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.

April 5 morning

2021 April 5 morning

 

    Yesterday we had a question about the viability of some moth eggs.  Here, today, is the answer to that question.

 

Sheep Moth Hemileuca eglanterina (Lep.: Saturniidae)  Jeremy Tatum

   And here are more creatures from the Galloping Goose Trail and Colquitz River Park:

 

Possibly a crane fly (Dip.: Tipulidae)  Ian Cooper

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

Dark-bodied Glass Snail Oxychilus draparnaudi (Pul.: Daubebariidae ) Ian Cooper

Three-banded garden slug – Ambigolimax valentianus (Pul.: Limacidae) Ian Cooper

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

 

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

 

April 4

2021 April 4

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I saw a Mourning Cloak (my first ” non-Cabbage” of the year) this afternoon on Mount Tolmie – not on the reservoir, but in a little glade halfway down.  Also there was a small moth settled on a tree-trunk.  Just as I was wondering what it was, Gordon and Anne-Marie Hart appeared, and Gordon got a nice picture, which revealed that the moth was a pristine fresh VenusiaI had originally erroneously identified it as V. cambrica.  I am very grateful to Libby Avis for pointing out my mistake.  In cambrica the little dashes along the outer margin are triangular in shape; in Gordon’s moth, they are all straight hyphens. Besides, it is too early in the season for cambrica.  See also April 15, where I made the same mistake with another individual.  Gordon’s moth is either V. pearsalli or P. obsoleta.  Neither Libby nor I have ever been able to distinguish reliably between these two species.  Perhaps they are really a single species.

 

Also on Mount Tolmie was a batch of Sheep Moth eggs around a twig of Snowberry.  Some have holes in them, probably as a result of a parasitoid, and some are collapsed.   We’ll have to wait and see if any caterpillars hatch from the remainder.  This moth has a long life-history.  The eggs will have been laid last year, and they spent the winter in this form.  The caterpillars will pupate late in the summer, and a second winter will be spent, this time as pupae, so the adult moths won’t emerge until nearly two years after the eggs were laid.

 

Venusia pearsalli/obsoleta (Lep.: Geometridae)  Gordon Hart

Sheep Moth Hemileuca eglanterina (Lep.: Saturniidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 

April 3 evening

2021 April 3 evening

 

No Butterfly Walk on Sunday.

Message from Gordon Hart:

Hi Everyone,

I just want to confirm that there is no April butterfly walk this weekend. It was cancelled on the VNHS online calendar but does appear in The Naturalist. We hope we will be able to meet in May. In the meantime, we will have an early butterfly count starting April 17, and I will send out a reminder for that later.

 

Butterflies are starting to appear. Check the Invertebrate Alert  for the latest sightings!

Gordon

 

   Jochen Möhr sends a photograph of a pug from his new Metchosin house.  This is one of the difficult pair Eupithecia ravocostaliata/nevadata.  Jochen, Libby and Jeremy are all leaning toward ravocostaliata – but not leaning quite far enough to dispense with the “probably” in the label below the photograph.

 


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

 

   And just as we go to press, we have received a photograph by Jochen of another individual of the same species – and this time I think we can safely dispense with the “probably”:

 


Eupithecia ravocostaliata  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

 

 

  Here’s a spider photographed by Ian Cooper.   Dr Bennett writes:  I think I can put a genus name on this one based on the abdominal pattern and the fact that it is a small linyphiine linyphiid. I’ll call it a member of Linyphantes.  Interesting genus, with only poor taxonomic documentation, so hard to get to species. A juvenile male. Genus is endemic to western coastal North America.

 


Linyphantes (Ara.: Linyphiidae – Linyphiinae)  Ian Cooper

 

Springtail, Orchesella cincta (Coll.: Orchesellidae) Ian Cooper

 

Probably Arion subfuscus  (Pul.: Arionidae) Ian Cooper

 


Arion hortensis agg. (Pul.: Arionidae) Ian Cooper

 


Deroceras reticulatum (Pul.: Agriolimacidae) Ian Cooper

Two Brown field slugs, Deroceras panormitanum (Pul.: Agriolimacidae) feeding on the remains of a much larger slug, whose identity was difficult to ascertain, but may have been a deceased Limax maximus (Pul.: Limacidae) Ian Cooper

 

April 3 morning

2021 April 3 morning

 

No Butterfly Walk on Sunday.

Message from Gordon Hart:

Hi Everyone,

I just want to confirm that there is no April butterfly walk this weekend. It was cancelled on the VNHS online calendar but does appear in The Naturalist. We hope we will be able to meet in May. In the meantime, we will have an early butterfly count starting April 17, and I will send out a reminder for that later.

 

Butterflies are starting to appear. Check the Invertebrate Alert  for the latest sightings!

Gordon

 

   Rosemary Jorna sends a photograph of a small spider from near Kemp Lake, April 1.  Unfortunately it is not always possible to be sure of the identity of small invertebrates from even a good photograph.  Dr Robb Bennett’s best attempt is:

 

Perhaps Ethobuella tuonops

or perhaps  Dirksia cinctipes

or perhaps something totally different!

 

Possibly Ethobuella tuonops (Ara.: Cybaeidae)   Rosemary Jorna

 

   On the other hand, this moth, of which we get just a glimpse, is a relatively easy one.  Photographed by Rosemary on the Galloping Goose on April 2 between the Charters and Todd Creek trestles.

 


Archiearis infans (Lep.: Geometridae)   Rosemary Jorna

 

   Also photographed nearby by Rosemary was this Banana Slug:

 

Banana Slug Ariolimax columbianus (Pul.: Arionidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 

   We don’t know what this fly is, photographed by Ian Cooper.  If any viewer can help, please let us know.

 

Unknown fly (Diptera)  Ian Cooper

 

April 2

2021 April 2

 

    More creatures photographed on the morning of April 1 by Ian Cooper along the Galloping Goose Trail or Colquitz River Park.

 

Dark-bodied Glass Snail Oxychilus draparnaudi (Pul.: Daubebariidae )  Ian Cooper

 

Brown field slugs Deroceras panormitanum (Pul.: Agriolimacidae) Ian Cooper

 


Arion distinctus (Pul.: Arionidae) feeding on the remains of a syrphid fly

Ian Cooper

 

Soldier beetle larva (Col.: Cantharidae)  Ian Cooper

 

Flat-backed Millepede Pseudopolydesmus serratus (Polydesmida:  Eurymerodesmidae)

Ian Cooper