensis. I’m inclined to think the latter, because it’s more colourful overall than obliqua and markings look closer, but they’re both variable – sigh! A.o. is supposed to be more of a higher elevation species, but there have been reports from the island.

 

 


Agrotis vancouverensis/obliqua (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 


Homorthodes hanhami (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 


Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 


Enypia packhardata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 


Iridopsis emasculatum  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 


Stenoporpia excelsaria  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Plagodis phlogosaria  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

June 11

2020 June 11

 

   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

 

1 Apamea antennata

1 Callizzia amorata 

1 Clostera apicalis 

1 Drepana arcuata

1 Dysstroma citrata  

1 Iridopsis emasculatum  

1 Trichordestra liquida

1 Nadata gibbosa (still the same)

1 Pero morissonaria

4 Tyria jacobaeae

1 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli 

 



Pero morrisonaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Trichordestra liquida (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 


Drepana arcuata (Lep.: Drepanidae – Drepaninae)

Jochen Möhr

 

   Jeremy Tatum shows a moth reared from a caterpillar on Gumweed:

 


Heliothis phloxiphaga (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

  The pug below was reared from a caterpillar on Mahonia, but, although the moth is pristine fresh, we have not yet been able to identify it below Genus. 

 

 

Eupithecia sp. (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum

 


Eupithecia sp. (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

   Yesterday, Jochen Möhr sent a photograph of a crab spider with prey.  Thanks to Dr Robb Bennett for identifying the spider as “almost certainly” Coriarachne brunneipes.  As for the prey, it is difficult to be certain, but Dr Bennett, Libby Avis and Jeremy Tatum, all suggest the European Earwig, so that’s how it shall be labelled!

 

Crab Spider Coriarachne brunneipes (Ara.: Thomisidae)

with European Earwig Forficula auricularia (Derm.: Forficulidae)
Jochen Möhr