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 5

2016 May 5


    Aziza Cooper writes


   On Sunday, May 1, about a dozen butterfliers, led by Gordon Hart, gathered at Mount Tolmie for the monthly butterfly walk. The weather was perfect: warm and sunny. We visited four sites and saw a total of 12 species.


Mount Tolmie:

Anise Swallowtail

Pale Swallowtail

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Propertius Duskywing

Spring Azure

Cabbage White


Lupin patch next to Sooke Road at Highway 1 overpass:

Silvery Blue – 6 or more

Red Admiral (flyby)


Munn Road powerlines:

Brown Elfin (including an egg on a Gaultheria calyx)


Gordon Hart’s home, Blue Valley Road:

Green Comma

Cedar Hairstreak


Mount Tolmie, 4pm:

Painted Lady


The Silvery Blues gave a wonderful show, with a female on a lupin and two males perched or flying around her. We saw the tiny white eggs on the lupin heads.


To which Jeremy Tatum adds one more species – though unfortunately a deceased one.  One or two of us saw, near the Silvery Blue location, an ant dragging a dead Moss’s Elfin along the sidewalk.


   Annie Pang sends a photograph, taken yesterday, of a potter wasp.  Thanks to Matthias Buck for the identification.

 Potter wasp Ancistrocerus sp.  (Hym.: Vespidae)  Annie Pang


   Rosemary Jorna sends a picture of a bee [which I believe is a Honey Bee – Jeremy] from Scafe Hill, May 5.


Honey Bee Apis mellifera (Hym.: Apidae)  Rosemary Jorna



   Jody Wells sends a picture of a Pale Tiger Swallowtail.


Pale Tiger Swallowtail Papilio eurymedon (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Jody Wells



   Jeremy Tatum writes: I saw two Red Admirals and a Western Tiger Swallowtail (only my second this year) along the Lochside Trail north of Blenkinsop Lake today.  I also met Mike and Barbara McGrenere, who said that they had just seen two Mourning Cloaks along the same trail.   But still no Satyr Comma.  As Enrico Fermi said, in a different context:  Where are they?



   And now, three interesting beetles. Enoclerus eximius  found by Nathan Fisk on the maples ‎backing Esquimalt Lagoon.

   Enoclerus eximius (Col.: Cleridae)  Nathan Fisk



   And two found by Libby Avis.  Of the first, Libby writes:  Anisosticta bitriangularis, the Marsh Lady Beetle. A very small ladybird – only about 3-4mm. We have never seen this before, but found several in a wet meadow. Taken on May 1st in the Alberni Valley.


Anisosticta bitriangularis (Col.: Coccinellidae)  Libby Avis



And for this one, Libby writes:  Ribbed Pine Borer,  Rhagium inquisitor. Found on newly felled Douglas Fir also in the Alberni Valley on May 1st. Have seen this before in the interior, but this is the first one for us on the island.

Rhagium inquisitor (Col.: Cerambycidae)  Libby Avis

May 4

2016 May 4


   Rosemary Jorna sends photographs of a beetle (from Witty’s Lagoon) and a spider (from near Kemp Lake)- but we’ll have to be content for the time being to naming just their Families. We can’t always name them all!


Long-horned beetle (Col.: Cerambycidae)  Rosemary Jorna

Male jumping spider (Ara.: Salticidae)  Rosemary Jorna
      Annie Pang sends a photograph of a Harvestman.  We are mch indebted to Dr Robert Holmberg for identifying it as a male Phalangium opilio.

Harvestman Phalangium opilio (Opil: Phalangiidae) Anne Pang

   Jeremy Tatum sends pictures of two moths.  The first is an Indian Meal Moth, found in his Saanich apartment building yesterday.


Indian Meal Moth Plodia interpunctella (Lep.: Pyralidae)

Jeremy Tatum

   The second is a lifer for him. Reared from a caterpillar found on Garry Oak on Christmas Hill last August.  The adult moth emerged yesterday and was released on Christmas Hill.  Thanks to Libby Avis for identifying it as Digrammia muscariata.


Digrammia muscariata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum


May 3

2016 May 3


   Jeremy Tatum writes:   The longer I edit this site, the more amazed I am at the enormous diversity of invertebrates we have in our area, the huge variety of creatures that users manage to photograph, and the tremendous quality of the photographs.  Thanks and congratulations to all contributors are in order, and thanks to the several experts who have helped us with identifications.


