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 ( 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.

July 6 evening

2020 July 6 evening


   Wanted:   Good quality close-up photographs of crane flies.   Have a look around your porch light and elsewhere.  There are several species of interest.  Also of interest would be some good-quality photographs of Polistes wasps.  The interest in the latter is aroused in that the abdomen of the Polistes wasp in this morning’s photograph shows rather more black than is usual in P. dominula.


  Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:  This morning on the wall merely one moth, which I surmise might be Lacinipolia pensilis


Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr 

July 6 morning

2020 July 6 morning


   Report on yesterday’s Butterfly Walk, by Gordon Hart:


   On Sunday, July 5, 10 butterfly enthusiasts gathered on Mount Tolmie. Our first sighting was not a butterfly, but a large Sheep Moth that circled the summit several times. We saw five species of butterfly in the area around the reservoir: Painted Lady, Lorquin’s Admiral , Cabbage White, Western Tiger Swallowtail and an Essex Skipper. We then travelled to Layritz Park where Ringlets have been reported since May. We saw five species there, with Essex Skippers being counted in the dozens, or probably hundreds, one Woodland Skipper, at least 10 Cabbage Whites , two (or three?) Western Tiger Swallowtails, and at least eight Lorquin’s Admirals, but not a single Ringlet. We suppose that the first hatch is over, and they are between broods.

   One rather sad sighting was an injured Sheep Moth missing one forewing being pursued on the ground by a Paper Wasp, Polistes sp. The moth actively resisted and the wasp finally left, but the moth, being unable to fly, will not have gained much by fighting off the predator.

   On a happier note, it was nice to see everyone again, and the walk was a great way to spend my birthday as well!


Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Gordon Hart


Lorquin’s Admiral Limenitis lorquini (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Gordon Hart


Paper Wasp Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)

Sheep Moth Hemileuca eglanterina (Lep.: Saturniidae)
Gordon Hart


    Annie Pang sends a photograph by Rhona McAdam of a Catocala.  Probably the familiar C. aholibah, although Libby Avis points out that it could also be C. ilia.  Both are oak feeders.


Catocala (probably aholibah) (Lep.: Erebidae – Erebinae)  Rhona McAdam


   Ted Dobie sends a photograph of Buprestis aurulenta from his Gordon Head garden.


Buprestis aurulenta (Col.: Buprestidae)  Ted Dobie


July 5 evening

2020 July 5 evening


   Continuing with Mr E’s queue of difficult ones.


   First a fungus covered with numerous springtails and a few mites.  It took several seconds for Dr Heather Proctor, University of Alberta, to reply to my query re the mites.  Her area of expertise is mites, so I didn’t really expect her to work on the springtails – but she had a go at them, too!   This is what she wrote, as I say just seconds after I asked!


   The long-legged mites belong to the prostigmatan family Cocceupodidae (or Eupodidae, depending on whether you accept Cocceupodidae as a separate family). Probably the genus Linopodes. For the springtails, I will guess Hypogastruridae but don’t take my word on that!


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Since I have never seen the long words Cocceupodidae or Eupodidae before, I am quite happy, for the purposes of Invert Alert, to accept the former as a separate Family!


Springtails (Coll.: possibly Hypogastruridae)

Mites, probably Linopodes sp. (Prostigmata: Cocceupodidae)

Mr E


 Thanks to Libby Avis for working on the identification of the following two micro moths:


Hellinsia (possibly homodactylus) (Lep.: Pterophoridae)  Mr E


Zeiraphera (possibly canadensis) (Lep.: Tortricidae – Olethreutinae)  Mr E


Zeiraphera (possibly canadensis) (Lep.: Tortricidae – Olethreutinae)  Mr E



   Rosemary Jorna photographed this bumble bee.  Annie Pang makes a very tentative identification, but she remarks that often it is easier to identify a bumble bee if photographs are available from several different angles  (e.g. dorsal, lateral, frontal, etc.).

Bombus (possibly bifarius) (Hym.: Apidae)  Rosemary Jorna


  Jochen Möhr,  Metchosin, sends photographs of a Pale Tiger Swallowtail, his first-of-season Lorquin’s Admiral, and a Sculptured Pine Borer.

Pale Tiger Swallowtail Papilio eurymedon (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Jochen Möhr


Lorquin’s Admiral Limenitis lorquini (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Jochen Möhr


Sculptured Pine Borer Chalcophora angulicollis(Col.: Buprestidae)  Jochen Möhr

July 5 morning

2020 July 5 morning


   Mr E sends a miscellany of photographs, which are a challenge to identify.  If any viewer can help with any of these, please let us know:  jtatum at uvic dot  ca


One hesitates even to think of identifying aphidids, but, writes Jeremy Tatum, I think these ones on a young Broom pod may be Acyrthosiphon pisum:


Probably Acyrthosiphon pisum (Hem.: Aphididae)  Mr E


Spittle Bug Philaenus spumarius (Hem.: Cercopidae)  Mr E


Spittle Bug Philaenus spumarius (Hem.: Cercopidae)  Mr E


   Dr Robb Bennett confirms Mr E’s identification of the spider below as Tibellus and almost certainly T. oblongus.


Tibellus (almost certainly oblongus) (Ara.: Philodromidae)  Mr E


   I despair of identifying this fly.  Perhaps some viewer can help?


Unidentified fly (Diptera)  Mr E


   Ichneumons are even more difficult.  Parasitoidal hymenopterans known loosely  (and not always correctly) as “ichmeumon wasps” belong to several Families, but I believe this one is probably a genuine ichneumon wasp of the Family Ichneumonidae.


Hym.: probably Ichneumonidae    Mr E


More, awaiting identification, to come…

July 4 evening

2020 July 4 evening


   For a notice about tomorrow’s Butterfly Walk, see this morning’s posting.


   Rosemary Jorna sends a mixed bag from the first 3 kilometres of the Grass Lake Trail in the Sooke Hills:


Monadenia fidelis (Pul.: Bradybaenidae) Rosemary Jorna


Clodius Parnassian Parnassus clodius (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Rosemary Jorna


   Mr E photographed a colourful wasp/bee a few days ago.  We haven’t had an expert opinion yet, but Mr E suggests a cuckoo wasp Holopyga sp.


Probably Cuckoo wasp Holopyga sp. (Hym.: Chrysididae)   Mr E 

   Richard Rycraft saw an Essex Skipper in his garden on Lavender today.  Lavender seems to be a favoured nectar source for the Essex and Woodland Skippers.  Jeremy Tatum also saw an Essex Skipper today at Island View Beach.