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 5 morning

July 5 morning

  Reminder: Monthly Butterfly Walk on Sunday, 1:00 pm, Mount Tolmie.  A formal notice will be posted on the next Invert Alert posting – probably this afternoon or evening.

   Jeremy Tatum writes:   On Wednesday evening, July 3, at 6:30 pm, I saw three Painted Ladies and one West Coast Lady at the top of Mount Douglas.  Sorry, I forgot to post this earlier, though there’s probably a good chance that the West Coast Lady is still there.  It was on the far side of the teacup. Yesterday, July 4, at 6:30 pm, I saw two Painted Ladies at the top of Mount Tolmie.

Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin yesterday morning:

1 Callizzia amorata

2 Eulithis xylina

1 Homorthodes hanhami

4 Lacinipolia strigicollis

1 Lophocampa maculata

3 Nadata gibbosa

1 Sicya crocearia

1 Smerinthus cerisyi (same individual as last two days)

1 Coryphista meadii


Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae) Jochen Möhr

Coryphista meadii (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Callizzia amorata (Lep.: Uraniidae)  Jochen Möhr

Smerinthus cerisyi (Lep.: Sphingidae)  Jochen Möhr

Smerinthus cerisyi (Lep.: Sphingidae)  Jochen Möhr


   Cheryl Hoyle sends pictures of two grasshoppers.  In spite of the difference in colour, they are probably both the same species.  They are not in their final instar, and this makes exact identification difficult, though Claudia Copley writes that they are in the genus Melanoplus.


Melanoplus sp. (Orth.: Acrididae)  Cheryl Hoyle


Melanoplus sp. (Orth.: Acrididae)  Cheryl Hoyle


   Cheryl sends pictures of a Lorquin’s Admiral and a Satyr Comma from Lochside trail by Blenkinsop Lake, July 4.  It is good to know this year that we still have some Satyr Commas around – especially from that location.

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

Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Cheryl Hoyle


   Layla Munger sends a photograph of Idaea dimidiata  from the siding of a house in the Royal Oak area, June 30.

Idaea dimidiata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Layla Munger


   She also sends a photograph of a Malacosoma sp.  That is the adult of one of our two species of “tent caterpillar”, M. californicum and M. disstria.  It is interesting and sobering that, although the two species are so abundant and so familiar, and the caterpillars are so different, we cannot be entirely sure which of the two this is!  We need to work a bit harder on these!

Malacosoma californicum/disstria  (Lep.: Lasiocampidae) Layla Munger


July 4

2019 July 4


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  If you go to the Cairn Road entrance to Highrock Park (Esquimalt), you will see a large poster encouraging you to visit the park in the Spring to see the butterflies there.  There are photographs of three butterflies on the poster:  Propertius Duskywing, Anise Swallowtail, and Western Pine Elfin.  One would expect the Propertius Duskywing, of course, though you’d need a bit of luck to see an Anise Swallowtail.  But a Western Pine Elfin?  Are there really some there, or is it a mistake?  Who knows?  The only way to find out is to visit the park in the Spring and see what you can find.


   At the nature house in Goldstream Park today I saw an Idaea dimidiata and an out-of-camera-reach Clemensia albata.   At the nature house at Swan Lake today I saw an Aseptis binotata and out-of-camera-reach Eulithis xylina and Hemithea aestivaria.


Idaea dimidiata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum


Aseptis binotata Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum


   Val George writes:  Yesterday, July 3, I did a quick drive up the Nanaimo River Road to check out the dogbane patches (49.078922/-124.051886).  I saw one each of only three butterfly species:  Grey Hairstreak, Western Tiger Swallowtail, Mylitta Crescent.


Male Mylitta Crescent Phyciodes mylitta (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Val George


   Scott Gilmore writes from Lantzville:  I found these newly hatched hemiptera on my Ceanothus plant.

Jeremy Tatum comments:  They look very like the similar bugs that Ann Tiplady found recently – see the June 29 Invertebrate Alert.  I believe they are pentatomids.   What remarkably neat caps on the eggs!


