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 May 28

2024 May 28

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  During the Uplands Park Insect Bioblitz on May 12, I found a small caterpillar on dogwood.  It has now transformed into an adult moth, kindly identified by Dr Jason Dombroskie as Pandemis cerasana, shown below.

 

Pandemis cerasana  (Lep.: Tortricidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

Here’s a caterpillar found on a blackberry bush near Blenkinsop Lake:

 

Aseptis binotata  (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

2024 May 27

2024 May 27

   Jeremy Tatum writes: This crane fly flew into my bedroom yesterday.  It is not the usual European Tipula paludosa, but a large, handsome native Tipula pubera.

 Tipula pubera (Dip.: Tipulidae)   Jeremy Tatum

2024 May 26

2024 May 26

   In contrast to the particularly strikingly-patterned snout moth Hypena bijugalis shown on May 24, this snout is almost without any pattern.  Because of its lack of pattern, it was difficult to identify, but Jeremy Tatum and Libby Avis agree that it is Hypena californicaBoth of these snout moths were reared from caterpillars found within a few yards of each other along the Lochside Trail north of Blenkinsop Lake.  The bijugalis caterpillar was found last fall feeding on dogwood.  It spent the winter as a pupa, and the moth emerged two days ago.  The californica caterpillar was found just a few weeks ago feeding on nettle.  The adult moth emerged just two days after the emergence of the bijugalis.

You can see why they are called snouts.

Hypena californica (Lep.: Erebidae – Hypeninae)   Jeremy Tatum

2024 May 24

2024 May 24

Heather Trondsen sent this photograph of a moth pupa that she found in her Sooke garden under a bunch of maple leaves.  It is difficult to identify a moth from its pupa, but Jeremy Tatum makes a wild guess at possibly the hawk moth Smerinthus ophthalmica.  If it is, the foodplant was unlikely to be maple – they usually feed on willow.  We shall see, in due course, what it turns out to be.

Possibly Smerinthus ophthalmica? (Lep.: Sphingidae)   Heather Trondsen

 

Jeremy Tatum found the caterpillar of the moth below on Cornus stolonifera along the Lochside Trail between Blenkinsop Lake and Lohbrunners last September. The caterpillar is shown on the posting for 2023 September 12.  The adult moth emerged today, May 24, and was released near where the caterpillar was found.

Female Hypena bijugalis  (Lep.: Erebidae – Hypeninae)     Jeremy Tatum

 

 

2024 May 23 evening

2024 May 23

On May 22, Marie O’Shaughnessy photographed two dragonflies at Outerbridge Park.  First, a California Darner:

 California Darner Rhionaeschna californica  (Odo.: Aeshnidae)
Marie O’Shaughnessy

   Most of the dragonflies (Anisoptera) that have appeared on this site have belonged to one or other of the two Families Aeshnidae and Libellulidae. Only occasionally is another Family represented.  It is nice, therefore to see the following photograph, by Marie, of a representative of the Corduliidae:

American Emerald  Cordulia shurtleffii  (Odo.: Corduliidae) Marie O’Shaughnessy

 

American Emerald  Cordulia shurtleffii  (Odo.: Corduliidae) Marie O’Shaughnessy

 

Jeff Gaskin writes:  There was a Propertius Duskywing on the way up Christmas Hill this morning, May 23.  It was the only butterfly I saw on the hill.

Aziza Cooper writes: Today, May 23, in the Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park on the Townsend’s Trail, I found one Cedar Hairstreak. There were also about 50 Western Spring Azures on the high elevation trails.

Cedar Hairstreak  Callophrys gryneus  (Lep.: Lycaenidae)   Aziza Cooper

   Aziza continues: On May 23, I could not find any butterflies at the lupin site near the Trans Canada overpass at Island Highway and the east end of Atkins Road. Along the Island Highway was one Pale Tiger Swallowtail.

On May 22, about 6 pm on Mount Tolmie, there were two Painted Ladies.

Painted Lady  Vanessa cardui  (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Aziza Cooper