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 7

2015 May 7

 

   Jeremy Tatum sends a photo of a Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata that was at his Saanich apartment this morning.

 

Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiidae) Jeremy Tatum

 

   At 4:00 pm this afternoon (May 7) there were a Red Admiral, two Painted Ladies and a West Coast Lady on the Mount Tolmie reservoir.

May 6

2015 May 6

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  A Red Admiral and a Mourning Cloak were sunning themselves on the Mount Tolmie reservoir at 4:00 pm today, Wednesday May 6.  Late afternoon is the best time to find hill-topping nymphalids on the reservoir.

May 5

2015 May 05

 

   Gordon Hart writes:  May 02 was a good day for invertebrates as well as birds.  I don’t mean to inundate you [Keep inundating! – Jeremy] with pictures but I have a few I wanted to show you. I saw a very worn comma, I think P. faunus, and nearby a lighter more golden satyrus, I think. Also, a nice Cedar Hairstreak on an apple blossom. All these were at home, but up on Observatory Hill, I saw a female Propertius Duskywing, and also a first for this year, a female Spiny Baskettail.  At home, we also saw our first Pale Swallowtail of the year, as well as the usual spring butterflies.

 

Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Gordon Hart

Green Comma Polygonia faunus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Gordon Hart

Propertius Duskywing Erynnis propertius (Lep. Hesperiidae) Gordon Hart

 

Spiny Baskettail Epitheca spinigera (Odo.: Corduliidae) Gordon Hart

 

 

   Jeremy Tatum sends photos of a moth and a bug from his Saanich apartment, May 4.  Thanks to Libby Avis for identifying the moth, and to Scott Gilmore for identifying the bug.  The moth is Berhensia conchiformis, which I completely failed to recognize. This moth usually exhibits brilliant, shiny green scintillations (see, for example, Jeremy Gatten’s photograph in the March 22 posting). In spite of the lack of this shiny colour, Libby spotted the pattern, which fits perfectly, and she writes:  We see them occasionally with the green and yellow iridescence worn off, which I think is what may have happened here.  Libby adds: Still pretty slow here (Port Alberni) at the light, but we did get a Spodolepis danbyi last night (May 3). We don’t see them very often and it’s the first this year.

 

   The bug, writes Scott Gilmore, is a species of rough stink-bug, Brochymena sp.  Scott writes that there are two species here, and he can’t be sure from the photo which of the two it is.

 

Behrensia conchiformis (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jeremy Tatum

 

Brochymena sp.  (Hem.: Pentatomidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

Spodolepis danbyi (Lep.: Geometridae)  Libby Avis

 

 

   Scott Gilmore writes:  I have attached a picture of a mating pair of Mecinus pyraster(Curculionidae), a European native that seems abundant this year on stems of Plantago where the young develop. 

 

  Also there are pictures of two different species of Epuraea(Nitidulidae) that I found on the weekend.

 

 

 

Mecinus pyraster (Col.: Curculionidae)  Scott Gilmore

Epuraea sp. (Col.: Nitidulidae)  Scott Gilmore

Epuraea sp. (Col.: Nitidulidae)  Scott Gilmore

 

 

 

   Corduliidae and Nitidulidae, featured in today’s posting, are Families not previously represented on this site.

 

May 4

2015 May 4

 

   Aziza Cooper led a very successful Butterfly Walk on May 3.  Here is a report on the walk by Aziza, plus some photographs by Aziza and by Val George.

 

The monthly butterfly walk had about 15 people and excellent weather – calm and sunny, and fairly warm. We began at Mount Tolmie with eight species in a short time:

 

Anise Swallowtail – 1 very fresh, allowing good looks and photos

Pale Swallowtail – 1 at summit briefly

Painted Lady – 1

Spring Azure – 8

Propertius Duskywing – 2

Cabbage White – 3

Sara Orangetip – 1 faded

Brown Elfin – 2

 

We went out to Gore and Oak Haven Parks in Brentwood Bay. Our only butterflies there were about 20 Spring Azures, and two briefly seen elfins. The flowers were magnificent!

 

Also seen was a lizard with two tails: weird and wonderful. (European Wall Lizard)

 

Two of us went to Mount Douglas summit on the way back, and the hilltopping butterflies were very numerous and active:

Painted Ladies – 12 or more

Red Admiral – 2

California Tortoiseshell – 1, possibly two

Propertius Duskywing – a cluster of three, with two others landing on them.

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

 

   Aziza continues:  Several small red moths were at Oak Haven Park. I managed to take a photo of one in flight.  [Jeremy Tatum writes:  This is the same tiny reddish geometrid that I mentioned on the May 2 posting as having been seen at Munn Road.  In spite of its small size, it has an English name:  Dark-ribboned Wave.  Amazing to photograph this tiny moth in flight, with wings fully outstretched!]

Dark-ribboned Wave Leptostales rubromarginaria (Lep.: Geometridae)

Aziza Cooper

 

 

   And here are some of Val’s photos from the Walk on Mount Tolmie. 

 

Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon (Lep.: Papilionidae) Val George

Western Brown Elfin Incisalia iroides (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Val George


Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Val George

Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Val George

 

 

 

 

   On the day before, May 2, Gerry and Wendy Ansell write:  Today was a seven-species-butterfly day for us.  At Christmas Hill there were 2 Anise Swallowtails (a first for us this year – photo attached), 2 Propertius Duskywings, 1 Sara Orangetip, and numerous Spring Azures and Cabbage Whites.  In our yard on Cordova Ridge there was a Red Admiral and a Western Brown Elfin.

 

Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Wendy Ansell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2

2015 May 2

 

   Reminder –  Butterfly Walk on Sunday May 3, led by Aziza Cooper.  Meet at 1:00 pm at the top of Mount Tolmie.  All welcome.

 

    Bill Katz sends a photo of a Barberry Geometer from Goldstream Park.

Barberry Geometer Coryphista meadii (Lep.: Geometridae) Bill Katz

 

    Jeremy Tatum reports a tiny, tiny reddish-brown geometrid from Munn Road this morning, May 2 – the Dark-ribboned Wave Leptostales rubromarginaria.  Sorry – I didn’t manage a photograph.  Also there were a Moss’s Elfin, and clouds of mud-puddling Western Spring Azures

 

  In the late afternoon there were a Mourning Cloak and a California Tortoiseshell on the Mount Tolmie reservoir, and a Painted Lady near the nearby Jeffery Pine.  All looked a little past their best-before date.