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 31

2018 May 31


   Annie Pang sends a picture of a young male Spiny Baskettail from Gorge Road, Victoria.  Thanks to Rob Cannings for the identification.

Spiny Baskettail  Epitheca spinigera (Odo.: Corduliidae)  Annie Pang


   Norma Smith sends a picture of a Large Yellow Underwing.

Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Norma Smith



Jeremy Tatum writes that the Lorquin’s Admiral caterpillar shown yesterday is preparing to pupate:


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

Jeremy Tatum


May 30

2018 May 30


   Ondrea Clarkson sends a picture of a Pale Tiger Swallowtail from just outside the Elliott Building, UVic, yesterday afternoon.


Pale Tiger Swallowtail Papilio eurymedon (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Ondrea Clarkson


   Jochen Möhr sends a picture of a highflyer (Hydriomena sp.) from Metchosin.  It is difficult to decide between two similar species,  H. californiata or H. marinata.


Hydriomena californiata/marinata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr


   Annie Pang sends a picture of a bee, kindly identified by Cory Sheffield and Lincoln Best as Bombus fervidus.

Bombus fervidus (Hym.: Apidae)  Annie Pang


    Nathan Fisk sends photographs of two bees from Fort Rodd Hill yesterday.   We are not sure exactly which species they are – but they are hard at work pollinating.


Unidentified bee (Hym.: Apidae)   Nathan Fisk


Unidentified bee (Hym.: Apidae)   Nathan Fisk



Jeremy Tatum sends a picture of a caterpillar found at Rithet’s Bog on May 29.


Lorquin’s Admiral Limenitis lorquini (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Jeremy Tatum


   Annie Pang sends pictures of a Spotted Tiger Moth, which emerged yesterday from a cocoon made by a caterpillar last fall that Annie successfully reared.  (See her caterpillar 2017 September 7 and 16, and the cocoon, September 27.)


Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Annie Pang


Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Annie Pang



May 29

2018 May 29


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Most pug caterpillars feed on flowers.  Here is one in the flower head of the dogwood Cornus stolonifera.  ‘Fraid I don’t know which species.

Pug caterpillar Eupithecia sp. (Lep.: Geometridae)   Jeremy Tatum


   Marie O’Shaughnessy writes:  This beautiful Western Tiger Swallowtail was photographed at Loon Bay, May 28th, while the tide was out. It appeared to be ingesting the salt water between the rocks on the mud-flats. 


Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy


   Jeff Gaskin writes:  Yesterday, May 28, around 6:15 p.m. in the wind there was a West Coast Lady alongside the road on Mount Tolmie.  It was not too far from the concrete reservoir.

May 28

2018 May 28


   A plea from the Moderator.   We are getting lots of exciting contributions at this time of year, which is a wonderful situation to be in – but of course the volume of contributions does make for a little bit of work.  This plea is not aimed at anyone in particular and it may sound like the Pontifications of a Pompous Professor to first-year students.  All the same it would be an immense help to the Moderator if contributors could spend just a minute or so proofreading the text of their contributions for spelling, capitalization of proper names, no abbreviations please, and little details like that.  I know that it takes a little extra to do it, but after all,  if you don’t do it, the Moderator has to – for all entries!   When a contribution comes in with all the text perfected, all I have to do is a quick copy-n-paste, and it is done in a second.  Otherwise it takes a few minutes per entry, and when there are half-a-dozen contributions, that begins to mount up.  But believe me – I very much appreciate all contributions, whether perfectly composed or not!


   Jeff Gaskin writes:  Today, May 28, I saw my first of the year Lorquin’s Admirals.  One was in Gorge Park, and the other flew through my Mom’s backyard on Wascana Street.  Kirsten Mills told me she saw a Lorquin’s Admiral on Saturday May 26, behind the Swan Lake nature house, so there seem to be a few of them around already.


  Bryan Gates writes:  I found this caterpillar today, May 28, 2018, in my yard at Saratoga Beach, Black Creek, B.C.  (near the Oyster River).



Silver-spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa argentata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Bryan Gates

May 27 evening

2018 May 27 evening


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  On May 17 morning I posted pictures of three unidentified caterpillars, with speculation as to what they were.  The one I speculated as Choristoneura rosaceana was harbouring hymenopterous (Braconidae?) parasitoids, and it died, so we shall never know.  We probably shan’t see the adult of the geometrid caterpillar until early next year.  The adult moth from the caterpillar that was speculated to be Hedya nubiferana emerged today, and it turned out indeed to be that species.  Photograph below.


Hedya nubiferana (Lep.: Tortricidae)  Jeremy Tatum


     Jeremy continues:  Today I saw several  (I didn’t count) Field Crescents at Eddy’s storage.  For those who don’t know where Eddy’s Storage is and who would like to see this butterfly, it is on the north side of Stelly’s Cross Road, a few tens of yards to the west of West Saanich Road.


    Jeremy continues:  I saw my first Mourning Cloak since 2016 at Quick’s Bottom today.  Quick’s Bottom is reached from Markham Street in Saanich.


    Kirsten Mills writes:  Here are some butterflies from Goldstream Heights this morning. I saw 6 Pale Tiger Swallowtails,  3 Western Tiger Swallowtails and 1 Anise Swallowtail. Also 1 Western Brown Elfin,  6 Cedar Hairstreaks and 5 Western Spring Azures.


Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Kirsten Mills


Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Kirsten Mills


   Marie O’Shaughnessy also found a Cedar Hairstreak, also at Goldstream Heights.  Marie writes: I was with Kirsten and I believe she is sending you some pics to ID too of this butterfly. There were many up there today. Feasting on daisy nectar. 

Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Marie O’Shaughnessy



   Jeremy Tatum found this caterpillar on a Blackberry leaf at Quick’s Bottom today:


Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum