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.

June 9

  2015 June 9


   Bill Katz writes:  We spent a week in Parksville and I checked Rathtrevor Park for moths several times while there.  I think the first two photos show different shades of Idia americalis, and the third photo is Enypia packardata.  A highlight of the week was meeting Libby and Rick Avis for the first time.  

Idia americalis (Lep.: Erebidae – Herminiinae)  Bill Katz

Idia americalis (Lep.: Erebidae – Herminiinae)  Bill Katz


Enypia packardata (Lep.: Geometridae) Bill Katz



   Cheryl Hoyle sends a photograph of a Spotted Tiger Moth from Metchosin – one perhaps a little past the first fresh flush of youth.

Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata

(Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)

Cheryl Hoyle

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  On the evening of June 8, at about 7:00 pm, there were lots and lots of Western Tiger Swallowtails flying around the Mount Tolmie reservoir and the summit of the hill.  Also Pale Tiger Swallowtail, Painted and West Coast Ladies, Red and Lorquin’s Admirals, Cabbage White.  The apparent dearth of Western Tigers seems to be over – they have now come into their own. Alas, no Anise Swallowtails – and they used to breed so commonly on Mount Tolmie.  Their food plant was  Lomatium nudicaule –  but that seems to have vanished, too.  There is plenty of Fennel on Mount Tolmie – the Anise caterpillars should like that.


   I visited Swan Lake this morning (June 9), and there are lots of Red Admiral  caterpillars on the several nettle patches there.  Provided that they don’t get zapped by tachinids or braconids, there should be lots of butterflies later in the year.  The door of the Nature House sometimes attracts a few moths.  This morning there were Hemithea aestivaria and Spilosoma virginica.


   Jeff Gaskin writes:  A Red Admiral was seen this morning (June 9) around 10 a.m. on Mystic Lane, which is in Cadboro Bay.  The Tuesday Group spent the morning at UVic afterwards and saw the following species:  10 Western Tiger Swallowtails, 8 Lorquin’s Admirals, 2 Pale Tiger Swallowtails, and 5 Cabbage Whites. At Cadboro Bay there were 3 Cabbage Whites, and 1 Western Tiger Swallowtail.


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  here is a caterpillar found at Munn Road:


Nycteola frigidana (Lep.: Nolidae)  Jeremy Tatum

   More photos tomorrow – nearly caught up!

June 8

2015 June 8


    Ken Vaughan writes:    I thought I’d go to the Beaver Lake Ponds early on June 5 and see how things are on the west side of the pond.


Rhionaeschna californica (Odo.: Aeshnidae)  Ken Vaughan


Blue Dasher Pachidiplax longipennis (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Ken Vaughan



American Emerald Cordulia shurtleffii  (Odo.: Corduliidae)  Ken Vaughan




   Aziza Cooper writes:  I went to Beacon Hill Park and Government House on June 4. At Beacon Hill Park I saw a Mourning Cloak – the only butterfly I saw there.  There was also the beetle shown below.  Scott Gilmore writes that there are a number of very similar-looking beetles, so without photographs from various angles or having the beetle to look at, he can go no further than Subfamily.  It is in the Subfamily Lepturinae (flowering longhorns) of the Family Cerambycidae.



Flowering longhorn (Col.: Cerambycidae – Lepturinae)  Aziza Cooper


   Aziza continues: At 5:00 pm (June 4) there were four Western Tiger Swallowtails

and a Red Admiral at Government House.


   Jeremy Tatum reports that on June 6 there were several Western Tiger Swallowtails and a Satyr Comma at UVic.  He also sends photographs of the caterpillars of Satyr Comma and Red Admiral.


Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Jeremy Tatum

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Jeremy Tatum



   We have had very few crustaceans in this site, and the picture below, taken by Rosemary Jorna at Skutz Falls on June 6, is certainly our first crayfish.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  My knowledge of crayfish is close to zero, so my attempt at identification is risky, but this well marked specimen would appear to be a good fit for Pacifastacus leniusculus.



