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.

October 14

2017 October 14


   Nathan Fisk sends an interesting picture of a cell from the nest of a leafcutter bee.  He found three of these cells in the soil at Fort Rodd Hill Nursery. The cell will be provisioned with nectar and pollen, and one egg will be laid inside it.  The bee larva will grow within.  The sides of the cell are constructed from roughly rectangular portions of a leaf, and the ends are constructed from circular portions.  Leafcutter bees are regarded as major pollinators.


Cell from nest of leafcutter bee  (Hym.:  Megachilidae)  Nathan Fisk


   Jochen Moehr sends a photograph of the moth Plemyria georgii  from his home in Metchosin.


Plemyria georgii (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Moehr

October 12

2017 October 12


   There may yet be a few butterflies around.  Anne-Marie saw a Painted Lady at her Highlands property, October 10.


October 10 evening

2017 October 10


   Robert Wilson sent me two photographs of a caterpillar that wandered across his driveway on Triangle Mountain, Colwood, today.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  It is a species of Panthea.   Not sure whether it is P. virginarius or P. portlandia – but these names may belong to a single species anyway, so I’ll label it probably virginarius.  The caterpillar feeds on Douglas Fir.

Panthea (probably virginarius) (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Robert Wilson


Panthea (probably virginarius) (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Robert Wilson



   Jeremy Tatum reports that he saw a Cabbage White in Oak Bay today.

October 10 morning

2017 October 10 morning


   Sorry, no posting yesterday.  Too tired!


   Gerry Ansell writes:  On October 8, 2017, Gerry and Steve saw 3 Orange Sulphurs and 1 Painted Lady at the reservoir.  Also, of course, Cabbage Whites.


   Thanks, Gerry – I followed this up on October 9 (Monday) and all three species were still there, as well as Aziza Cooper, who took some photographs.


Male Orange Sulphur Colias eurytheme (Lep.: Pieridae)  Aziza Cooper


Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Aziza Cooper




   Jochen Moehr sends a selection of fine moth photographs from Metchosin.


Agrochola purpurea (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Moehr


Dysstroma citrata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Moehr


Ceranemota fasciata (Lep.: Drepanidae – Thyatirinae) Jochen Moehr



   Thanks to Sussex (England) butterfly enthusiast David Harris for pointing out to me a posting on the Sussex butterfly website   for October 6, which gives the following link:

This describes a massive migrating swarm, detected by radar, of Painted Lady butterflies in Colorado.  We should keep a lookout here to see if any of them reach us.






October 8

2017 October 8


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  During the VNHS September Butterfly Walk, we found a large hawk moth caterpillar, which was shown on September 3 and 4.  The pupa was shown on September 13.  The adult moth ecloded (emerged) today and is shown below.


White-lined Hawk Moth Hyles lineata (Lep.: Sphingidae)  Jeremy Tatum


   I saw a Cabbage White today in Colwood.  I can’t say exactly where, because I was lost at the time!  Jeremy Tatum