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 27

2020 June 27


   It’s a day for giant sawflies (Cimbicidae)   – two photos of cimbicids came within minutes.  First from Gordon Hart from the Highlands area:


Giant Birch Sawfly  Trichiosoma triangulum (Hym.: Cimbicidae)  Gordon Hart

   Second is a sawfly larva, photographed by Bonnie Blackwood in the Gorge area, and identified by Libby Avis.  The larva is particularly fond of Honeysuckle, which is where it was found.


Abia americana (Hym.: Cimbicidae)  Bonnie Blackwood

   Gordon also sends a picture of a fearsome robber fly.  We are not sure which of two similar species it is – it is possible that the two species may one day be “lumped”.


Robber fly Laphria fernaldi/asturina (Dip.: Asilidae)  Gordon Hart

   Much less fearsome is this bumblebee.  I dare say it has a sting and could use it if it wanted to, but it is a much gentler animal, and I have never heard of someone being stung by one.   Thanks to Annie Pang for the identification.


Bumblebee Bombus mixtus (Hym.: Apidae)  Gordon Hart


Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here are photographs of a caterpillar and adult of a pug.  The caterpillar fed on Mahonia.  Some of these pugs are just too difficult to identify, and this is one of them!  Could be Eupithecia maestosa.  But equally could be something else!


Eupithecia sp. (Lep,: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum

Eupithecia sp. (Lep,: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum

   Jeff Gaskin writes:  Today, June 27, I found another California Tortoiseshell in essentially the same spot where I saw one last year and also about the same time of year too.  I found it in Summit Park even though the day was very cloudy and breezy.  Not much else though except for a Lorquin’s Admiral, a Cabbage White and a Western Tiger Swallowtail.