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 March 30 morning

2024 March 30 morning

Spring!

Jeremy Tatum writes:  According to my (astronomical) definition, Spring started here on March 19.  However, many butterfly-watchers believe that Spring starts when the first Orangetip butterfly is seen.

Jules Thomson reports having seen two Sara Orangetips on March 27, on the upper south facing slope of the main summit of Mount Douglas, just west and below the upper parking lot, in low shrub area with short spindly oak.

 

 

 

2024 March 29

2024 March 29

   Ian Cooper sends photographs of a March Fly (also known as St Mark’s Fly).   Dr Rob Cannings writes: “This is a female of a species of Bibio (Diptera: Bibionidae). Known as March Flies (some appear in March). This is the only genus we have here in the family, but there are quite a few species and I can’t tell them apart without a microscope and a lot of trouble!

Interestingly, the most abundant insects found in BC Eocene fossils are in the genus Plecia in the same family. Plecia doesn’t get much farther north now than Florida, I think.”

 

Bibio sp. (Dip.: Bibionidae)  Ian Cooper

Bibio sp. (Dip.: Bibionidae)  Ian Cooper

 

 

Jochen Möhr sends photographs of two pug moths from Metchosin.  They are clearly one of two similar species, Eupithecia ravocostaliata or E. nevadata.  Jeremy Tatum thinks probably E. ravocostaliata,  but this is not a certain identification.  They could be the other one.

Eupithecia  (probably ravocostaliata)  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Eupithecia  (probably ravocostaliata)  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 

 

 

2024 March 27

2024 March 27 

 Ian Cooper recounts a little adventure he had with a wasp:  A wasp landed on my hand while I was in the kitchen a couple days ago. After my initial surprise, I managed to capture it in a jar with air holes in the lid and gave it a slice of apple to dine on. I then brought it along on yesterday’s pre-dawn photo shoot at Colquitz and View Royal and released it on to some flowers by the E&N Trail in Esquimalt once the sun was up on my way back into Victoria.

 

Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Ian Cooper

Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Ian Cooper

Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Ian Cooper

 

 

   Here are more of Ian Cooper’s invertebrate photographs, at *Colquitz River Park & the #Galloping Goose Trail in View Royal on March 26.

# Globose springtail (Coll.: Dicyrtomenidae)  Ian Cooper

 

Unidentified linyphiid spider (Ara.: Linyphiidae) Ian Cooper

 

Clubiona sp. (Ara.: Clubionidae)  Ian Cooper

 

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

 

Young Limax maximus (Pul.: Limacidae)  Ian Cooper

Non-biting midge  (Dip.: Chironomidae)  Ian Cooper

 

Unidentified early instar noctuid caterpillar (Lep.: Noctuidae) Ian Cooper

2024 March 24

2024 March 24

   First report this year of a Cabbage White – one flew across the highway today when Val George was driving through Duncan.

 

If you look at the Full Moon at around midnight tonight Sunday/Monday, +/- 30 minutes or so, you may notice a faint shadow across its face, not very obvious.  The Moon is in the faint outer shadow (penumbra) of Earth.  This is a penumbral eclipse of the Moon.    If you were on the Moon, you would see a partial (not total) eclipse of the Sun by Earth.

2024 March 23 evening

2024 March 23 evening


   Jochen Möhr sends a photograph of a geometrid moth from Metchosin.  We have previously labelled this moth Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli, because we have been unable to distinguish between these two similar species.   Somewhat unexpectedly, Venusia obsoleta  has now been moved to another genus, and is now Nomenia obsoleta.  We are now in the difficult position that we cannot distinguish between two moths in different genera.  A further complication is that a third species, N. duodecimlieata is also a possibility,

According to MPG, male Venusia pearsalli have filiform (simple) antennae.  Unfortunately it does not say what the female antennae are like, nor do we know the sex of Jochen’s specimen, and we don’t see quite enough of the antennae to be sure what form they are.  MPG says the antennae (it doesn’t specify which sex) of Nomenia obsoleta are “apparently” unipectinate.

Nomenia /Venusia  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

   And here is another selection of miscellaneous invertebrate from Ian Cooper:

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

*Ambigolimax valentianus (Pul.: Limacidae) Ian Cooper

   Thanks to Robert Forsyth for identification of the above slug, which I had originally mislabelled.

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

*Common Chrysalis Snail – Lauria cylindracea – (Pul.: Lauriidae)   Ian Cooper

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

 

Unfortunately, we have not (yet) been able to identify the fly below.  If any viewer can help, please do so.

Unknown fly  (Diptera)  Ian Cooper

#Female linyphiid spider, possibly Neriene sp. (Ara.: Linyphiidae)   Ian Cooper

#Female linyphiid spider, possibly Neriene sp. (Ara.: Linyphiidae)   Ian Cooper