I was walking the McArthur Island Golf Course with Jesse Ritcey and Rick Tucker today. In various places, we noticed some well-marked, roundish beetles on deer-browsed shrubs and cottonwood saplings. Some beetles were singles while others were mating.
I took some photos which allowed me to identify them as Cottonwood Leaf Beetles (Chrysomela confluens.) A Google search found a few brief notes about them. The colour pattern in my photo is one of two forms, the other being dark, iridescent purple-brown. As you can see, the pronotum is black with reddish margins – very distinctive in this form. The beetles eat the leaves of willow and poplar.
When disturbed, they exude a salicylaldehyde-based secretion which is effective against generalist predators. It has a bitter almond odour.
The second photo shows a mating pair, or nearly so.
Match the butterfly to its larval food! Each of the B.C. butterflies pictured below have specific diets when they are young larvae, or caterpillars. In this game, try to match the adult butterfly to the food plant it eats as …Continue reading →
It was another great field trip with Brady Mathes as he hunted for butterflies in the Pineview Valley Park, following the linear pathway to the ponds and wildflower meadows at the back. With a flick of the wrist, Brady expertly caught at least 12 species of butterflies, including 3 types of Swallowtails. After capturing them in the net, he carefully placed them into a special plastic bug container which allowed everyone to see the butterflies close up before Brady released them to fly away. Some of the butterflies seen included Two-Tailed Swallow Tail, Anise Swallow Tail, Oregon Swallowtail, Western Green Hairstreak, Large or Creamy Marblewing, Stella’s Orangetiip, Oeneis Chryxus, Silvery Blue, Common Alpine, Persius Duskywing, Common Sulphur,.and Juba Skipper.
Butterflies come in a great variety of colours and sizes as club members learned on a recent butterfly outing with Brady Mathes. One of the more abundant but inconspicuous species that was flying that day was the Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche …Continue reading →
There are 7 species of swallowtail butterflies in BC, all in the genus Papilio (Guppy & Shepard, 2001.) People seldom miss seeing these large butterflies as they flutter by or gather at wet spots to drink or on flowers to …Continue reading →
This article appeared in the May 2018 edition of Sage Whispers. You can read the complete newsletter here. In January 2018, the Kamloops Naturalist Club applied for funding available from BC Nature to build 50 bluebird boxes in order to …Continue reading →
Here is a look at what was seen on the Naturalist Club trip to Gamble Pond. If you know the names of these birds, please add them in the comments. Hover your cursor over the images to see the caption, …Continue reading →
One arrived on Tuesday and a few more today, feeding on the sunflower seeds under my feeder in Barnhartvale. A number of years ago hundreds arrived and ate everything. Freshly emerged peas in the garden were devoured. A week later …Continue reading →
A Modified Letter to the Editor of Kamloops This Week published April 25, 2018 By Rick Howie, Registered Professional Biologist I read with interest the comments by Hugh Jordan in Kamloops This Week regarding the Sandhill Cranes passing over Aberdeen …Continue reading →