Pacifastacus leniusculus (Decapoda: Astacidae) Rosemary Jorna



   Gordon Hart writes:  I saw this tiny fly today shining in the sun. I think it is a Longlegged Fly, Dolichopodidae, but I don’t know what species.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  I am sure there are experts out there in cyberspace who have devoted their lives to the study of the Dolichopodidae or who at least are more familiar with them than we are.  If any of you are reading this, please help us out with Gordon’s picture!



Long-legged fly (Dip.: Dolichopodidae)  Gordon Hart



   Jeff Gaskin writes:  On June 6 around 6 p.m. June 6, there were two rather worn Red Admirals, 2 or 3 Painted Ladies and 2 Pale Tiger Swallowtails on or near the concrete reservoir on Mount. Tolmie. Also here were several Western Tiger Swallowtails and Lorquin’s Admirals.


   Rosemary Jorna writes:  We visited all the gardens on Sooke’s Secret Garden Tour and there were Pale Tiger Swallowtails in every one but no Western Tigers.  A few whites moving fast, one blue and a Grey Hairstreak. Late in the afternoon we returned to my sister’s home on Kemp Lake Road, Otter Point.  There I photographed a Western Tiger Swallowtail,  a Pale Tiger Swallowtail (there have been 7 or 8 there for days)  and a Cabbage White.


Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus (Lep.: Papilionidae) Rosemary Jorna


Pale Tiger Swallowtail Papilio eurymedon (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Rosemary Jorna

Cabbage White Pieris rapae (Lep.: Pieridae)  Rosemary Jorna



   Val George writes:  Yesterday, June 7, I saw my first European (Essex) Skipper of the year at Uplands Park.  Also there was a Painted Lady and a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell.


   The June 7 Butterfly Walk proved to be quite an adventure along rough logging roads towards Cowichan River, but there were a few interesting finds.  Thus we found a caterpillar of a Western Brown Elfin on a Salal flower.  Aziza Cooper photographed a spider and an unfortunate butterfly (shown below) at the end of Hillcrest Road.  And she and Rick Schortinghuis saw a Cedar Hairstreak along the forest road at Chemainus Park.


Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisidae) and Papilio eurymedon (Lep.: Papilionidae)

Aziza Cooper



   Aziza also sends a photograph of a geometrid moth from Mount Cokely on June 6.



Rheumaptera hastata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Aziza Cooper



   More photographs to come tomorrow!


June 7

2015 June 7


   Sorry I’m posting today’s Invert Alert so early in the day  –  I’m, just off to the monthly Butterfly Walk – at Duncan!



   Ken Vaughan writes:  Had a nice walk around Beaver Lake Ponds on June 4, with two first-of-year-for-me odes.


Cardinal Meadowhawk Sympetrum illotum (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Ken Vaughan






Male Eight-spotted Skimmer Libellula forensis (Odo.:  Libellulidae)  Ken Vaughan

 Ellychnia sp. (Col.: Lampyridae)  Ken Vaughan


Pale Tiger Swallowtail Papilio eurymedon (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Ken Vaughan


Dot-tailed Whiteface Leucorrhinia intacta (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Ken Vaughan




   …and it looks as though Gordon Hart is seeing the same animals!  He sends the following:



Dot-tailed Whiteface Leucorrhinia intacta (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Gordon Hart



Yellow Crab Spider Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisiidae) Gordon Hart




   Annie Pang sends a Western Tiger Swallowtail in its typical pose nectaring on Himalayan Blackberry, just like Ken’s Pale Tiger above.



Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Annie Pang



   Jeremy Tatum writes:  On May 17 I posted a photograph of a caterpillar, which I labelled Enargia infumata.  The adult moth from this caterpillar emerged two days ago and it looks as though it might be a different species.  The three (or more?) Enargia species that we have in British Columbia pose an identification problem, and we are working to try to get a certain identification on this one, but for the time being I believe it is most likely Enargia decolor.



Enargia sp. (probably decolor)  (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jeremy Tatum






June 6

2015 June 6


       Reminder – Monthly Butterfly walk tomorrow (Sunday).  Meet at the highway pulloff at Somenos Lake north of Duncan at 1:00 pm.  For further details, scroll down to the June 4 posting.



    Rosemary Jorna gave us a puzzler when she sent us a photograph of a curious insect that she spotted when she was on her way to Empress Mountain on June 1.  Thanks to Scott Gilmore who identified it as a jumping bristletail, a member of the little-known (little-known to me – Jeremy Tatum – that is!) Order Microcoryphia.   It’s a new Order for this site.


Jumping bristletail (Microcoryphia)  Rosemary Jorna



   She also sent us a picture of a young female Ladona julia (formerly Libellula julia) from Grassy Lake, June 1. Thanks to Rob Cannings for the identification.



Female Ladona julia . (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Rosemary Jorna



   Jeremy Tatum sends a picture of a tortricid identified by Eric LaGasa as a male

Choristoneura rosaceana.  Eric has been educating me on the importance of a costal fold near the basal end of the costa on male tortricids as an aid to identification.  The costal fold can be seen on this one (just!), showing that it is a male.


Choristoneura rosaceana (Lep.: Tortricidae)  Jeremy Tatum



   Scott Gilmore writes from Upper Lantzville:  Here are some of the sightings I had over the (May 30-31) weekend. Thanks to V. Belov for getting the featherwing beetle to genus.


Dichelotarsus melvillei (Col.:  Cantharidae) 

Prothalpia holmbergi (Col.:  Melandryidae) A new-to-me family called False Darkling Beetles

Thyanta pallidovirens (Hem.:  Pentatomoidea). A red-shouldered stinkbug

Ptenidium (Col.:  Ptilidae). Another featherwing beetle that flew past my nose in the backyard (about the only way I was going to see it!). I do not have an accurate measurement but it is a little under 1mm long.


Dichelotarsus melvillei (Col.:  Cantharidae)  Scott Gilmore


Prothalpia holmbergi (Col.:  Melandryidae) Scott Gilmore



Thyanta pallidovirens (Hem.:  Pentatomoidea)  Scott Gilmore



Ptenidium sp. (Col.:  Ptilidae).Scott Gilmore






    Many more pics tomorrow!  We still have a nice backlog!


June 5

2015 June 5


    Please scroll down to June 4 to see three important announcements concerning forthcoming field trips – including Sunday’s (June 7) trip to Duncan.


   We still have a healthy queue of photos and observations to post, and they’ll be spread out over a few days.  I’m using today’s posting to catch up on more of the interesting creatures found by Mike Yip and Aziza Cooper on their recent trip to Mount Cokely.


Persius Duskywing Erynnis persius (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Mike Yip

Arctic Skipper Carterocephalus palaemon (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Mike Yip


Boisduval’s Blue Icaricia icarioides  (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Mike Yip


Boisduval’s Blue Icaricia icarioides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper

 Female Silvery Blue Glaucopsyche lygdamus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper



Hoary (“Zephyr”) Comma Polygonia gracilis zephyrus   (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Mike Yip


Western Tailed Blue Everes amyntula  (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  MikeYip



Western Tailed Blue  Everes amyntula  (Lep.: Lycaenidae)   Aziza Cooper



Hudsonian Whiteface Leucorrhina hudsonica (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Mike Yip

(Thanks to Terry Thormin for identifying this one.)


Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisiidae) and Sericomyia chalcopyga (Dip. Syrphidae) Mike Yip

(Thanks to Jeff Skevington for identifying the fly.)


Buprestis aurulenta (Col.: Buprestidae)  Aziza Cooper