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.

August 18

2018 August 18


   Sonia Voicescu writes:  I was at Rithet’s Bog on Wednesday (August 15) and I saw the following:

9 Vancouver Island Ringlets (2nd brood of the summer is out and doing well it seems)

3 Cabbage Whites

1 Lorquin’s Admiral

2 Pine Whites

24 Woodland skippers

Ringlet (Large Heath) Coenonympha tullia

(Lep.: Nymphalidae – Satyrinae)

Sonia Voicescu

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae) Sonia Voicescu

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae) Sonia Voicescu

   Jeremy Tatum writes:   Cabbages are not the only plants that Cabbage White caterpillars will eat.  Here is one found on Horseradish at King’s Pond, Ascot Drive.  Also there today I saw a Lorquin’s Admiral.


Cabbage White Pieris rapae (Lep.: Pieridae)  Jeremy Tatum




August 17 evening

2018 August 17 evening

Mark Wynja writes: On August 13 I went to the Englishman River Estuary in Parksville to photograph butterflies. There were 6-8 Common Wood Nymphs, 4 Purplish Coppers, and at least 50 Woodland Skippers. As I was photographing a Purplish Copper, a large skipper flew in and landed among the many smaller Woodland Skippers nectaring on Pearly Everlasting. Upon seeing the underside I immediately recognized it as a Branded Skipper. I returned on subsequent days and have seen at least four separate individuals. The habitat is similar to that of Cordova/Saanichton Spit with fields of grass and lots of blooming Gumweed. I believe this is the “Western/Oregon” Branded Skipper Hesperia comma colorado. Lunabelle Loiseau-Tremblay saw two more on Quadra Island on August 8.


“Western” Branded Skipper Hesperia comma colorado (Lep.: Hesperiidae) Mark Wynja


“Western” Branded Skipper Hesperia comma colorado (Lep.: Hesperiidae) Mark Wynja


Crab Spider Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisidae)

“Western” Branded Skipper Hesperia comma colorado (Lep.: Hesperiidae)

Mark Wynja



August 17 morning

2018 August 17 morning


   Aziza Cooper writes:   On Wednesday August 15, I saw these two moths across from McTavish Park and Ride at the northbound bus shelter along the east side of the Pat Bay Highway.

Silver-spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa argentata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Aziza Cooper



Emmelina monodactyla (Lep.: Pterophoridae)  Aziza Cooper


   Interesting way in which the moth is holding its middle pair of legs.  The left one is held closely against the hind leg.  The right one is held closely against the foreleg.  At a casual glance it looks as though it has only four legs.


August 16

2018 August 16


[There was no Invert Alert for August 15.]


From Gordon Hart:


Hello Butterfly Counters,

The August count runs nine days from the third Saturday, August 18, to the fourth Sunday, August 26. You can submit a count anytime over this period, and you can do more than one count, just use a separate form for each count. In the case of repeat counts, or more than one person counting an area, I will take the highest count for each species.

Please use the form at on the Victoria Natural History Society website. If you have a zero count, or just one or two butterflies, you can email me directly.

The count area is the same as the Christmas Bird Count circle (attached). For butterfly identification, the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT) has a useful chart of butterflies of southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands:


If you would like a suggestion for an area to count, please send me an email.

In addition to the counts, a monthly butterfly walk is held on the first Sunday of each month – the next walk will be on September 2. We start at the summit of Mount Tolmie at 1pm, and decide where to go from there. I will send out another reminder near the month-end.

Thank-you for submitting your sightings and happy counting! 


Gordon Hart

Butterfly Count Coordinator

Victoria Natural History Society


Count circle map link:




Jochen Möhr did well last night with his moth trap in Metchosin:


10 Tolype distincta

2 Perizoma curvilinea

2 Neoalcis californiaria

1 Drepanulatrix monicaria

1 Eulithis xylina

1 Nemoria darwiniata


Here are three of the pictures that he obtained.  The first two are Neoalcis californiaria and make an interesting contrast to Thomas Barbin’s dark specimen shown on August 14.  The first of these shown below is fairly typical in this area.  The second is a rather pale or perhaps faded example.  The third photograph, identified by Libby Avis as Caradrina montana, is a new one for this site.


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Caradrina montana (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


   Kurtis Herperger sends a photograph of a beetle that came to his moth trap in the Highlands last night.   Thanks to Scott Gilmore for help with the identification as  Trichocnemis spiculatus.


Trichocnemis spiculatus (Col.: Cerambycidae)  Kurtis Herperger


   Rosemary Jorna sends a picture of a female Common Whitetail (which isn’t nearly as common as some of our other dragonflies !), which was cruising in her yard yesterday Aug 15  2018 in the Kemp Lake area.


Common Whitetail Plathemis lydia (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Rosemary Jorna






August 14

2018 August 14


   Thomas Barbin sends a photograph of a rather dark example of a male Neoalcis californiaria from Goldstream campground, August 6.


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Thomas Barbin



   Jochen Möhr sends some photographs of moths from his Metchosin home last night.  In addition to these he had no fewer than 12 (!) Tolype distincta there.


Lacinipolia strigicollis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Drepanulatrix monicaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Panthea virginarius (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr