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.

May 19 morning

2018 May 19 morning


         Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:


Lacinipolia cuneata 1
Drepana arcuata 1
Drepanulatrix sp.   1
Egira perlubens  2
Perizoma costiguttata 1
Perizoma curvilinea 1
Tyria jacobaeae 3
Venusia obsoleta 4





Lacinipolia cuneata (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr


Egira perlubens (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Drepana arcuata (Lep.: Drepanidae) Jochen Möhr


   Libby Avis saw her first Polyphemus Moth of the year at Port Alberni yesterday.


   Aziza Cooper writes:  Yesterday evening, May 18 at 7:30pm, I found two Painted Ladies on the north summit of Christmas Hill. The rock was still warm from the sun, although it was cloudy.


Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Aziza Cooper



   Marie O’Shaughnessy writes: Yesterday afternoon between 4-5 pm, May 18th,  I saw 3 Propertius Duskywings in the open areas near the  fading camas meadows on Mount Tolmie. Later I stopped off at the reservoir area and found a Western Spring Azure and 2 Painted Ladies. Also a brief sighting of a swallowtail.  It took off just as I arrived so unable to confirm species. 


Propertius Duskywing Erynnis propertius (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy


Propertius Duskywing Erynnis propertius (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy


Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (Lep.: Nymphalidae)   Marie O’Shaughnessy


May 18 evening

2018 May 18 evening


   Gordon Hart writes:

Hello Butterfly Counters,

I have been away from Victoria, so I am sorry for the late announcement, but we will go ahead with a May Butterfly Count, starting today, May 18, and running until next Sunday, May 25. 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 .

The count area is the same as the Christmas Bird Count circle (attached). For butterfly identification there are numerous internet sites, but most or all Victoria species are listed on E-Fauna. If you select by photographer, all the photos under James Miskelly’s name are of Victoria species. Here is the link:,%20james&specrep=0


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 June 2. We start at the summit of Mount Tolmie at 1pm, and decide where to go from there. I will send out another reminder the week before. 

Thank-you for submitting your sightings and happy counting! 

Gordon Hart,

Butterfly Count Coordinator,

Victoria Natural History Society



   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Bill Savale and I went to the railway line around Malahat Station and the surrounding hills today, and we saw a Mourning Cloak and a Two-banded Grizzled Skipper.


   Jochen Möhr writes:  I went up Single Hill behind our home with Kem Luther today.  We came across many Western Spring Azures, but because of a boisterous breeze, taking pictures was even more problematic than usual with these little lively beasties.  Coming down to our house, there were many Western Spring Azures fluttering about – at least four seen simultaneously.  I got a picture of a female on budding blossoms of Ocean Spray.  It might have been ovipositing, but even using a magnifying glass and scrutinizing the branch after it had left, I could not find an egg.  The male was mud puddling in a flower bed  that we had watered thoroughly last afternoon.  [Jeremy Tatum writes:  You have to search on the outside of the calyces of flower buds that are just about to open.  From what you describe (“budding blossoms”) I suspect your butterfly was indeed ovipositing.]



Male Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Jochen Möhr


   Ron Flower writes:  Today Saturday May 18 we went to Eddy’s storage 1064 Stelly’s Cross Road at 1:30 pm and found the Field Crescents very active. We saw about 10 but could have been more.


Field Crescent Phyciodes pratensis (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Ron Flower

May 18 morning

2019 May 18 morning


   Cheryl Hoyle sends a photograph of an American Lappet Moth from Highrock Park, Esquimalt, yesterday.


American Lappet Moth Phyllodesma americana (Lep.: Lasiocampidae)  Cheryl Hoyle


   Jeremy Tatum writes that the pupating Lorquin’s Admiral caterpillar shown yesterday has now pupated:


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

Jeremy Tatum


      Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:


Drepanulatrix sp.   2
Perizoma curvilinea 1
Plagodis phlogosaria  1
Tyria jacobaeae 1
Venusia obsoleta 1


Plagodis phlogosaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


May 17

2019 May 17


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is a Lorquin’s Admiral caterpillar preparing to pupate:


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

Jeremy Tatum


   Jeremy Tatum continues:  At Panama Flats this afternoon I saw an American Lady.

I also found a caterpillar (shown below) of an Essex Skipper on Reed Canary Grass.


Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Jeremy Tatum


   There was nothing on the Mount Tolmie reservoir at 6:00 pm today, but there were three Painted Ladies near the Jeffery Pine nearby.

May 16 evening

019 May 16 evening


   Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning.  As ever, thanks to Libby Avis for her huge help in identifying moths.


Eupithecia sp 1
Perizoma costiguttata 1
Perizoma curvilinea 2
Phyllodesma americana 2
Venusia obsoleta 4
Xanthorhoe defensaria 2







Venusia obsoleta (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Eupithecia cretaceata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


The caterpillar of E. cretaceata feeds on the flowers of the (to us) very poisonous  Veratrum viride.


Eupithecia cretaceata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Drepanulatrix monicaria/secundaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


   The caterpillars of at least one of these Drepanulatrix species (whichever it is!) feed on Ceanothus thyrsiflora.


Udea profundalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Jochen Möhr


The caterpillars probably feed on a variety of plants.  They can be a pest of Celery, although here they often feed on Stinging Nettle.


Hydriomena marinata/californiata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Perizoma costiguttata (Lep,: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Phyllodesma americana (Lep.: Lasiocampidae)  Jochen Möhr



   Rosemary Jorna photographed two bumblebees in her Kemp Lake yard on May 15.  Thank you to Annie Pang and Lincoln Best for the identifications.


Male Bombus sitkensis (Hym.: Apidae)  Rosemary Jorna


Male Bombus melanopygus (Hym.: Apidae)  Rosemary Jorna


Male Bombus melanopygus (Hym.: Apidae)  Rosemary Jorna


   This click beetle was in Rosemary’s garden today:



Selatosomus suckleyi (Col.: Elateridae)  Rosemary Jorna


   Val George writes:  This afternoon, May 16, there were five Painted Ladies at the summit of Mount Tolmie.  Maybe the invasion of this species has started.