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 9

2015 May 9


   It must have needed some patience, but Val George managed to get a great photo of the West Coast Lady that was on the Mount Tolmie reservoir yesterday.  I believe this is only the second photo of a West Coast Lady that we have had on this Invert site since we started it in 2010, the previous one being in 2013.  We are trying to recover all the archived Invert Alerts, and hope to get them up again sometime.

West Coast Lady Vanessa annabella (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Val George



   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I was pottering around in various locations in Central Saanich today, and I saw one or two of each of Painted Lady, Mourning Cloak, Red Admiral and  Satyr Comma.    I met Jeremy Gatten there, and he, too, had seen the same species.


    Jeff Gaskin writes: There was a Western Brown Elfin along Gorge Road East near Harriet Road and this was a first of the year for me.


May 8

2015 May 8


    Scott Gilmore writes from Upper Lantzville: 


I found a Cabbage Seedpod Weevil Ceutorhynchus obstrictus in the garden yesterday on flowering Kale. Another European species.


Ceutorhynchus obstrictus (Col.: Curculionidae) Scott Gilmore



   Jeremy Tatum writes: I visited Mount Tolmie today (May 8) at about 2:00 pm and I didn’t see any butterflies at all, either on the reservoir or on the way up.  At 4:30 pm, however, it was a totally different story.  Sunning themselves on the reservoir were two Painted Ladies, a West Coast Lady and a Mourning Cloak, while a few Propertius Duskywings and Western Spring Azures and at least one Western Tiger Swallowtail were flying around nearby. I didn’t see a Red Admiral there, but there was one earlier in the day on Lochside Drive between Lohbrunner’s and Blenkinsop Lake, which seemed to be taking some interest in a nettle patch.





May 7

2015 May 7


   Jeremy Tatum sends a photo of a Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata that was at his Saanich apartment this morning.


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


   At 4:00 pm this afternoon (May 7) there were a Red Admiral, two Painted Ladies and a West Coast Lady on the Mount Tolmie reservoir.

May 6

2015 May 6


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  A Red Admiral and a Mourning Cloak were sunning themselves on the Mount Tolmie reservoir at 4:00 pm today, Wednesday May 6.  Late afternoon is the best time to find hill-topping nymphalids on the reservoir.

May 5

2015 May 05


   Gordon Hart writes:  May 02 was a good day for invertebrates as well as birds.  I don’t mean to inundate you [Keep inundating! – Jeremy] with pictures but I have a few I wanted to show you. I saw a very worn comma, I think P. faunus, and nearby a lighter more golden satyrus, I think. Also, a nice Cedar Hairstreak on an apple blossom. All these were at home, but up on Observatory Hill, I saw a female Propertius Duskywing, and also a first for this year, a female Spiny Baskettail.  At home, we also saw our first Pale Swallowtail of the year, as well as the usual spring butterflies.


Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Gordon Hart

Green Comma Polygonia faunus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Gordon Hart

Propertius Duskywing Erynnis propertius (Lep. Hesperiidae) Gordon Hart


Spiny Baskettail Epitheca spinigera (Odo.: Corduliidae) Gordon Hart



   Jeremy Tatum sends photos of a moth and a bug from his Saanich apartment, May 4.  Thanks to Libby Avis for identifying the moth, and to Scott Gilmore for identifying the bug.  The moth is Berhensia conchiformis, which I completely failed to recognize. This moth usually exhibits brilliant, shiny green scintillations (see, for example, Jeremy Gatten’s photograph in the March 22 posting). In spite of the lack of this shiny colour, Libby spotted the pattern, which fits perfectly, and she writes:  We see them occasionally with the green and yellow iridescence worn off, which I think is what may have happened here.  Libby adds: Still pretty slow here (Port Alberni) at the light, but we did get a Spodolepis danbyi last night (May 3). We don’t see them very often and it’s the first this year.


   The bug, writes Scott Gilmore, is a species of rough stink-bug, Brochymena sp.  Scott writes that there are two species here, and he can’t be sure from the photo which of the two it is.


Behrensia conchiformis (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jeremy Tatum


Brochymena sp.  (Hem.: Pentatomidae)  Jeremy Tatum


Spodolepis danbyi (Lep.: Geometridae)  Libby Avis



   Scott Gilmore writes:  I have attached a picture of a mating pair of Mecinus pyraster(Curculionidae), a European native that seems abundant this year on stems of Plantago where the young develop. 


  Also there are pictures of two different species of Epuraea(Nitidulidae) that I found on the weekend.




Mecinus pyraster (Col.: Curculionidae)  Scott Gilmore

Epuraea sp. (Col.: Nitidulidae)  Scott Gilmore

Epuraea sp. (Col.: Nitidulidae)  Scott Gilmore




   Corduliidae and Nitidulidae, featured in today’s posting, are Families not previously represented on this site.