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.

June 3

2015 June 15


   Annie Pang sends photographs of a number of insects.  I’ll have a stab at identifying them, though I’m not an expert! – Jeremy Tatum


The first one looks like a greenbottle.  There are several species, and I don’t think I can go further.


Greenbottle fly.  Probably Lucilia sp. (Dip.:  Calliphoridae)   Annie Pang

   I’m pretty sure that this one is Eristalis tenax


Drone Fly Eristalis tenax (Dip.: Syrphidae)   Annie Pang


Not sure what the next one is.  Stratiomyidae?   Syrphidae?


Unknown (Dip.:  Stratiomyidae?  Syrphidae?)   Annie Pang

The next one is probably a young nymph of a cicadellid leafhopper, and can correctly be called a bug.


Probable leafhopper nymph (Hem.: Cicadellidae)  Annie Pang



Val George writes:   This afternoon, June 3, there was a West Coast Lady nectaring on Gumweed near the Oak Bay Marina.


June 2

June 2


    Monthly Butterfly Walk.   Sunday June 5.  Meet at the top of Mount Tolmie at 1:00 p.m.  All welcome!   We decide on a destination by mutual consent when we meet at Mount Tolmie.  One possibility that has been mentioned is Boas Road, near Spectacle Lake for Boisduval’s Blue.


   Aziza Cooper sends pictures of a bombyliid fly from the field east of Lochside Trail, south of Lohbrunner Road, June 1;  and a damselfly along the railroad tracks at Goldstream, May 30.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  I’ll have a stab at identifying them, though I’d be glad of confirmation from anyone who knows these insects.  The fly is Anthrax sp.

As for the exact species, I can’t be sure, but I’d guess either A. georgicus  or A. analis.  These may be synonyms for the same species. The larvae are said to be parasitoidal on tiger beetles.  I think the damselfly is the Western Red Damsel.


Anthrax sp. (analisgeorgicus?) (Dip.: Bombyliidae)  Aziza Cooper

 Western Red Damsel Amphiagrion abbreviatum (Odo.: Coenagrionidae)  Aziza Cooper

June 1

2016 June 01


   Mike Yip sends an interesting photograph of a moth from his Nanoose Bay garden.  It is a Large Yellow Underwing, which has only in the past very few minutes emerged from its pupa, and its wings have not yet hardened and expanded to their full size.


Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Mike Yip


Devon Parker writes:  My Dad and I were at Jordan River again today (May 31) looking for Johnson’s Hairstreak. We managed to find one in the spot you visited with us and another specimen 0.5 km away. We also found a butterfly we haven’t seen there before, Western Spring Azure. There was also a species of diurnal moth nectaring on the willows.  Total for the day was.

2 Johnson’s Hairstreak
2 Western Spring Azures
1 Silvery Blue
6 diurnal moths (photo below)
4 Western Pine Elfins
1 Two-banded Grizzled Skipper
10 Comma sp. (Ear shaped white marking)



Thanks to Libby Avis for identifying Devon’s diurnal moth as Drasteria divergens.   For a photograph of the upperside, see June 5.


 Drasteria divergens (Lep.: Erebidae – Erebinae)  Devon Parker


Jeremy Tatum writes: Devon mentions the ear-shaped “comma” on the underside of the comma sp. hindwing.  I think that this rules out oreas and gracilis (which have a V-shaped “comma”).  I think the “ear-shaped” mark indicates either satyrus or faunus.  Amazingly I still haven’t seen a Satyr Comma this year. but Gordon Hart writes that he saw one on May 31 in his Highlands yard – a bit faded, but noticeably different from the smaller and darker Green Commas.



May 31 morning

2016 May 31 morning


   Aziza Cooper writes:  Amazing news – during my visit to the Goldstream railroad tracks, yesterday, May 30, I saw at least 37 Cedar Hairstreaks. This is a minimum count. There were so many it was hard to be accurate. One cluster of daisies had 14, and I have a photo with 10 in view at once. The location is along the tracks near the Watershed gates just south of the stream (Goldstream). Other butterflies there: one Pale Tiger Swallowtail and one Western Tiger Swallowtail, plus four Western Spring Azures.


