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 11 morning

2019 May 11 morning


   Peter Boon writes:  A couple of sightings from the Nanaimo area. At Piper’s Lagoon there have been up to 8 Western Spring Azures and 3-4 Propertius Duskywings over the past week, and tonight I saw my first Pale Tiger Swallowtail at the Kaye Road drainage lagoons in Parksville along with around 6 Western Spring Azures and one Western Brown Elfin.


  Jochen Möhr’s tally this morning, from Metchosin


Eupithecia sp 2
Coryphista meadii 2
Lobophora nivigerata 2
Melanolophia imitata 4
Orthosia transparens 2
Perizoma costiguttata 1
Phyllodesma americana 1
Selenia alciphearia 1
Tyria jacobaeae 3
Venusia obsoleta 7
Xanthorhoe defensaria 2
Zale minerea 1

Leptostales rubromarginaria                                             1

Leptostales rubromarginaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr




May 10 evening

2019 May 10 evening


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  6:45 pm, Mount Tolmie.  One Propertius Duskywing just outside the reservoir; one Painted Lady basking on the reservoir; one Painted Lady on the road next to the Jeffery Pine.


  Rosemary Jorna sends a photograph of a bumblebee, May 9, summit of Mount Wells.  Thanks to Annie Pang for identfying it as Bombus appositus, or the White-shouldered Bumblebee.


White-shouldered Bumblebee Bombus appositus (Hym.: Apidae)  Rosemary Jorna


   Jeff Gaskin writes:  Today, May 10, and yesterday, May 09, there was a Mourning Cloak at Panama Flats.


   Jochen Möhr’s moth count at his Metchosin home, May 10:


4 Eupithecia sp.               

2 Anticlea vasiliata

1 Apamea cinefacta

3 Coryphista meadii

1 Egira crucialis

1 Eupithecia cretaceata

1 Hyalophora euryalus

 5 Lobophora nivigerata

1 Lophocampa maculata

1 Perizoma curvilinea

1 Tyria jacobaeae

1 Venusia obsoleta

1 Xanthorhoe defensaria            


and some photographs of some of them:


Hyalophora euryalus (Lep.: Saturniidae)  Jochen Möhr


Hyalophora euryalus (Lep.: Saturniidae)  Jochen Möhr


Zale minerea (Lep.:  Erebidae – Erebinae) Jochen Möhr


Zale duplicata (Lep.: Erebidae – Erebinae)  Jochen Möhr

Eupithecia cretaceata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Coryphista meadii (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Coryphista meadii (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Coryphista meadii (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr



   Rosemary Jorna writes: I have another spider from our deck, Kemp Lake area May 10.


Platycryptus californicus (Ara.: Salticidae)  Rosemary Jorna

May 10 morning

2018 May 9 morning


   Rhys Harrison sends photographs of a comma from halfway up the Eagle Chair on Mount Washington, at 4400 feet, May 8.   Would this be a Hoary Comma?  Jeremy Tatum writes:  I’m calling it a Hoary (“Zephyr”) Comma, but I’d be glad of input from observers experienced with this difficult group.  [Added later:  Mark Wynja concurs!]

Hoary (“Zephyr”) Comma Polygonia gracilis zephyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Rhys Harrison

Hoary (“Zephyr”) Comma Polygonia gracilis zephyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Rhys Harrison



Annie Pang photographed this bug at Gorge Park Community Gardens in Victoria on May 8, 2019.  Thanks to Terry Thormin for identifying it as a Red-backed Stink Bug Banasa dimiata.


Red-backed Stink Bug Banasa dimiata (Hem.: Pentatomidae) Annie Pang


Rosemary Jorna writes:  There were ten or more of these little bugs on Miner’s Lettuce near the parking lot at Mount Wells on May 9.  Many thanks to Terry Thormin for identifying them as Cosmopepla intergressa.

Cosmopepla intergressa (Hem.: Pentatomidae)  Rosemary Jorna

   Rosemary Jorna writes:  We stopped for lunch at the 17 Mile Pub. All was quiet on the butterfly front; then seven or eight Western Spring Azures were dancing up and down the row of flowers;  after about ten minutes they were gone.

Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Rosemary Jorna


   Annie Pang writes: I was at Playfair Park on May 7 thanks to a friend who seems interested
in learning about butterflies. While there we saw several Cabbage Whites, two Western Spring Azures and two Western Brown Elfins, one of which seemed keen on defending “her” territory.  This allowed me to get several pictures of this worn female, fat with eggs.

Western Brown Elfin Incisalia iroides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Annie Pang


   Aziza Cooper writes:  May 9, one Painted Lady was north of the northern parking lot on Mount Tolmie. I also saw three Spring Azures and two Propertius Duskywings.

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


   Rebecca Reader-Lee writes:  I was getting ready for bed last night (May 8th) and had quite the fright when I thought a bird had hit the window, but it turned out to be a massive moth which I believe to be Hyalophora euryalus.    I had no clue there were native moths of that size! [Wait until you see a Polyphemus!] I live in the North Highlands.



May 9 evening

2019 May 9


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  At 6:15 this evening, on or near the Mount Tolmie Reservoir, there was one each of Cabbage White, Western Tiger Swallowtail, California Tortoiseshell, Mourning Cloak, Painted Lady quite a nice little variety.  I am quite convinced that the California Tortoiseshell prefers to bask on the whitish patches on the concrete.   While I was watching, a Dark-eyed Junco hopped deliberately along the concrete towards the Mourning Cloak, presumably to admire its beauty. But the butterfly, perhaps wisely, took off when the junco was within six inches or so of it.


   Rosemary Jorna sends a picture of a Propertius Duskywing from the summit of Mount Wells, May 9.

Propertius Duskywing Erynnis propertius (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Rosemary Jorna


   Rhys Harrison writes that he saw about eight Ringlets on May 7 on Saanichton (Cordova) Spit.  Here is a photograph of one of them:


Ringlet Coenonympha tullia (Lep.: Nymphalidae – Satyrinae) Rhys Harrison


More tomorrow morning…


May 9 morning

2019 May 9 morning


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  A California Tortoiseshell was basking on the Mount Tolmie reservoir at 6:00 pm yesterday.  As it often does, it was sitting on one of the whitish patches on the concrete.  Don’t let anyone tell you that butterflies live for only a few days.  It just ain’t true.


  Some more moth pictures by Jochen Möhr in Metchosin yesterday:


Cladara limitaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Feralia comstocki (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Panthea virginarius (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr


Xanthorhoe defensaria (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

Hypena decorata (Lep.: Erebidae – Hypeninae)

Jochen Möhr