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.

May 20

2015 May 20

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  A while ago a friend dug up some pupae in her veggie garden in Victoria.  One of the moths emerged two days ago, and its identification stumped me.  I consulted Jeremy Gatten, and he got it – it is Apamea cuculliformis.  Thank you, Jeremy.

 

Apamea cuculliformis (Lep. Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

   Doris Mooney sends a photograph of a male Ceanothus Silk Moth Hyalophora euryalus which she has had in her Saanich garden since May 14.

 

Hyalophora euryalus (Lep.: Saturniidae) Doris Mooney

 

 

   One May 18 we mentioned how good it has been for lycaenids recently.  Here are three more from Rosemary Jorna in the Sooke Hills.

 

Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Rosemary Jorna


Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)

Western Pine Elfin Incisalia eryphon (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

  

    And yet another, from Val George, one of two Purplish Coppers that he saw at Island View Beach on May 19, this one a female.   Also there, he writes, was a Coenonympha tullia  (a.k.a. Large Heath or “Ringlet”).

 

 

 

Purplish Copper Lycaena helloides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Val George

 

 

   In addition to these little lycaenid jewels, we also seem to be having lots of reports of the big sphingid and saturniid spectaculars recently.  Val George found this one at Cattle Point on May 19.

 

White-lined Hawk Moth Hyles lineata (Lep.: Sphingidae) Val George

 

 

 

May 19

2015 May 19

 

   Jeremy Tatum sends photographs of two caterpillars.  The first from Panama Flats yesterday.  The second from Blenkinsop Lake today.

 

Orthosia hibisci (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

Zotheca tranquilla (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

 

   Nathan Fisk writes:  West Coast Lady?  Fort Rodd Hill last Friday afternoon (May 15), 4-ish.    Jeremy Tatum writes:  Yes!

 

 

West Coast Lady Vanessa annabella (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Nathan Fisk

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  A Red Admiral and a Mourning Cloak from Lochside Drive between Blenkinsop Lake and Lohbrunner’s this afternoon.  I also went to the Mount Tolmie reservoir at about 3:00 pm, but there were no hill-topping nymphalids there.  Too early in the afternoon.  I bet there’ll be lots of them there at 5:00 pm.  There were two Western Tiger Swallowtails flying around the periphery at 3:00.

 

May 18

2015 May 18

 

   Cynthia Brossard writes:  Haven’t seen one of these beautiful creatures in forever.  It is on the front steps of my house by Langford Lake.

Polyphemus Moth Antheraea polyphemus (Lep.: Saturniidae) Cynthia Brossard

 

   Aziza Cooper writes:  Two dark males and one paler female Cedar Hairstreak seen on Sunday at the railroad tracks near the Goldstream campground.

Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Aziza Cooper


Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Aziza Cooper

Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Aziza Cooper

 

 

   Aziza writes: I saw a single Silvery Blue on Sunday afternoon along the Galloping Goose trail. It was at a lupin patch near the Colwood exit, where Craigflower meets Sooke Road. Easiest access is to park at the east end of Atkins Road and walk east for 1/2 block.

Silvery Blue Glaucopsyche lygdamus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper

Silvery Blue Glaucopsyche lygdamus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper

 

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  It seems to be a good weekend for lycaenids.  Yesterday I saw one each of Western Brown Elfin, Moss’s Elfin and Grey Hairstreak along the Pathfinder trail at Munn Road, and of course several Western Spring Azures.  And today, Monday May 18, there are still hilltopping nymphalids on the Mount Tolmie reservoir in the late afternoon – Mourning Cloak, Painted Lady, West Coast Lady.

May 17

2015 May 17

 

   Mike Yip writes (May 16):  I was hoping for a duskywing, but I was deceived several times by a dark brown day-flying moth today on the road to Rhodo Lake (Nanoose Bay).

 

   Jeremy Tatum remarks:  Well that is precisely what is supposed to happen!  According to Powell and Opler: “In flight the adults could be confused with adult duskywing skipper butterflies”.  

 

 Euclidia ardita (Lep.: Erebidae – Erebinae)  Mik Yip

 

 

  Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is a Cerisy’s Eyed Hawk Moth from my Saanich apartment, May 16:

 

Cerisy’s Eyed Hawk Moth Smerinthis cerisyi (Lep.: Sphingidae) Jeremy Tatum

 

 

   Jeremy continues:  Although we have had a great variety of creatures on this site, so far we have had very few aquatic animals, so here’s a challenge for photographers (not to say for identifiers!)  I had my first (poor!) try at photographing aquatic insects yesterday.  They were incessantly active and just would not stay still.  I eventually got some poor shots of a couple of damselflies and a beetle from Beaver Lake Ponds. 

 

Damselfly nymph Lestes sp. (Odo.: Lestidae) Jeremy Tatum

 

Damselfly nymph probably  Ischnura sp. (Odo.: Coenagrionidae) Jeremy Tatum

:

    Rob Cannings writes:  Both larvae are quite young (wing sheaths hardly developed). I assume they are all local? The first larva is in the genus Lestes, but I can’t tell which species from the photo. Lateral views of the gills and ventral views of the labium help, but in general, most damselfly and dragonfly larvae are awfully hard to identify to species from photos. The second species is in the family Coenagrionidae, and I’m guessing it may be Ischnura cervula, but I can’t be certain.

 

 

    I set Scott Gilmore perhaps an even more difficult poser by photographing an aquatic beetle larva.  He writes:  Larvae are tough but this must be Dytiscidae. There is no way I could go past that!

 

Beetle larva (Col.: Dytiscidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

 

 

   Jeff Gaskin writes:  Sunday May 17, a Mourning Cloak flew down Wascana Street just before 3 p.m. Wascana Street is in the Gorge/Burnside community.

 

   Yesterday,  Saturday May 16, a check for Silvery Blues at Helmcken Road and the Island Highway. and also at the Colwood turnoff, was negative. I could not find a single one. I’m not sure if it was because it was around 4 p.m. or they just haven’t appeared yet. There’s an outside chance that they’re already finished for the season too. I’ll check again later in the week  –   I sure don’t want to miss these guys.

 

   And finally, to round off the day, a caterpillar and a fly.

 

Enargia decolor (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jeremy Tatum
 
Fly (Dip.: Tachinidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

 

 

May 16

2015 May 16

 

   Mike Yip sends a photograph of a Silvery Blue from Mount Malahat near Spectacle Lake, May 15.

Silvery Blue Glaucopsyche lygdamus (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Mik Yip