  Jeremy Tatum visited Mount Tolmie yesterday (May 30) at 6:30 pm ,and saw, on or near the reservoir, 3 Red Admirals, 1 West Coast Lady, 1 Western Tiger Swallowtail, and one Lorquin’s Admiral (his first for the year).  And, near the Jeffery Pine, 3 Painted Ladies.


  On May 28 Gordon Hart found two beetles in his Highlands yard.  We are grateful to Scott Gilmore for identifying them.


Yellow Douglas Fir Borer Centrodera spurca (Col.: Cerambycidae)  Gordon Hart


Soldier beetle Podabrus sp. (Col.: Cantharidae)  Gordon Hart


May 30

2016 May 30


   Apologies for lack of action recently, but we are almost back in business.  First I caught a “bug” (not Hemiptera) and was out of action for a while.  Then at the weekend, just when I thought I’d catch up, telephone service to the Elliott Building was cut off all weekend, and with it, all access to Web, Internet, Email, Invert Alert.   Anyway, here’s a start on the backlog.  Sorry if I don’t manage to get all the exact dates and locations, but they are all local (Victoria) in the last few days.   This will be posted at about 4:00 pm, May 30.  If I have missed any contributions submitted before then, let me know!  Jeremy Tatum


  Aziza sends photographs of a butterfly, a spider and a fly.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  No doubt about the butterfly, of course. I haven’t sent the spider and the fly out to experts, but I believe I have managed to identify them myself.  I think they are right, but, if anyone thinks I’ve got them wrong, I’m sure s/he’ll let me know.


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


Phidippus johnsoni (Ara.: Salticidae)   Aziza Cooper




Eristalis tenax (Dip.: Syrphidae)  Aziza Cooper




   Annie Pang sends photos of a varied assortment of insects.

First, a syrphid fly, identified by Matthias Buck as Syritta pipiens.

Syritta pipiens (Dip.: Syrphidae) Annie Pang



   Next another fly, as yet unidentified.  [Jeremy Tatum wonders whether it might be a stratiomyid, but this is very tentative.  Might also be a syrphid.]


Unidentified fly (Dip.: Stratiomyidae? Syrphidae?)  Annie Pang





Unidentified fly (Dip.: Stratiomyidae? Syrphidae?)  Annie Pang



   Next, a bee.  Can someone identify it for us?


Unidentified bee.  Can anyone help?  (Hym.)  Annie Pang



   Next, a sphecid wasp.


Prionyx canadensis (Hym.: Sphecidae)  Annie Pang


And a ladybird beetle:


Harmonia axyridis (Col.: Coccinellidae)   Annie Pang



  Jeremy Tatum sends a picture of a moth from the cottonwood trees south of Blenkinsop Lake:


Enargia infumata (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jeremy Tatum



   Jeff Gaskin writes: On May 27 I did a little poking around in Layritz Park and Camosun College (Interurban Campus) and found just a few butterflies.  First of all I saw a colony of Common Ringlets (or Large Heaths) totalling 5 on the Camosun College grounds in a field right near where the paved path or trail comes to the road. Also at Camosun were a Pale Tiger Swallowtail and along the trail up to Broadcast hill were 2 Lorquin’s Admirals.


   Aziza Cooper writes:  On May 27, I visited Quick’s Bottom and Viaduct Park looking for Vancouver Island Ringlets (Large Heaths).. At Quick’s Bottom, I found 69 in the small overgrown field next to the gravel path between Markham Road and Wilkinson Road.  North of Markham Road in the Viaduct Flats area, in the field on the east side, I again found dozens of Ringlets, for a conservative total of 53. Here, the area was too big for me to cover thoroughly, so there could easily be double that number. In contrast, the field on the west side of the strip of forest had only one Ringlet. I also walked along the Layritz Park gravel trails and into the daisy patches a little, and found only one Ringlet. The Ringlets are generally near patches of daisies, and there are large areas of daisies in all the fields there. It would be interesting to walk transects for a systematic survey.


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

Aziza Cooper