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.

2022 June 5

2022 June 5

    Aziza Cooper sends a picture of a large crane fly in her Saanich apartment today:

Tipula pubera (Dip.: Tipulidae)  Aziza Cooper

   Ron Flower sends photographs of two moths from his Royal Oak home, June 3.

Autographa californica (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Ron Flower

Triphosa haesitata  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Ron Flower

  The sharp-eyed will see what looks like a bdelloid mite just above the midpoint of the leading edge of the righthand forewing.

2022 June 4

2022 June 4

   Jochen Möhr sends a photograph of a bumble bee from Metchosin.  We thank Steven Roias and Gordon Hart for confirming it as Bombus melanopygus.

Bombus melanopygus (Hym.: Apidae)  Jochen Möhr

2022 June 3

2022 June 3

Hello, Butterfly Watchers,

As per the VNHS calendar ( ) and page 18 in the Victoria Naturalist, there is a Butterfly Walk scheduled for this Sunday, June 5.

We meet at the top of Mount Tolmie by the reservoir, at 1.00 p.m. You can park in the parking lot there, or in the large lot north of the summit. After a look around the summit, and depending on the weather, we will decide on a destination from there. 

You can review Vancouver Island butterflies at Val George’s new website :

 Here’s hoping the weather forecast improves by Sunday!

 Gordon Hart,

 Butterfly count coordinator

Victoria Natural History Society

Gordon Hart

   Aziza Cooper writes:  On June 2, I went to the railroad tracks near Goldstream campground. I found about 16 Western Spring Azures and a Cinnabar Moth

Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper


Cinnabar Moth Tyria jacobaeae (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Aziza Cooper


   Jody Wells sends a photograph of a crab spider from the Highlands, May 27.  Dr Robb Bennett writes: It’s one of the very flattened types of thomisid crab spiders, either Coriarachne brunneipes or Bassaniana utahensis. It’s hard to differentiate between the two on the basis of habitus images like Jody’s but my first guess is C. brunneipes.

Probably Coriarachne brunneipes though perhaps Bassaniana utahensis  (Ara.: Thomisidae)

Jody Wells

   Jochen Möhr sends a photograph of a tent caterpillar.  You wouldn’t think there would be any question about the spelling of the scientific name of such a common and familiar insect as this – yet some references spell it Malacosoma californicum and others spell it californica.  I can think (writes Jeremy Tatum) of several arguments in favour of each.  You’d think the “correct” spelling should be –a, yet, in the original published description it was spelled –um.  The Rule (I think) is that the original spelling must prevail, even if the author got it “wrong” – unless the author’s mistake was obviously “inadvertent”, in which case it should be corrected.  To deal with this difficult case, I tossed a coin and it came out –um.

Malacosoma californicum (Lep.: Lasiocampidae)  Jochen Möhr

2022 June 2

2022 June 2

    Bryan Gates sends a photograph of a moth photographed by his son Marty near Comox Lake, May 31.  Thanks to Libby Avis for identifying it for us.


Leptarctia californiae (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Martin Gates

2022 June 1

2022 June 1

    Gordon Hart writes:  Yesterday, Tuesday May 31, was a sunny day so there were lots of invertebrates about.  I saw at least five  Cedar Hairstreaks, a Cabbage White, a fresh Green Comma, and several, at least three, Western Spring Azures. There were many dragonflies flying, and I got one photo of a female darner perched.  Dr Rob Cannings writes that it is a youngish female California Darner Rhionaeschna californica – the most common darner here in spring.

California Darner Rhionaeschna californica (Odo.: Aeshnidae)  Gordon Hart


Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Gordon Hart