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.

June 21

2018 June 21


Welcome to Summer!  Summer Solstice 2018 21d 03h 07m  PDT


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is a caterpillar of Behrensia conchiformis found on Snowberry at UVic yesterday.   This is an interesting moth, for its caterpillar and pupa are invisible.  The adult moth is also interesting – but we’ll have to wait until next year to see why. 


Behrensia conchiformis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum


   Annie Pang sends a photograph of a dragonfly from Gorge Park, June 19.  Thanks to Rob Cannings for the identification.


Juvenile male Blue-eyed Darner Rhionaeschna multicolor


June 20

2018 June 20


   David Harris, Sussex (England) butterfly enthusiast, visited Victoria from March 11 – 19, and is now safely back home.  He writes:


As far as I can tell, 18 butterfly species were seen over the week, not bad going for the `June Gap`.


Lorquin`s Admiral

Painted Lady

West Coast Lady

Small (Cabbage) White

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Pale Swallowtail

Anise Swallowtail

Large Heath (Ringlet)

Purplish Copper

Field Crescent

Essex Skipper

Western Spring Azure

Red Admiral

Cedar Hairstreak

Grey Hairstreak

Margined White

Western Tailed Blue

Clodius Parnassian


The highlights for me were probably the sight of the sheer numbers of Pale Swallowtails hill-topping at Mount Douglas, the smell of the Nootka Rose on the beach, the beauty of that Violet-green Swallow sun-bathing at the Kinsol Trestle Bridge, the sounds of the Marsh Wren and Red -breasted Sapsucker, the Northwestern Toads along the railway line north of Cowichan Station  and the Barred Owl catching that Garter Snake at Gordon and Anne-Marie`s in probably the most wildlife-friendly garden I have ever come across.



   Jeremy Tatum writes:  The Common Emerald caterpillar shown on May 27 produced an adult moth shown below on June 16:

Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum



   Aziza Cooper writes:  On June 19, at Goldstream railroad track, there were 3 Pale Swallowtails, one Western Tiger Swallowtail, 4 Lorquin’s Admirals and 1 Essex Skipper.


Lorquin’s Admirals Limenitis lorquini (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Aziza Cooper


Pale Tiger Swallowtail Papilio eurymedon (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Aziza Cooper



June 19

2018 June 19


    David Harris and Jeremy Tatum visited Mount Douglas yesterday afternoon to see a wonderful show of Pale Tiger Swallowtails – at least eight countable at any time – plus a few Western Tiger Swallowtails all whirling around in a spectacular display.  While there we also found a caterpillar of a Western Spring Azure in an Ocean Spray flower.   In the evening we went to Christmas Hill where there were many Painted Ladies and a few Red Admirals hill-topping, and we also saw a Grey Hairstreak perching on an oak tree on the summit.


   Marie O’Shaughnessy encountered four Lorquin’s Admirals at a single location in Uplands Park on June 17.  Here is one of them.

Lorquin’s Admiral Limenitis lorquini (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy


   Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin that this Dark Marbled Carpet was on his bathroom door yesterday morning:


Dark Marbled Carpet Dysstroma citrata  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr



   Marie O’Shaughnessy writes:  I was up at the Mount Tolmie reservoir late yesterday afternoon, June 18th,  and I saw  3-4 Western Tiger Swallowtails, 3 Lorquin’s Admirals, a Cabbage White and 2 Anise Swallowtails.   


Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy


Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy


   Aziza writes:  On June 18, I saw about ten Field Crescents at Eddy’s Self-Storage on Stelly’s Cross Road. They were in the usual area on the east side and back of the property. Most were quite worn. Also there were: one Painted Lady, one Essex Skipper, one Cabbage White and one Western Tiger Swallowtail.


  Also I went to the field west of the gravel trail at Quick’s Bottom and found 21 Ringlets, as well as six Lorquin’s Admirals and two Cabbage Whites.


Field Crescent Phyciodes pratensis (Lep.: Nymphalidae)   Aziza Cooper


Field Crescent Phyciodes pratensis (Lep.: Nymphalidae)   Aziza Cooper



Ringlet (Large Heath) Coenonympha tullia (Lep.:  Nymphalidae – Satyrinae)  Aziza Cooper



   Marie O’Shaughnessy shows us a Lorquin’s Admiral from the summit of Mount Tolmie yesterday.


Lorquin’s Admiral  Limenitis lorquini  (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy


 Jeremy Tatum writes: Six Painted Ladies at the top of Mount Tolmie this evening.



June 18 morning

2018 June 18 morning

   Request:  Earler this week David Harris and Jeremy Tatum went to the railway line north of Cowichan Station to see the Margined Whites there.  We also saw several blues which we suspect may have been Western Tailed Blues.  We would be very grateful if other butterflyers would go up there and have a look and confirm (or otherwise) this identification.


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  David Harris, Bill Savale and I went to Boas Road near Spectacle Lake yesterday, hoping to see a Boisduval’s  Blue.  We saw one blue that might have been one, but we could not confirm.  By way of compensation we saw two Western Pine Borer Beetles Chalcophora angulicollis (Col.: Buprestidae).  We went on from there to the Kinsol Trestle, where, in addition to many Western and Pale Tiger Swallowtails  and Lorquin’s Admirals, we saw several Cedar Hairstreaks  and two Clodius Parnassians.


    Aziza Cooper reports  2 Pale Swallowtails.  1 Western Tiger Swallowtail and 2 Painted Ladies

from Mount Tolmie on the evening of June 16.   Jeremy Tatum reports that the Mount Tolmie reservoir was on excellent form last night (June 17), with all three swallowtails (look on the Philadelphus shrub for the Anise), two admirals (Lorquin’s and Red), two ladies (look around the Jeffery Pine for the West Coast) and a Western Spring Azure.


  Aziza Cooper reports from Welch and Livesay Roads, 10:30am, June 17,  2 Western Tiger Swallowtails, 2 Lorquin’s Admirals and a Cabbage White.


Aziza Cooper sends a photograph of a Western Pondhawk feeding on a hapless damselfly.


Western Pondhawk Erythemis collocata (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Aziza Cooper


   Jeff Gaskin writes:   Out at Ten Mile Point on June 17, where I was doing my butterfly count for June,  I saw 5 Pale Tuger Swallowtails, 7 Western Tiger Swallowtails, 3 Lorquin’s Admirals, and 12 Cabbage Whites.

   Ron Flower writes: On Sunday  June 16 Nora and I went to Goldstream River were we found over a dozen Purplish Coppers and even more Cedar Hairstreaks.  We also saw 5 Lorquin’s Admirals,

 7 Western Tiger Swallowtails  and 2 Pale Tiger Swallowtails.


Female (left) and male Purplish Coppers Lycaena helloides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Ron Flower


Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Ron Flower



   Val George writes:   On June 17, there were two Grey Hairstreaks at the summit of Mount Douglas.


Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Val George







June 17

2018 June 17


   As promised, here are Val George’s photographs of some of the butterflies seen on yesterday’s VNHS field trip (see yesterday’s posting).

Male Purplish Copper Lycaena helloides  (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Val George


Pale Tiger Swallowtail Papilio eurymedon  (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Val George



Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri  (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Val George


Hydaspe Fritillary Speyeria hydaspe  (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Val George


   My remark yesterday that we hadn’t received many recent reports of Pale Tiger Swallowtail Produced one from Jochen Möhr:


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