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 16

2019 April 16


   Mile Yip writes from Nanoose:   Hasn’t been much butterfly weather up here, but I saw a Western Pine Elfin last week on the Cross Road trail. I checked again today but I think it was too cool – about 11° C. At the warmer southwest face of the notch several Sara Orangetips were flying as well as two Propertius Duskywings and three Cabbage Whites. A female Propertius Duskywing did settle down to bask and allowed for a photo.  


Propertius Duskywing Erynnis propertius (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Mike Yip


   Gerry and Wendy Ansell write:  There were two Sara Orangetips at the base of Christmas Hill yesterday (April 15) at around 4:15p.m..  They were beautiful, fresh specimens.  Also a few Cabbage Whites.


Jeremy Tatum writes: 


   Sonia Voicescu is by now well engaged in putting all the butterfly observations that appear on Invertebrate Alert on to eButterfly.  It is a big job (and likely to get bigger as the season goes on!) so we thank Sonia for it.  Viewers may notice that Val usually accompanies his observations with precise geographic coordinates.  This is a great help to Sonia, so we encourage anyone who is tech-savvy and who can easily give coordinates (of butterfly sightings) to do so. However, we stress that we certainly don’t want butterfly watching to become a chore, so, if you can’t easily get coordinates, don’t worry about it!  Just send in your observations as usual, with a reasonable indication of where (not “my back yard”!!!!!!) and when you saw it.  See March 19 entry for more information on eButterfly.


   There is also the question of the names  to be used for butterflies.  eButterfly may not use the same names that we have become accustomed to using.   Sonia and I are keeping in touch about this.   For example, what we usually call the Western Spring Azure is called by eButterfly the Echo Azure.  Every book seems to use a different set of names, and the names seem to change with alarming frequency.  Many butterflies have what is called an “extensive synonymy”!


   On Invert Alert, I do not try to keep up with every name-change.  I think it would be quite confusing to change them every year.   I try to use a consistent set of names from year to year.  I list below the names that are used on Invertebrate Alert for some of our commoner butterflies.  These names are neither “right” nor “wrong” – they are just the ones that we use on Invertebrate Alert.  You will find many different names elsewhere. 


Propertius Duskywing   Erynnis propertius

Two-banded Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus ruralis

Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides

Clodius Parnassian Parnassius clodius

Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon

Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus

Pale Tiger Swallowtail Papilo eurymedon

Pine White Neophasia menapia

Margined White Pieris marginalis

Cabbage White Pieris rapae

Sara Orangetip Anthocaris sara

Orange Sulphur Colias eurytheme

Purplish Copper Lycaena helloides

Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri

Western Brown Elfin Incisalia iroides

Moss’s Elfin Incisalia mossii

Western Pine Elfin Incisalia eryphon

Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus

Western Tailed Blue Everes amyntula

Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo

Silvery Blue Glaucopsyche lygdamus

Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus

Green Comma Polygonia faunus

California Tortoiseshell Nymphalis californica

Mourning Cloak Nymphalis antiopa

Milbert’s Tortoiseshell Aglais milberti

American Lady Vanessa virginiensis

Painted Lady Vanessa cardui

West Coast Lady Vanessa annabella

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta

Hydaspe Fritillary Speyeria hydaspe

Field Crescent Phyciodes pratensis

Mylitta Crescent Phyciodes mylitta

Lorquin’s Admiral Limenitis lorquini

Ringlet or Large Heath Coenonympha tullia

Common Woodnymph Cercyonis pegala

Great Arctic Oeneis nevadensis

Monarch Danaus plexippus