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.

April 8 morning

2020 April 8 morning


   Gordon Hart writes from Highlands:  We had quite an exciting day with lots of butterflies and other insects about. We saw our first of the year Sara Orangetip, but it would not stop for a picture. A Moss’ Elfin perched on the ground.  One California Tortoiseshell appeared again and two Satyr Commas.  There were lots of bee flies around especially on the Red-flowering Currant. I also have a photo of a bee species I can’t identify.


Bee Fly Bombylius major (Dip.: Bombyliidae)  Gordon Hart

Thanks to Annie Pang and Lincoln Best for identifying the bee below as a female mining bee of the genus Andrena.

Andrena sp. (Hym.: Andrenidae)    Gordon Hart

Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Gordon Hart

Moss’s Elfin Incisalia mossii (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Gordon Hart

   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:


 1 Cerastis enigmatica  

 1 Eupithecia ravocostaliata/nevadata

 1 Hydriomena manzanita

 1 Orthosia hibisci

 1 Spodolepis danbyi

 1 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli


Cerastis enigmatica (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Cerastis enigmatica (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Orthosia hibisci (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr




April 7 evening

2020 April 7 evening


   Ron Flower writes:  Today April 7 we went to the Munn Road power lines where we saw three Sara Orangetips.


  Jeremy Tatum writes:  Four or maybe more California Tortoiseshells on or around the Mount Tolmie reservoir at 4:00 pm today.  Also, I saw a Cabbage White from the window of my Saanich apartment.

April 7 morning

2020 April 7 morning


    Just heard from Annie Pang, who reports that she saw a Cabbage White from her house in The Gorge area about April 1 or 2.


   Yesterday, April 6, was the first warm (well, warmish – at least not cold) day we have had for a while, and I see that the InvertAlert inbox has several butterfly messages.


   Starting with one from myself,  Jeremy Tatum, I saw my first butterfly of the year at 5.00 pm, yesterday – a California Tortoiseshell on one of the whitish patches on the Mount Tolmie reservoir.  I’ll swear that they preferentially settle on these little whitish patches!


  Jeff Gaskin writes:  Kirsten Mills and I saw a comma species on Goldstream Heights Drive south of Trail Way on the Malahat.  Also, I saw my first Cabbage White near McKenzie Avenue and   Pat Bay Highway. And there were 2 California Tortoiseshells on Mount Tolmie at 4:05 p.m.   (Uh, oh, – looks as though Jeff and Kirsten beat me by an hour!  –  JT)


  Val George writes: T he sun brought out some butterflies this afternoon, April 6.  I saw my first Cabbage Whites of the season, one at Panama Flats and another near Mount Tolmie.  At the Mount Tolmie reservoir there were three California Tortoiseshells, presumably the ones that have been around there for the past few weeks [though last reported (2) on March 19 -JT].  (Beaten by Val, too!   JT.)


 Gordon Hart writes:  Things were waking up here (Highlands) today with the increase in temperature and sun. We had two butterflies today, Monday April 6, a Satyr Comma, and a California Tortoiseshell. Both were on a Pieris which is in full flower right now and attracting both birds and insects. I have attached a couple of photos.


Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Gordon Hart  


California Tortoiseshell  Nymphalis californica (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Gordon Hart





April 6

2020 April 6


   Jochen reports from Metchosin, April 5:


1 Acerra normalis

1 Eupithecia ravocostaliata/nevadata

2 Hydriomena manzanita

1 Orthosia hibisci


Jochen writes:  I think all are the same individuals recorded on April 5.


But this morning, April 6, Jochen reports a new one:


2 Hydriomena manzanita

2 Orthosia hibisci

1 Spodolepis danbyi

3 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli

1 Xanthorhoe defensaria 


Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli  (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr


Xanthorhoe defensaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Spodolepis danbyi (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


   Jochen writes:  I spent a delightful morning on Single Hill behind our Metchosin house.  It is covered in Satin Flowers.  There were also numerous different bumblebees and this bee fly.


Bee fly Bombylius sp. (Dip.: Bombyliidae)  Jochen Möhr


   Wendy Ansell writes:  Gerry and I saw two Sara Orangetips at the base of Christmas Hill today (Monday April 6).  The first one was heading up the hill and flying fast and the second was by the perimeter fence.  It flew very fast in a big circle  –  it might have been just one butterfly.


   Jeremy Tatum writes:   … and I still haven’t seen my first butterfly of the year!

April 4

2020 April 4

Jochen Möhr reports moths at his Metchosin home this morning, with snow on the ground and -1 degrees Celsius:


1 Acerra normalis

2 Eupithecia, probably annulata

1 Eupithecia ravocostaliata/nevadata

3 Hydriomena manzanita

1 Orthosia hibisci