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.

August 24

2105 August 24


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Recently I posted pictures of two unidentified noctuids.  One of them on the August 21 posting  – a day-flying noctuid nectaring on Gordon Hart’s Buddleia.  The other on the August 22 posting – a brown noctuid resting on the wall of my apartment building.  I made two hopelessly wrong guesses at what they might have been.   Libby Avis to the rescue!   Libby has identified them for us, and I have now corrected the captions on these postings.  I’ll make you all work to see them by scrolling down to these two dates.  Thank you, Libby, and apologies, Gordon, for getting yours wrong.


  I saw a butterfly  today in the Swan Lake parking lot.  I think I managed to identify it correctly as a Lorquin’s Admiral.

August 23

2105 August 23


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I had an unsuccessful search for the Western Branded Skipper on Cordova Spit today.  In 1.5 hours on the spit all I could manage was one Woodland Skipper and  one Purplish Copper.   On the way back to Island View Beach, in the fields inland from the beach, there were lots of Woodland Skippers and Large Heaths, and a few Cabbage Whites.  At 6:15 this evening there was one Painted Lady on the top of Christmas Hill.


   Julie Michaux writes:  This critter is in our home (West Saanich Road) this morning. Very pretty. If it turns out to be a cutworm moth ….   Jeremy Tatum responds:  No, it is not a cutworm, it is


 Coryphista meadii (Lep.:  Geometridae)  Julie Michaux


Its colourful “inchworm” caterpillar feeds on Berberis and Mahonia.


August 22

2015 August 22


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  A noctuid moth turned up at my apartment today for the first time in several weeks.  Thank you, Libby Avis, for identifying it as Xestia xanthographa.



Xestia xanthographa  (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum



    I had no difficulty in identifying 2 Painted Ladies and a Red Admiral  on the Mount Tolmie reservoir, and another Painted Lady near the Jeffery Pine, at 6:45 pm this evening.


   Jeff Gaskin writes:  I saw a Grey Hairstreak. It was a FOY [first of the year?] for me too. I saw it right by the Old Island Highway and Ocean Boulevard or right by the Western Exchange bus terminal. A very strange place for one to be.


  Val George writes:  After several attempts to see a Western Branded Skipper at Saanichton Spit (Cordova Spit), I finally managed to get one this afternoon, Aug 22.  Also there, were about a dozen Woodland Skippers.  At Island View Beach there were at least ten Ringlets (Large Heaths) (Coenonympha tullia).



August 21

2015 August 21


   Jeff Gaskin saw at least five Coenonympha tullia in the northwest field at Layritz Park  on August 20.


   Ron Flower writes:  We got the Grey Hairstreak in our garden in Royal Oak yesterday (August 19) and the “Ringlet” (Large Heath Coenonympha tullia) three days ago at Island View Beach.  There were a lot of them there.  Today we got the Mylitta Crescent.  We got it on Ocean Spring Terrace off of Beecher Bay Road.  There were Pine Whites all over the Beecher Bay area.


Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Ron Flower

 Large Heath (“Ringlet”) Coenonympha tullia (Lep.: Nymphalidae – Satyridae)

 Ron Flower


Female Mylitta Crescent Phyciodes mylitta (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Ron Flower

  Jeremy Tatum sends a photograph of the cocoon of the Spotted Tiger Moth.



 Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae) Jeremy Tatum



   Gordon Hart writes:  Here at our Highlands home we had a fresh Western Tiger Swallowtail on August 17, the first in a while.  Today (August 18) the usual Woodland Skippers and Cabbage Whites on the Buddleia, along with a rather worn noctuid moth.   Yesterday, Wednesday August 20, we saw a fresh Mourning Cloak, too.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  Thanks to Libby Avis for identifying the moth for us as a day-flying plusiine noctuid, Syngrapha viridisigma.



Syngrapha viridisigma (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Gordon Hart



   Cheryl Hoyle sends a photograph of a jumping spider from View Royal, kindly identified for us by Robb Bennett as most likely Phidippus johnsoni .



Phidippus johnsoni (Ara.: Salticidae)  Cheryl Hoyle.


August 20

2015 August 20


   Nathan Fisk writes:  Personal first. Grey Hairstreak seen at Fort Rodd Hill at the top of a Garry Oak outcrop.   [A very patriotic butterfly by the look of it!   Jeremy]


Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus(Lep.: Lycaenidae)

Nathan Fisk