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 12

2024 April 12

Jeremy Tatum writes:  I spent about 90 minutes today searching the Hydro lines in the Munn Road area for Moss’s Elfin, but the only butterfly I saw was a single Western Spring Azure.

  However, if butterflies are still scarce, there are lots of other invertebrates around, as shown by Ian Cooper below, photographed at *Colquitz River Park and by the #Galloping Goose Trail in View Royal.

*Believed to be Steatoda bipunctata (Ara.: Theridiidae)   Ian Cooper
See Dr Bennett’s comments on April 11 morning.

 

#Banana Slug – Ariolimax columbianus (Pul.: Arionidae)   Ian Cooper

#Arion sp. (Pul.: Arionidae)   Ian Cooper

*Grey Field Slug – Deroceras reticulatum (Pul.: Agriolimacidae)   Ian Cooper

*Common striped woodlouse – Philoscia muscorum (Isopoda: Oniscidae)
Ian Cooper

 

Unidentified noctuid caterpillar  (Lep.: Noctuidae) Ian Cooper

 

 

 

 

 

 

2024 April 11 evening

2024 April 11 evening

    Monthly Butterfly Counts.  As mentioned in previous postings on this site, Gordon Hart wishes to retire as organizer of these Counts.  As yet, no one has volunteered to take over as organizer and so, unless there is a last-minute volunteer, there will be no Monthly Butterfly Counts this year.

  The Monthly Butterfly Walks will continue as usual, starting in May.  For details see the Victoria Naturalist, and look also for notices on this Invert Alert site.

 

Gordon Hart reports that on Wednesday, April 10, he saw his first Western Spring Azures (two), and a Mourning Cloak at his Highlands home.

Marie O’Shaughnessy writes that she was pleasantly surprised to see five of these bright,  colourful,  mostly  white  Sara Orangetip butterflies  between  2- 3  o’clock off the main parking lot at the top of Mount Douglas, April 9th.

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

2024 April 11 morning

2023 April 11

   Aziza Cooper sends a photograph of the day-flying geometrid moth Epirrhoe plebeculata from Goldstream Heights.   This is a commonly-seen moth at this time of the year, and, writes Jeremy Tatum, I have been trying for years to find its caterpillar.   It is reputed to feed upon Galium, but I am all but certain that this is quite wrong.  Please, then, all keep a look-out for this moth and watch it carefully to see if it oviposits.  I would be very glad to have an egg – with foodplant – to rear it from egg to adult (and then, of course, to release the adult in suitable habitat when it emerges next year).

Epirrhoe plebeculata  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Aziza Cooper

Epirrhoe plebeculata  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Aziza Cooper

 

Please also all keep a look-out (perhaps in the Munn Road area) for the Moss’s Elfin butterfly.   There have been very few sightings in recent years.

 

Ian Cooper sends another nice bunch of a variety of creatures from Colquitz River Park.

First, a harvestman, and, for the sharp-eyed, just below it, a small springtail, Orchesella villosa.

Unidentified Harvestman (Opiliones)   Ian Cooper

And now for a closer look at the springtail:

Springtail – Orchesella villosa (Coll.: Orchesellidae)   Ian Cooper

 

Armadillidium vulgare  (Isopoda:  Armidillidiidae)   Ian Cooper

 

Common Rough Woodlouse – Porcellio scaber (Isopoda: Porcellionidae)
Ian Cooper

 

Grey Field Slug – Deroceras reticulatum (Pul.: Agriolimacidae)   Ian Cooper

 

Believed to be Steatoda bipunctata (Ara.: Theridiidae)   Ian Cooper

Dr Bennett comments: Quite likely Ian is correct on the ID. However, bipunctata is an introduction and there are not many verified records of it yet from our area. I would want to examine the specimen before saying “for sure!”

 

 

2024 April 10 morning

2024 April 10 morning

Aziza Cooper writes:  April 9, one Western Spring Azure and one Cabbage White were at Fort Rodd Hill Park and one Cabbage White was along Lagoon Road east of Esquimalt Lagoon.

This morning, Jochen Möhr sends photographs of two noctuid moths from Metchosin.  Kindly identified for us by Libby Avis.

 

Behrensia conchiformis  (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

Egira rubrica  (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

 

2024 April 9

2024 April 9

    Ian Cooper sends photographs of a variety of invertebrates, most of which would need specialists to identify them.  If any viewer thinks s/he can help with any of them, please let us know.

Banana Slug Ariolimax columbianus (Pul.: Arionidae)  Ian Cooper

 

Female linyphiine spider (Ara.:  Linyphiidae – Linyphiinae)  Ian Cooper

Probably Enoplognatha ovata (Ara.: Theridiidae)  Ian Cooper

Crane Fly (Dip.: Tipulidae)  Ian Cooper


Unidentified fly (Diptera)  Ian Cooper

Unidentified fly (Diptera)  Ian Cooper