Damselfly and a… Skipper?
Location: Parksville, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
November 27, 2011 4:05 am
Hi Bugman! Just wanted to let you know how much I love your site. I was reading your NRAs and was thoroughly amused by how little patience people have. Why, I didn’t get a response from my inquiry 4 years ago, and I’ve never ranted about it! Unfortunately, I’ve lost the pictures, but they were small, grey larvae with casings that were stuck to the wall. The casings were made of… lint and dust, if you can believe that. Could they have been resourceful bagworm larvae that found novel building materials?
The pictures I’m posting are ones that I took spring/summer 2009, on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, in Parksville, B.C. The first is a damselfly (a blue?) I found casually devouring a sand flea. It was quite confident, and only departed one perch before deciding I could watch it finish its meal. The next two are of a Lepidopteran, which I’d really like an identification of. From its appearance and its flight pattern, I thought that it might be a skipper. The pictures really are as close as you might think; it let me get almost up to its face, and even graced me a few lovely poses before darting off. The photos are just a tiny bit blurry; my camera’s not good with closeups. If you’d like, I have more pictures to send!
We have so many things to address in your letter. First, we are happy to hear you are not holding a grudge regarding an unanswered email from four years ago, and even though there is not photo, we believe you are describing Case Bearing Moth Larvae, common insects found in homes. We are very excited about your photos, as we believe they are the first submissions we have ever posted of an Arctic Skipper, Carterocephalus palaemon, which we identified in Jeffrey Glassberg’s excellent book Butterflies Through Binoculars The West where it is noted they are: “marked rather like a miniature fritillary.” BugGuide lists the range as: “Central Alaska south to central California, south in the Rocky Mountains to northwest Wyoming, east across the Great Lakes states to New York and New England. Eurasia” and the habitat as: “Glades and openings in heavily forested woods, moist meadows, and streamsides.” We cannot determine the species identity of your Damselfly, but it makes a nice addition to our Food Chain tag.
Thanks for your quick reply. It pleases me greatly that I was able to provide something new to your site.
I’m attaching 3 more pictures: the first is a full profile shot of the damselfly (hopefully, it might help with the identification); the second one is a close up of a cluster of spiderlings, probably of Argiope aurantia? The final one is of a jumping spider. Not technically bugs (or even insects!), but I thought I might send it in. All pictures were taken the same place as the skipper, along a rocky beach.
By the way, regarding the proposed case bearing moths, it was in Hong Kong that they were found (my friend took those original photos).
please just one species per submission. Also, could you use the standard form?
I wreaks havoc with our system to continue a dialog through email if that dialog requires a new posting. We like to keep each post as a unique species.
P.S. Case bearing moth larvae are found worldwide