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 31

2016 July 31


   Annie Pang sends pictures of bees.  Thanks to Linc Best for identifications.



Ceratina sp. (Hym.: Apidae)  Annie Pang

Halictus rubicundus (Hym.: Halictidae)  Annie Pang

Honey Bee Apis mellifera (Hym.: Apidae)  Annie Pang


Jeremy Tatum writes:  Today (July 31) I went to Cordova Spit in search of the Western Branded Skipper. I searched in the southeast corner of the spit, in an area where there are a few crabapple trees.  I looked for skippers nectaring on the Gumweed.  There were lots of hesperiine skippers there, and it was not always easy to see the underside of the hindwings, so a lot of them went unidentified.  I identified those that I could as Woodland Skippers.  I wondered if perhaps I was overlooking the target species or misidentifying the ones I had called Woodlands.  And then at last I saw a genuine Western Branded Skipper nectaring on the Gumweed.  On seeing the underside of the hidwings, there was no mistaking it – and I then realized that the ones I had been calling Woodlands were indeed Woodlands, and the Branded is quite different.


On the way back I saw one male Purplish Copper at Island View Beach.


July 30

2016 July 30


   Val George writes:  Yesterday afternoon, July 29, I saw at least a dozen “Ringlets” (also called Large Heath) Coenonympha tullia at Island View Beach.


Coenonympha tullia (Lep.: Nymphalidae – Satyrinae)  Val George

   Marie O’Shaughnessy sends a photograph of a Western Pondhawk from MacIntyre reservoir July 25.  We were initially unsure whether this was a Western Pondhawk or the somewhat similar Blue Dasher, and we are grateful to Rob Cannings for identifying it for us.  Rob makes the interesting observation that the Western Pondhawk often perches on the ground, while the Blue Dasher rarely does.  That will be something for dragonfly watchers to look out for!


Male Western Pondhawk Erythemis collocata (Odo.: Libellulidae) Marie O’Shaughnessy


Jeremy Tatum writes:  I saw a Western Tiger Swallowtail today at Cresswell Road (near the Airport).  Also there was a sesiid (clearwing moth).  I didn’t manage to identify it, but sesiids are always exciting – I certainly don’t get to see one every year.  At 6:45 pm this evening, the usual nymphalids were hill-topping on Mount Tolmie.  Three Red Admirals:  two on the reservoir (one on the paint blotches – it usually chooses the blue blotch), and one on the bramble patch.  And one Painted Lady, as usual on the roadside beneath the Jeffery Pine.



Gerry, Wendy and Steve Ansell write:  We went searching for the Western Branded Skippers on the Indian Reserve on Cordova Spit.  Steve managed to photograph two males and there may have been more.  They were near the dirt parking lots on the spit.


Western Branded Skipper Hesperia colorado (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Steve Ansell

[Jeremy comments – That looks like a Honey Bee coming in for the attack!]


Western Branded Skipper Hesperia colorado (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Steve Ansell

 Western Branded Skipper Hesperia colorado (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Steve Ansell


July 29

2016 July 29


   Jeremy Tatum writes: Yesterday I posted several of Jody Wells’s recent photographs of dragonflies, and I tried – with limited success – to guess at the identifications.  Rob Cannings to the rescue!   Rob is away at a scientific meeting, but he took the time to identify the dragonflies for us.   Thank you, Rob.  Viewers can now view the July 28 Invert Alert and see the correct identifications.


  Marie O’Shaughnessy sends a picture of a Woodland Skipper from Observatory Hill, July 25.


Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae) 

Marie O’Shaughnessy



   Jeff Gaskin writes:  Today, July 29, I found a Western Tiger Swallowtail in Beacon Hill Park amongst some flowers by the sun dial near Deer Lake.

July 28

2016 July 28


   Annie Pang sends photographs of two bees.  Thanks to Sean McCann and Linc Best for identifications.



Megachile sp. (Hym.: Megachilidae)   Annie Pang

 Halictus rubicundus (Hym.: Halictidae)   Annie Pang

   Jody Wells sends a series of splendid dragonfly photographs from Martindale Flats, near the McIntyre reservoir, July 20 – 24. Sincere thanks to Rob Cannings for the identifications.


Variegated Meadowhawk Sympetrum corruptum (Odo.: Libellulidae)

Jody Wells

Blue-eyed Darner Rhionaeschna multicolor (Odo.: Aeshnidae)  Jody Wells

 Blue-eyed Darner Rhionaeschna multicolor (Odo.: Aeshnidae) Jody Wells

Western Pondhawk Erythemis collocata (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Jody Wells

Saffron-winged Meadowhawk Sympetrum costiferum  (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Jody Wells

Western Pondhawk Erythemis collocata (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Jody Wells

W estern Pondhawk Erythemis collocata (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Jody Wells

 Western Pondhawk Erythemis collocata(Odo.: Libellulidae)  Jody Wells

   Jeremy Tatum reports a Red Admiral from Whiffin Spit today (July 28).  Also two Red Admirals at the top of Mount Tolmie at 6:00 p.m.   As on July 25, one of the Red Admirals was on the paint blotch on the reservoir, and the other  was on the bramble patch.





July 27

2016 July 27


   Annie Pang sends a photo of another robber fly – this time a much larger one, kindly identified by Rob Cannings as Laphria ferox.


Robber fly Laphria ferox (Dip.: Asilidae)  Annie Pang


   Annie sends photographs of two bees.  Sincere thanks to Sean McCann for the identifications.

 Megachile (probably melanophaea) (Hym.: Megachilidae)  Annie Pang


Wool Carder Bee Anthidium manicatum (Hym.: Megachilidae)  Annie Pang