   Annie Pang sends a photograph of a damselfly:


Damselfly Enallagma sp. (Odo.: Coenagrionidae)  Annie Pang


Val George sends a picture of a Green Comma from Gordon and Anne-Marie Hart’s Highlands house during the May 1 butterfly walk.  He writes that it shows the identifying features on both the dorsal and ventral sides.


  Green Comma Polygonia faunus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Val George


He also sends the top of a lupine flower seen at the Colwood turnoff during the butterfly walk.  The sharp-eyed will see on it two eggs of the Silvery Blue butterfly.


Silvery Blue eggs Glaucopsyche lygdamus

(Lep.: Lycaenidae)

Val George



Aziza Cooper sends some photographs of commas from Mount Cokely and from Taylor Road.  Commas are difficult but I believe these are Green Commas.



Green Comma Polygonia faunus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Aziza Cooper

Green Comma Polygonia faunus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Aziza Cooper



Green Comma Polygonia faunus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Aziza Cooper



   Rosemary Jorna agrees with several other observers that there have been very few Satyr Commas this year.  Jeremy Tatum has yet to see one.


Aziza sends a selection of other butterflies from a recent visit to Mount Cokely.


Western Brown Elfin Incisalia iroides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper

Two-banded Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus ruralis (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Aziza Cooper

Western Pine Elfin Incisalia eryphon (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper

Western Tailed Blue Everes amyntula (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper


Jody Wells photographed a tiger beetle at Cordova Spit.  These beetles run around so rapidly that Jody did well to get a photograph. Thanks to Claudia Copley for identifying it as Cicindela tranquebarica.



Tiger beetle Cicindela tranquebarica (Col.: Carabidae – Cicindelinae)

  Jody Wells

   Rosemary Jorna writes: I went looking for micro snails on our big leaf maples today May 2 2016 and found a second population; previous searches had not revealed them. The white curved shape is my fingernail.


 Nearctula sp. (Pul.:  Vertiginidae)  Rosemary Jorna


Jeremy Tatum writes:   That’s all I have time for today!   There are more photos in the queue, so please have patience.  I’ll get them up in the next couple of days.





May 2

2016 May 2


    Message from Jeremy Tatum:   During May and June I expect to be very heavily occupied with priority work at UVic, and consequently I shall not always be able to deal with Invert Alerts as fast as we would all wish.  It is likely that I shall not be able to post Invert Alerts every day.  If your contributions do not appear immediately, don’t worry – they haven’t been overlooked.  It may sometimes take a few days before they appear. I’ll try to respond immediately to genuine “alerts”, such as a Colias alert or something like that.  I don’t think I’ll be able to do a posting today.  Sorry about that – I know several contributors have got some very nice pics in the queue.

May 1

2016 May 1


   The VNHS had its monthly Butterfly Walk today.  An excellent day, but we are all (especially me, Jeremy Tatum) so exhausted after it, that we’ll postpone a report on it until tomorrow!


Jeff Gaskin reports a Mourning Cloak at Swan Lake, on the main trail in front of Saanich Municipal Hall on April 28.  He also reports four or more Silvery Blues along the highway (Sooke Road) on the lupins at the Colwood exit.


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I found this dragonfly nymph exuvia at Swan Lake on April 28.   Thank you to Rob Cannings for identifying it as a California Darner.


California Darner Rhionaeschna californica (Odo.: Aeshnidae)  Jeremy Tatum

   Scott Gilmore found a couple of interesting beetles at Upper Lantzville on April 30.


 Helops laetus (Col.: Tenebrionidae) Scott Gilmore

Cryptorhyncus lapathi (Col.: Curculionidae)   Scott Gilmore


Annie Pang sends a picture of a female Western Spring Azure, and a small bee, which L.R. Best suggests is a small carpenter bee of the genus Ceratina, and a brown lacewing.



Female Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Annie Pang

Small carpenter bee  Ceratina sp.(Hym.: Apidae)  Annie Pang

Brown lacewing (Neu.: Hemerobiidae)  Annie Pang

   Here is another view of the little reddish-brown moth that Ron Flower and Gordon Hart saw at Munn Road on April 27 (see April 29 posting).


Leptostales rubromarginaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Ron Flower


Jeremy Tatum writes: Here is a caterpillar of Enargia infumata.  found between two cottonwood leaves along Lochside trail south of Blenkinsop Lake today.


Enargia infumata (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum


Here is a Spotted Tiger Moth from the campus of the University of Victoria today.


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