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 31 afternoon

2019 July 31 afternoon


   Scott Gilmore sends photographs of a caterpillar of Hesperumia latipennis from Bluffs Park, Galiano Island, May 3rd 2019.

Hesperumia latipennis (Lep.: Geometridae)  Scott Gilmore

Hesperumia latipennis (Lep.: Geometridae)  Scott Gilmore

   Here is a photograph of a Western Bumblebee by Laura Matthias on Mount Tuam:



Western Bumblebee Bombus occidentalis (Hym.: Apidae) Laura Matthias


And two by Ren Ferguson at Blackburn Nature reserve on Salt Spring Island:

Western Bumblebee Bombus occidentalis (Hym.: Apidae) Ren Ferguson


Western Bumblebee Bombus occidentalis (Hym.: Apidae) Ren Ferguson


And one from Rosemary Jorna in the Kemp Lake area:

Bombus flavifrons (Hym.: Apidae) Ren Ferguson


   Thanks to Annie Pang and Lincoln Best for the bee identifications.


Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:

1 Biston betularia

2 Campaea perlata

2 Clemensia umbrata

1 Coryphista meadii

2 Dichagyris variabilis

1 Drepanulatrix sp. 

2 Eulithis xylina

2 Hesperumia sulphuraria

2 Homorthodes hanhami

6 Lophocampa argentata

1 Nadata gibbosa

1 Nemoria darwiniata

4 Neoalcis californiaria

1 Pero mizon

1 Sicya macularia 


Jochen writes:  This brings the total tally for July here to 585 individuals recorded from 111 species.

Pictures of some of them tomorrow…


July 31 morning

2019 July 31 morning


   Kirsten Mills writes:  Jeff Gaskin and I went to Mount Washington on July 29th, where we saw several butterflies. Here is the list: Cabbage White, Purplish Copper, Anna’s Blue, Boisduval’s Blue, Milbert’s Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, Hydaspe Fritillary, 8 Great Arctic, and 2 Common Branded Skippers. Here are several photos.


Boisduval’s Blue Icaricia icarioides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Kirsten Mills


Great Arctic Oeneis nevada (Lep.: Nymphalidae – Satyrinae)  Kirsten Mills


Anna’s Blue Lycaeides anna (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Kirsten MIlls

Anna’s Blue Lycaeides anna (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Kirsten Mills


   Here’s another hymenopteran that we can’t identify.   If anyone can help, even to Family, please let us know.  Photographed by Cheryl Hoyle at Ida Anne Lake.


Unknown hymenopteran   Cheryl Hoyle



   Here are five damsel/dragonflies photographed by Cheryl Hoyle at Ida Anne Lake, July 29, and kindly identified by Dr Rob Cannings.


Young male Northern or Boreal Bluet Enallagma annexum or boreale (Odo.: Coenagrionidae)

 Cheryl Hoyle


Pacific Forktail  Ischnura cervula (Odo.: Coenagrionidae) Cheryl Hoyle



Mature female Western Forktail Ischnura perparva (Odo.: Coenagrionidae)  Cheryl Hoyle



Female Tule Bluet Enallagma carunculatum (Odo.: Coenagrionidae)  Cheryl Hoyle



Blue Dasher Pachydiplax longipennis (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Cheryl Hoyle


More to come as we identify them (if we can!)…



July 30

2019 Jul 30


Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:


1 Biston betularia

1 Diachyris variabilis

1 Hesperumia sulphuraria

2 Homorthodes hanhami

1 Lacinipolia strigicollis

8 Lophocampa argentata

3 Panthea virginarius

1 Schizura ipomoeae


No pictures taken.


   Dave Holden reports a Sheep Moth Hemileuca eglanterina on Mount Tolmie yesterday.


  Jeremy Tatum photographed a spider outside his Saanich apartment:


Scotophaeus blackwalli (Ara.: Gnaphosidae)   Jeremy Tatum


   A miscellany of creatures from Cheryl Hoyle, which we shall post gradually as we either identify them or give up!


Unknown hymenopteran    Cheryl Hoyle



Xestoleptura crassipes (Col.: Cerambycidae)  Cheryl Hoyle


Dolichovespula maculata (Hym.: Vespidae)  Cheryl Hoyle


Dolichovespula maculata (Hym.: Vespidae)  Cheryl Hoyle



July 29 afternoon

2019 July 29 afternoon


   We start this posting with two difficult ones.  First, a rather plain brown butterfly somewhat past its Best Before date, photographed by Gordon Hart in his Highlands garden.  We believe it is is a very late Western Brown Elfin  Incisalia (or Callophrys if we want this year’s label!) iroides.


Western Brown Elfin Incisalia iroides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Gordon Hart


   Next, a beetle on the outside of a window of a double-decker bus, photographed from the inside by Samantha Hatfield. I didn’t think we’d be able to identify it, but thanks to Dave Holden who spotted it a a Banded Alder Borer.

Banded Alder Borer Rosario funebris (Col.: Cerambycidae)  Samantha Hatfield



   I’d like to say: Now for some easier ones – but I don’t know what we’d do without the invaluable help of Libby Avis to identify many of the moths appearing on this site.  Here is Jochen Möhr’s list for this morning, followed by a couple of photographs:

1 Amorbia cuneanum

1 Biston betularia

1 Callizzia amorata

1 Dichagyris variabilis

1 Drepanulatrix sp.

1 Eulithis xylina

2 Hesperumia latipennis

2 Hesperumia sulphuraria

1 Iridopsis emasculatum

1 Lacinipolia strigicollis

11 Lophocampa argentata

3 Nemoria darwiniata

3 Panthea virginarius

8 Perizoma curvilinea

1 Pero mizon

1 Pyrausta perrubralis

1 Schizura ipomoeae

1 Sicya crocearia

1 Ypsolopha canariella

Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Dichagyris variabilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


   Here’s another moth photographed recently by Jochen in Metchosin.  It is a beautiful moth, with text-book illustration of what are meant by the reniform, orbicular and claviform stigmata! In spite of that, it has not proved easy to identify!   We are grateful to Dr Lars Crabro for these comments:  It’s a slightly odd one. I suspect that it’s Euxoa rockburnei with reduced black scaling in the cell. Compare:


Euxoa (maybe rockburnei) (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr



July 29 morning

2019 July 29 morning


  Here’s a recent photograph from Jochen Möhr in Metchosin.  It is Iridopsis, of which there are two similar species, I. larvaria and I. emasculatum.  I think it depends a bit on how “wiggly” the cross lines are. On the whole I believe Jochen’s is more likely Iridopsis emasculatum.


Iridopsis (probably emasculatum) (Lep,: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


   Two soldier beetles photographed by Cheryl Hoyle, July 27th on Colquitz River Trail:


Rhagonycha fulva (Col.: Cantharidae)  Cheryl Hoyle



   Samantha Hatfield sends a nice miscellany from her mint garden.  When she mentioned her “mint” garden I correctly guessed, before looking at the photograph, that one of them would be the colourful little moth Pyrausta californicalis, whose caterpillar feeds on mint.



Pyrausta californicalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Samantha Hatfield


  I believe the eggs shown below are those of a pentatomid bug.

Bug eggs (Hem.:  Pentatomidae)  Samantha Hatfield


European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Samantha Hatfield





Jochen Möhr has been seeing a lot of Silver-spotted Tiger Moths Lophocampa argentata in Metchosin recently.  He obtained a series of interesting photographs illustrating the range of variation.

Lophocampa argentata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Jochen Möhr