Probably pentatomid bugs (Hem.: Pentatomidae)  Scott Gilmore


Probably pentatomid bugs (Hem.: Pentatomidae)  Scott Gilmore


   Bryan Gates writes:  My Red Alders continue to produce interesting beasts.  This shiny black beetle, approximately 6 mm long (excluding the antennae), was superabundant on the red alders here at Saratoga Beach during the last week of May 2019. The adults were eating roundish holes in the alder leaves and copulation was observed.   Now, on July 3, only one adult could be found, but this black larva, also about 6 to 7 mm long, is very common on the leaves and is eating just the green tissue on the top surface of the leaves. I assume that one has produced the other.


  Jeremy Tatum writes:  It is a leaf beetle of the Family Chrysomelidae – a Family so large that many coleopterists despair!   But Scott Gilmore suggests:  I would guess from the genus Altica.  [That’s probably rather better than a guess, from Scott!]


Probably Altica sp. (Col.: Chrysomelidae)  Bryan Gates


Probably Altica sp. (Col.: Chrysomelidae)  Bryan Gates


More tomorrow…






July 3

2019 July 3


   Here’s another moth from Jochen Möhr in Metchosin, July 2:


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



   and lots more today, July 3:

2 Biston betularia in cop.

1 Eulithis xylina

1 Hesperumia latipennis

1 Homothodes hanhami

2 Iridopsis emasculatum

1 Lacinipolia cuneata

2 Lacinipolia strigicollis

1 Oligocentria semirufescens (under the wing of S. cerisyi)

4 Nadata gibbosa

1 Panthea virginarius

1 Cabera erythemaria

1 Smerinthus ophthalmica or cerisyi  (same individual as yesterday and the day before.  It has not budged.)


Eulithis xylina (Lep. Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Hesperumia latipennis (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

Homorthodes hanhami (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr

Iridopsis emasculatum (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

Iridopsis emasculatum (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

Oligocentria semirufescens (Lep.: Notodontidae)

Jochen Möhr

Lacinipolia cuneata (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr


Panthea virginarius (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr

Biston betularia (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

  Probably Cabera erythemaria (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

Smerinthus cerisyi (Lep.: Sphingidae)

Oligocentria semirufescens (Lep.: Notodontidae)

Jochen Möhr


Ephestiodes gilvescentella  (Lep.: Pyralidae)   Jochen Möhr


If anyone can identify this one, please let us know:


Unidentified micro Jochen Möhr


   Here is a micro reared from thistle (found on Cirsium edule but readily fed on C. arvense) in Coppermine Road, Sooke.

Udea turmalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Jeremy Tatum


July 2 afternoon

2019 July 2 afternoon


   Anne Boudewyn writes:  I found these two moths making babies on Rogers Avenue in the High Quadra area.


Sheep Moth Hemileuca eglanterina (Lep.: Saturniidae) Anne Boudewyn


Sheep Moth Hemileuca eglanterina (Lep.: Saturniidae) Anne Boudewyn


Sheep Moth Hemileuca eglanterina (Lep.: Saturniidae) Anne Boudewyn



July 2 morning

2019 July 2 morning


   Cheryl Hoyle sends a photograph of a Rough Stink Bug Brochymena sp. from the Songhees Walkway.


Rough Stink Bug Brochymena sp. (Hem.: Pentatomidae)  Cheryl Hoyle



   Val George writes: This Grey Hairstreak was at the summit of Mount Douglas (48.493735/-123.347655) yesterday, July 1.


Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Val George


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here’s a photograph of a Copper Underwing moth, reared from a caterpillar found at Goldstream Park.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to photograph the copper-coloured hindwings.


Copper Underwing Amphipyra pyramidoides (Lep.: Noctuidae)

Jeremy Tatum


Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:


1 Biston betularia

2 Lacinipolia strigicollis

4 Nadata gibbosa

1 Schizura ipomoeae

1 Smerinthus ophthalmica or cerisyi


[Jeremy Tatum notes:  Some authors have split the old S. cerisyi  into S. cerisyi and S. ophthalmica, with our local moths being ophthalmica.  As with many other moths with frequent taxonomic revisions, it is impractical for me to keep relabelling archival images, so for consistency within the site I adopt a conservative approach and retain the name cerisyi on images on this site.]


Smerinthus cerisyi (Lep.: Sphingidae)  Jochen Möhr