September 30


Jeremy Tatum writes:  I saw a Red Admiral butterfly at Coburg Spit on September 28, apparently seriously contemplating flying across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  The amazing thing is that it will probably succeed.  This migratory butterfly has been quite scarce this year.  On the same day I saw an adult day-flying noctuid moth Heliothis phloxiphaga at Albert Head Lagoon.


I also found two caterpillars, both of which have appeared on this site before, but since it is getting late in the season they are interesting records.  The brightly-coloured one on the Grindelia flower is the Mountain Hooded Owlet, Cucullia montanae, and the furry one is a brown variety of the Yellow Woolly Bear, Spilosoma virginica which may be compared with the more typical yellow variety shown on September 17.  The Yellow Woolly Bear usually feeds on low-growing herbaceous plants, but this one was on willow, and the September 17 one was on dogwood, so the caterpillar can be fairly described as “polyphagous”.



C montanae la.JPG

Mountain Hooded Owlet, Cucullia montanae  (Lep.:  Noctuidae)    Jeremy Tatum



Smerinthus la.JPG


Yellow Woolly Bear, Spilosoma virginica   (Lep.:  Erebidae)    Jeremy Tatum


September 28


Wendy Ansell sent in photographs of two caterpillars that are new for the list. The first is the caterpillar of the Cerisy's Eyed Hawk Moth,  Smerinthus cerisyi  which she found at Durrance Lake on August 26th, and the second is the caterpillar of the Sheep Moth, Hemileuca eglanterina that was taken at Royal Roads University on September 4th.


S cerisyi.JPG

Cerisy's Eyed Hawk Moth,  Smerinthus cerisyi    (Lep.:  Sphingidae)    Wendy Ansell


H eglanterina.jpg

Sheep Moth,  Hemileuca eglanterina   (Lep.:  Saturniidae)    Wendy Ansell

September 25


Ian Cruickshank sent in this photo of a Northwestern Red-winged Grasshopper, Arphia pseudonietana, that he took on September 22nd at Christmas Hill, Saanich. This is a medium sized, fall flying grasshopper with red wings that are bordered with black.



grasshopper A.jpg

Northwestern Red-winged Grasshopper,  Arphia pseudonietana   (Orth.: Acrididae)     Ian Cruickshank


Terry Thormin writes: It sometimes takes me a while to identify the various insects I see and photograph, so here is a bit of catch-up. On September 22 I went down to the estuary at Filberg Heritage Lodge in Comox to look for shorebirds. There were no shorebirds but it was warm enough that there were good numbers of insects flying. Most were ones I had already seen and submitted to this site earlier, but I did see and photograph two new species. The first is a square-headed wasp, Ectemnius sp. that will have to be sent to my wasp expert for further identification. The second is the flower fly Sericomyia chrysotoxoides. I must admit I did not pay any attention to the flower the fly was on so I do not know what it is. If anyone does know, please let us know. Earlier in the month, on September 13th, I finally caught up to the Fall Field Cricket, Gryllus pennsylvanicus at Kye Bay just north of Comox. These crickets have been producing their mating songs for several weeks now. The last insect is the Black Vine Weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus, which I found inside my house in Comox on September 7. It is not unusual to find weevils and other insects inside the house at this time of year as many insects that overwinter in the adult stage will enter houses looking for a safe haven for the winter.



Ectemnius sp. - Square-headed Wasp A2b.jpg

Square-headed Wasp,   Ectemnius sp.  (Hym.:  Crabronidae)    Terry Thormin


Sericomyia chrysotoxoides - Flower Fly 1b.jpg

Flower fly,  Sericomyia chrysotoxoides   (Dip.:  Syrphidae)    Terry Thormin


Gryllus pennsylvanicus - Fall Field Cricket 2a.jpg

Fall Field Cricket,  Gryllus pennsylvanicus   (Orth.:  Gryllidae)    Terry Thormin


Otiorhynchus sulcatus - Black Vine Weevil 2a.jpg

Black Vine Weevil,  Otiorhynchus sulcatus   (Col.:  Curculionidae)    Terry Thormin





September 18


Jeremy Tatum writes:  “I found the Western Conifer Seed Bug in the garden of my apartment building on Poplar Avenue yesterday.  I found the little green caterpillar in Outerbridge Park, Saanich, today.  It looks quite like a Winter Moth caterpillar, but 1. It is not quite so stripy as a Winter Moth caterpillar,  2.  Hey, this is September, not April, and 3, it was on dogwood Cornus stolonifera.  It is Hydrelia albifera.  The caterpillar doesn'’t look like much, and the moth will be very small, but it will also be very pretty.”



Western Conifer Seed Bug  Leptoglossus occidentalis  (Hem.:  Coreidae)  Jeremy Tatum


Hydrelia albifera.JPG

Hydrelia albifera  (Lep.:  Geometridae)   Jeremy Tatum




September 17


Jeremy Tatum writes:  I found this Yellow Woolly Bear caterpillar near Blenkinsop Lake yesterday.  It is the caterpillar of the Virginia Tiger or Virginia Ermine Moth, Spilosoma virginica.  The traditional family has been Arctiidae, but in recent years it has been either lumped in with the Noctuidae, or else a new family, Erebidae, has been erected.


I hope this doesn'’t reflect too badly on my housekeeping, but I found the other two insects shown in my apartment this morning.  I took them outside.



S virginica.JPG

Yellow Woolly Bear Spilosoma virginica     (Lep.:  Erebidae)    Jeremy Tatum


E sarcitrella.JPG

White-shouldered House Moth  Endrosis sarcitrella  (Lep.:  Oecophoridae)     Jeremy Tatum



Firebrat   Thermobia domestica   (Thys.:  Lepismatidae)    Jeremy Tatum


September 4

Terry Thormin writes: After my last trip to Cumberland Marsh I figured it might be worthwhile going back in a few days to see what had happened to all those immature green stink bugs, Chlorochroa sp., which I did on September 3rd. As it turned out many of them had turned to adults as is illustrated by the first photograph. Unfortunately I am still not sure which species it is. As well there were more brown stink bugs, Euschistus sp., and several Shield-backed Bugs, Eurygaster amerinda. I also saw a number of scentless plant bugs, Stictopleurus punctiventris hiding in the tansy flowers. I also saw and photographed a single potter wasp that I have not been able to identify even to genus. I will send this one off to an expert to get further identification. And finally an insect that I saw on August 30th but could not get a photo of, one of the smaller leafcutter bees, Coelioxys sp. The tansies have been quite productive.


Chlorochroa sp. - Stink bug B1a.jpg

Green stink bug  Chlorochroa sp.   (Hemip.:  Pentatomidae)    Terry Thormin


Eurygaster amerinda - Shield-backed Bug 1a.jpg

Shield-backed bug  Eurygaster amerinda   (Hemip.:  Scutellaridae)    Terry Thormin


Stictopleurus punctiventris - Scentless Plant Bug 1a.jpg

Scentless plant bug  Stictopleurus punctiventris   (Hemip.:  Rhopalidae)    Terry Thormin


Eumeninae - Potter wasp A1a.jpg

Potter wasp  (Hym.:  Vespidae)    Terry Thormin


Coelioxys sp. - Leaf-cutter Bee A3a.jpg

Leaf-cutter bee  Coelioxys sp.   (Hym.:  Megachilidae)    Terry Thormin