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.

2023 August 29 evening

2023 August 29 evening

Cheryl Hoyle sends some photographs from Royal Roads, August 28.  She starts off with some identification challenges.   The first is a cocoon, probably that formed by the caterpillar of an arctiine moth.  Jeremy Tatum makes a wild guess at probably Spilosoma virginica.

   Probably Spilosoma virginica (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Cheryl Hoyle

An even bigger challenge was this dragonfly exuvia.  Jeremy Tatum writes that he didn’t think any sort of identification was possible, other than possibly Family.  No problem, however.  Dr Rob Cannings identified it as Ophiogomphus occidentis:

Ophiogomphus occidentis  (Odo.: Gomphidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

After these difficult challenges, it was a relief to see a relatively easy slug:

Arion rufus (Pul.: Arionidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

2023 August 29 morning

2023 August 29 morning

  Val George writes:  This Choristoneura rosaceana moth was on the wall of my Oak Bay House this morning, August 29.

Choristoneura rosaceana (Lep.: Tortricidae)  Val George

Aziza Cooper writes:  The wasp below was from August 27, at McIntyre Reservoir. The moth was on the Sidney Spit ferry and flew inside the cabin on August 28.

Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Aziza Cooper

Neoalcis californiaria  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Aziza Cooper


2023 August 28

2023 August 28

Butterfly Walks

Details about the CRD Butterfly Walk tomorrow can be found at
Meet at Mill Hill Park, Atkins Road, 10:00 am

Details about the VNHS September Butterfly Walk this coming Sunday will be posted in a few days’ time on this site.


Here are a few more insects photographed by Ian Cooper recently

Dirt-coloured seed bug, just possibly Valtissus sp.
(Hem.: Rhyparochromidae)
Ian Cooper

The unprepossessing English name is a literal translation of the Family name.


Hover Fly Eupeodes volucris (Dip.: Syrphidae) Ian Cooper


Leaf-cutter Bee (Hym.: Megachilidae) Ian Cooper

Agapostemon virescens (Hym.: Halictidae)  Ian Cooper

Following suggestions by Cheryl Hoyle, we believe the insect below is probably the ichneumonid wasp Pimpla sanguinipes

Pimpla (probably sanguinipes) (Hym.: Ichneumonidae)  Ian Cooper


We thank Dr Cara Gibson for identification of the Green Lacewing below.  Cara identified it to species from the dark double-spot on the gena.  In case you don’t know what the gena is (it was a new word for me, Jeremy Tatum) it’s where you see the double-spot.

Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea (Neu.: Chrysopidae)
Ian Cooper

And we thank Claudia Copley for identification of the two wasps below.

Dolichovespula arenaria (Hym.: Vespidae) Ian Cooper

Potter Wasp Ancistrocerus (Hym.: Vespidae – Eumeninae)
Ian Cooper

You can (I hope) see a wonderful video of some of Ian’s recently-photographed insects by looking on Facebook for Random Pollinators – E&N Trail – Aug27 2023


Gordon Hart sends a photograph of a Paddle-tailed Darner from Knockan Hill, August 27.  Thanks to Dr Rob Cannings for confirming the identification.

Paddle-tailed Darner Aeshna palmata (Odo.: Aeshnidae)
Gordon Hart

2023 August 27

2023 August 27

Jeff Gaskin writes:  Today, August 27, a single Mourning Cloak whizzed by me at 4447 Wilkinson Road near the entrance to Quick’s Bottom.  Also, three Ringlets were at Rithet’s Bog this afternoon.

Aziza Cooper and Jeremy Tatum saw a Ringlet at Island View Beach, August 27.

There are still many Woodland Skippers and a few Cabbage Whites around.

Jochen Möhr sends a photograph of Udea profundalis from his home in Metchosin today.

Udea profundalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Jochen Möhr


Aziza Cooper sends three photographs from McIntyre reservoir, August 26, plus a caterpillar photograph from Swan Lake, August 27.   Thanks to Steven Roias for identifying the bumble bee.

Woodland Skippers Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)
Aziza Cooper

Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Aziza Cooper

Bombus vancouverensis  (Hym.: Apidae) Aziza Cooper

Yellow Woolly Bear Spilosoma virginica (Lep.: Erebidae- Arctiinae) Aziza Cooper


Jeremy Tatum sends a picture of Tolype distincta from his Saanich apartment today, and photographs of two Heliothis phloxiphaga caterpillars from Island View Beach.

Tolype distincta (Lep.: Lasiocampidae)  Jeremy Tatum


Heliothis phloxiphaga (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jeremy Tatum


Heliothis phloxiphaga (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jeremy Tatum

2023 August 26

2023 August 26

   Here’s a selection of bees, wasps and a skipper photographed in recent weeks by Ian Cooper along the *Galloping Goose Trail in Saanich near Harriet Road and the #E&N Trail in View Royal.

*Leafcutter bee  Megachile sp. (Hym.: Megachilidae) Ian Cooper

#European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)
Ian Cooper

#Bald-faced Hornet Dolichovespula maculata (Hym.: Vespidae)
Ian Cooper

*Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)
Ian Cooper

More to come, pending identifications.


Cheryl Hoyle sends photographs of a female and of a pair of crab spiders Misumena vatia, View Royal, August 26.


Female Misumena vatia  (Ara.: Thomisidae)  Cheryl Hoyle

Female (L) and male (R) Misumena vatia  (Ara.: Thomisidae)  Cheryl Hoyle


Aziza Cooper sends photographs, from Island View Beach today, August 26) of a Grey Hairstreak ovipositing on Beach Knotweed Polygonum paronychia.

Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper

Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper