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 (tatumjb352@gmail.com). 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.

2024 April 19 evening

2024 April 19 evening

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I am finding butterflies still scarce, but I saw a Cabbage White along Carey Road in Saanich this morning.   Two California Tortoiseshells were still basking on the Mount Tolmie reservoir this evening.

Aziza Cooper sends a photograph of a California Tortoiseshell on Mount Tolmie, April 17.

California Tortoiseshell  Nymphalis californica  (Lep.: Nymphalidae)
Aziza Cooper

 

Jeff Gaskin writes:  Kirsten Mills and I saw some butterflies in the Prospect Lake area today, April 19.   Along the Prospect Lake Road powerline trail we saw 1 Brown Elfin, 8 Western Spring Azures, and 1 Sara Orangetip.  At Bedrock or 4655 Kerryview Drive, which is the last house on Kerryview Drive, we saw 2 Green Commas, 2 Western Spring Azures and 2 Sara Orangetips and at Petworth Road and Prospect Lake Road another Sara Orangetip, Green Comma and 2 Western Spring Azures. We also had a few Cabbage Whites in various areas, but Cabbage Whites are by no means numerous yet.  It’s probably because the temperatures have been quite cool at night.

 

Ian Cooper sends photographs of five spiders.  We thank Dr Robb Bennett for their identifications.

Callobius pictus  (Ara.: Amaurobiidae)   Ian Cooper

  Callobius pictus  (Ara.: Amaurobiidae)   Ian Cooper

 

Possibly (not certain) Callobius pictus  (Ara.: Amaurobiidae)   Ian Cooper

 

Pimoa altioculata with egg sac (Ara.: Pimoidae)  Ian Cooper

 

 Possibly (unsure) Cybaeus sp. (Cybaeidae)  Ian Cooper

 

Dr Philip Bragg writes of a Harvestman photographed by Ian Cooper:  Not quite sharp enough where I would wish it to be. However, it is a very nice photo and taken from a good angle. I think that it is a species of Protolophus. The genus needs revision so I am not sure what is the species.  Thanks for sending the photograph.

 

Harvestman Protolophus sp. (Opiliones:  Phalangiidae)  Ian Cooper

 

We thank Scott Gilmore for the identification of the beetle below.  The beetle is carrying some mites.

 

Scaphinotus angusticollis  (Col.:  Carabidae)  Ian Cooper

 

We don’t know the identification of this fly.   If any viewer can help, please let us know.

 

Unknown fly (Diptera – Nematocera)  Ian Cooper

 

Nor do we know the identification of this caterpillar:

 

Moth caterpillar (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Ian Cooper

 

The Rough Woodlouse below is a little easier:

 

Porcellio scaber   (Isopoda:  Porcellionidae)  Ian Cooper

 

 

 

 

2024 April 19 morning

2024 April 19 morning

Marie O’Shaughnessy sends photographs of butterflies that she saw on Mount Tolmie, April 18.

Western Spring Azure  Celastrina echo  (Lep.: Lycaenidae)
Marie O’Shaughnessy

California Tortoiseshell  Nymphalis californica (Lep.: Nymphalidae)
Marie O’Shaughnessy

California Tortoiseshell  Nymphalis californica (Lep.: Nymphalidae)
Marie O’Shaughnessy

 

Mourning Cloak  Nymphalis antiopa  (Lep.: Nymphalidae)
Marie O’Shaughnessy

Marie also photographed these Sara Orangetips on Mount Douglas:

Sara Orangetip Anthocharis sara  (Lep.: Pieridae)
Marie O’Shaughnessy

Sara Orangetip Anthocharis sara  (Lep.: Pieridae)
Marie O’Shaughnessy

2024 April 18

2024 April 18

Marie O’Shaughnessy writes
April 17:  1 Cabbage White, Martindale Road; 1 Cabbage White, Outerbridge Park;  2 Sara Orangetips, Mount Douglas1 Western Spring Azure, (picture below) Mount Douglas.

Male Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy

April 18:  Marie O’Shaughnessy and Geoffrey Newell saw the following in Uplands Park: 2 Mourning Cloaks, 2 Cabbage Whites, and 3 Western Spring Azures.

 

Val George writes: This White -ribboned Carpet Moth, Mesoleuca gratulata, was near the Hartland Landfill this afternoon, April 18. There was another of these moths in the same location. About a dozen Western Spring Azure butterflies were also in the general area.

White-ribboned Carpet Moth Mesoleuca gratulata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Val George

Jeremy Tatum writes:  The moth Epirrhoe plebeculata often flies in the same place and time as Mesoleuca gratulata.  While the immature stages of gratulata are well known (the caterpillar feeds on Rubus), I have never found the caterpillar of plebeculata.  Please watch for this moth, and see if you can catch it ovipositing.  See what plant it lays on.  I’d be very glad of an ovum in order to rear the caterpillar to adult.

2024 April 17

2024 April 17

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  There was a California Tortoiseshell on the Mount Tolmie reservoir at 5:00 pm today.   It was a different individual from the one photographed there recently by Marie and by Aziza. This was the only butterfly reported to Invert Alert today.  I visited Swan Lake today, and Lochside Drive at Blenkinsop Lake yesterday, without seeing any butterflies.  It is still appropriate for observers to report any butterfly sightings, even if just singletons of common species.

2024 April 16

2024 April 16

Our plea for sightings of Moss’s Elfin led to a quick response from Aziza Cooper, who draws our attention to an item on iNaturalist of a Moss’s Elfin at Lone Tree Hill on April 10. Rebecca Reader-Lee is the observer.  The link, showing a photograph, is  https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/207460416

Jeff Gaskin reports that today, April 16, at Panama Flats there was a Western Spring Azure and a Mourning Cloak.

Marie O’Shaughnessy reports three Sara Orangetips  from Mount Douglas today.

Kirsten Mills writes: Today, April 16, I went to Mount Tolmie around 4-5pm.  The only butterflies I saw were two Western Spring Azures.