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 5 afternoon

2021 August 5 afternoon

 

   Colias Alert!  Yes!  I saw Ron’s Orange Sulphur on the Teasels at McIntyre reservoir (McIntyre Road, Central Saanich) this afternoon. Most of the large Teasels near the road are brown by now, but further in, away from the road (it is very dusty underfoot) the small Teasels are still in flower, and that’s where I saw the Sulphur.

  Last time we had a large sulphiur invasion, I tried to distinguish between the Orange Sulphur and the Clouded Sulphur by trying to see details of the spots on the underside of the hindwing, believing that one can’t distinguish the species merely by their colour.   I believe I was wrong in this, and we probably had a few genuine Clouded Sulphurs, which I dismissed as Orange Sulphurs because I couldn’t see any difference in the spots.  I am now of the belief that it is quite diifficult to discern small details (variable in any case) in the spots in the field, and that the general background colour is more than adequate to distinguish the species.

   The Orange Sulphur is a deep, deep yellow, with much more than a suspicion of orange.  The orange is more emphatic on the upperside, which the butterfly rarely shows when settled, so the orange is more readily seen on the butterfly in flight.  The Clouded Sulphur is a much paler lemon yellow without a hint of orange.

  Also seen at McIntyre reservoir – Black Saddlebags dragonfly.

2021 August 5 morning

2021 August 5 morning

    Colias alert!   From Ron Flower:   On Wednesday August  4 we went to McIntyre reservoir (McIntyre Road, Central Saanich) around 1:00 pm. and saw a Sulphur butterfly, probably an Orange. Unfortunately we could not catch up with it, so no photo. Nothing like chasing through the Teasel with shorts on!

Aziza Cooper sends photographs of two moths from the Swan Lake Nature House, August 3.   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Hey!  I think that first one is the same individual that I photographed and posted yesterday!

 

Leucania sp.(probably farcta or oregona) (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Aziza Cooper

 

Next, a nice plusiine – a new one for this site.

 

Plusia nichollae (Lep.: Noctuidae – Plusiinae)  Aziza Cooper

 

Jeremy Tatum writes that the Satyr Comma caterpillar shown on July 29 has now pupated:

 

Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

Bryan Gates sends a photograph of a male Eight-spotted Skimmer from Highland Pacific Golf Course, August 4.  For a female, see tomorrow’s posting.

 

Male Eight-spotted Skimmer Libellula forensis (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Bryan Gates

2021 August 4 morning

2021 August 4 morning

    Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:  This morning one lonely moth,  [Shown below]  Libby Avis writes:  Mesapamea secalis. Introduced species from a few years ago, now becoming increasingly common. Extremely variable in markings.

 

Mesapamea sicalis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

   Jeremy Tatum writes:   This morning I visited the Nature Houses at Goldstream Park and at Swan Lake.  At Goldstream, I found this moth:

Sabulodes aegrotata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum

   At Swan Lake I found these two.  The first is the colour form of Coryphista meadii  that is not difficult to distinguish from Triphosa haesitata!

Coryphists meadii (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

Leucania sp.(probably farcta or oregona) (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

2021 August 3 afternoon

2021 August 3 afternoon

    On August 1, Aziza Cooper found and photographed two different Catocala species both at the Swan Lake Nature House.   Catocalas are exciting at the best of times, but to find two of them at the same time and place is particularly thrilling.  Unfortunately, although these are large and exciting moths, it is a large genus, and the several species are hard to identify, even if you manage to see the colourful hind wings that Catocalas have.  Thanks to Libby Avis for her efforts in identifying them.  Libby writes:

 Brown one looks like C. aholibah to me. Associated with oaks.

 Grey one – several options. Does she have a shot showing even a part of the underwing? Looks as if it might be C. relicta which is the only one which has a black and white underwing. Other options would all have red & black underwings  – could be unijuga or semirelicta or even something else.

Catocala aholibah (Lep.: Erebidae – Erebinae) Aziza Cooper

 

 

Catocala (probably relicta) (Lep.: Erebidae – Erebinae)  Aziza Cooper

   Most of us, when we visit Cowichan Station, walk along the track north away from Victoria, but today Ron and Nora Flower walked towards Victoria and was rewarded with around six to eight Mylitta Crescents. Starting at the little Cowichan Station House we walked left towards Victoria and found one right away.  Most of them were found about 50 metres past the W train sign. 

Mylitta Crescent Phyciodes mylitta (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Ron Flower

 

Mylitta Crescent Phyciodes mylitta (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Ron Flower

2021 August 3 morning

2021 August 3 morning

    Val George sends a photograph of an Essex Skipper, which clearly shows the shape of the tips of the antennae, which can be compared with yesterday’s photographs of the Woodland Skipper.

Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Val  George

   Here are some photographs by Aziza Cooper from the VHNS Butterfly Walk at Royal Roads University on August 1.

 

Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Aziza Cooper

 

Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Aziza Cooper

 

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

Sand Wasp Bembix sp.  (Hym.:  Crabronidae)  Aziza Cooper