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.

July 17

2015 July 17


   No July 16 posting.


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Mount Tolmie, July 16, 7:00 p.m.   Still several Painted Ladies and one very fresh Red Admiral either basking on the reservoir, or flying around or basking on the road next to the Jeffery Pine.  


   No further news at press time.

July 15

2015 July 15


   Aziza Cooper writes:  On Monday July 13 at about 7:30pm I saw a few butterflies at the Mount Tolmie reservoir:


Red Admiral, very fresh

Painted Lady, one fresh and one worn

West Coast Lady, very worn


Yesterday the VNHS Tuesday birders went to a farm valley at Cherry Point which has been set aside as a wildlife area. We saw seven species of butterflies there:


Western Tiger Swallowtail – 3

Lorquin’s Admiral – 1

Red Admiral – 2

Cabbage White – 2

Mylitta Crescent – 1

European (Essex) Skipper – 10

Woodland Skipper – 1



   Jochen Moehr writes from his farm on William Head Road, Metchosin, that he saw his first Pine White of the year on July 14.  And in recent days he has had both Anise and Western Tiger Swallowtails, Cabbage Whites, Lorquin’s Admiral, at least one Red Admiral, one or two Painted Ladies, and Woodland SkippersCinnabar Moths are pretty regular there.

July 14

2015 July 14


   Annie Pang notes that the new Gorge Tillicum Community Gardens are attracting goodly numbers of Woodland Skippers. 

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Annie Pang

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Annie Pang



   Jake Burton found an interesting-looking bug at Fort Rodd Hill.  I think it is the first treehopper to appear on this site.   Some authors would put this and similar insects in an order “Homoptera”, but I’m going to stick it in with all the bugs in Hemiptera.


Male Oak Treehopper Platycotis vittata (Hem.: Membracidae)  Jake Burton



      Jeremy Tatum writes:  Peas usually come in a tin from the grocery store.   But during the summer you can go shopping at the local farms and get fresh peas in the pod, which are absolutely delicious.  And if you are really lucky you might find a “worm” or two in the pods.  It is not a “worm”, of course, but the caterpillar of the Pea Moth.  I was lucky to find one in some peas that I bought, and the resulting moth that emerged today is shown below.  Those beautiful marks along the leading edge of the wings are what I think Eric would call costal strigulae.

 Pea Moth Cydia nigricana (Lep.: Tortricidae)  Jeremy Tatum



   Val George writes: Here is a photo of a Mylitta Crescent from the Tuesday birding group walk near Mill Bay, July 14.


Male Mylitta Crescent Phyciodes mylitta (Lep.:  Nymphalidae)  Val George

July 13

2015 July 13


  Jochen Moehr writes from Metchosin:  Approximately a week ago I saw an Anise Swallowtail depositing eggs on my parsley plants.  She went to at least half a dozen plants.   Today, I found two larvae, one each on two plants.  


Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon (Lep.: Papilionidae) Jochen Moehr

July 12

2015 July 12


   Some more insects photographed recently by Scott Gilmore:


Eucosma derelicta (Lep.: Tortricidae)  Scott Gilmore


Arta epicoenalis (Lep.: Pyralidae)  Scott Gilmore


Swammerdamia pyrella (Lep.: Yponomeutidae) Scott Gilmore


Gracillaria syringella (Lep.: Gracillariidae)  Scott Gilmore


Myzia subvittata (Col.: Coccinellidae) Scott Gilmore