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 4

2019 June 4


   Jochen Möhr reports slim pickings from his Metchosin home in the last two days.  Yesterday just an American Lappet Moth Phyllodesma americana (a fine moth anyway!), joined today by a Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata.

  Jeremy Tatum reports the emergence today of an Essex Skipper butterfly, from a caterpillar found at Panama Flats on May 17.

Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Jeremy Tatum


   Jeremy also sends the picture of a moth below, which is H. thestealis. The caterpillar of this one was found in mid-May near Cowichan Station, feeding on Fragaria vesca.


Herpetogramma thestealis (Lep.: Crambidae) Jeremy Tatum


   Aziza Cooper writes:  Today, June 4, I was with the VNHS Tuesday Group birders. We walked along Lochside Trail to Outerbridge Park and back by Blenkinsop Road. I saw:

Western Tiger Swallowtail – 4

Pale Tiger Swallowtail – 1

Mourning Cloak – 1

Cabbage White – 4

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  There were about eight Painted Ladies at the top of Mount Tolmie this evening.



June 3 morning

2019 June 3 morning


    Aziza Cooper writes:

   On June 2, the monthly VNHS Butterfly Walk met as usual at the top of Mount Tolmie. About ten people participated. We had nine species there:


Propertius Duskywing – 1

Western Tiger Swallowtail – 2 

Pale Tiger Swallowtail – 3

Anise Swallowtail – 1

Lorquin’s Admiral – 2

Western Spring Azure – 1

Cedar Hairstreak – 1

Painted Lady – 1

Cabbage White – 3


We then went to Stelly’s Cross Road to see Field Crescents. There we saw:

Field Crescent – 6

Western Tiger Swallowtail – 1

Cabbage White – 1


We went on to Gore Park and saw many dragonflies and a few butterflies:

Lorquin’s Admiral – 1

Pale Tiger Swallowtail – 1

Western Spring Azure – 1

Cabbage White – 1


We saw a total of ten butterfly species for the day.


  The dragonflies at Gore Park were quite spectacular – huge numbers of them in the sky, looking almost like swarms of gnats.  While we don’t know what all of them were, at least two species – Common Whitetail Plathemis lydia and Eight-spotted Skimmer Libellula forensis  –  were identified.


Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Aziza Cooper


Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper

   Jeremy Tatum remarks:  I think most of us were guilty of calling this a Brown Elfin.  The camera cannot lie, however, and it shows that the butterfly was in fact a Cedar Hairstreak.


Field Crescent Phyciodes pratensis (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Aziza Cooper


Field Crescent Phyciodes pratensis (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Aziza Cooper


Eight-spotted Skimmer Libellula forensis (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Aziza Cooper


Eight-spotted Skimmer Libellula forensis (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Aziza Cooper


Common Whitetail Plathemis lydia (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Aziza Cooper


Ladybird Beetle (Col.: Coccinellidae)  Aziza Cooper

(Possibly Harmonia axyridis)



June 2 morning

2019 June 2 morning


   Mistakes.   Jeremy Tatum.  At this time of year, there is a large amount of Invert Alert traffic, and I am bound to make mistakes of one sort or another from time to time.    I would be immensely grateful if viewers who spot any mistakes would let me know as soon as possible.  I’m not thinking of identification mistakes so much (though of course please do let me know if you suspect any), but I occasionally make mistakes in the dates, or spelling mistakes, and so on. Please do let me know about any of these.

 See you all this afternoon for the June Butterfly Walk, Mount Tolmie, 1:00 pm.


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  A caterpillar from Cowichan Station and a moth from Mount Tolmie:

Zotheca tranquilla (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jeremy Tatum


Sicya crocearia (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum


June 1 evening

2019 June 1 evening


    Jeremy Tatum writes:  I visited the railway line north of Cowichan Station today.  Only one Margined White.   I believe the species is double-brooded, and that we are now between the spring and the summer broods.  There will be more later on.  Also seen there:  a Painted Lady,  a Cedar Hairstreak, five Western Tiger Swallowtails, and evidence of recent feeding on Stinging Nettles by caterpillars of the Satyr Comma.  And, very exciting, a bee hawk moth Hemaris thetis nectaring on Dame’s Rocket Hesperis matronalis.  It looked very like a bumblebee indeed.


   At 6:30 this evening at least six Painted Ladies around the Jeffery Pine at the top of Mount Tolmie, and one West Coast Lady basking on the concrete reservoir.


   Jeff Gaskin  writes:  Today, June 1st, I found at least five Field Crescents in their usual spot along Stelly’s Cross Road behind Eddy’s Storage.

June 1 morning

2019 June 1 morning


Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:


Furcula scolopendrina 1

Lophocampa maculata 1

Nadata gibbosa 1

Panthea virginarius 4

Pero behrensaria 1

Pheosia californica1

Trichordestra liquida1

Xanthorhoe defensaria 1


Xanthorhoe defensaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is a Codlin Moth, which emerged yesterday, reared from a caterpillar found in a pear last fall.  A codlin is a variety of cooking apple. The “worm” sometimes found in apples or pears is usually the caterpillar of this moth. “Codling” is a frequent misspelling.  The outermost third of the forewing is a beautiful shining, scintillating bronze colour, but is difficult to photograph because it requires exactly the right sun-moth-camera angle, which I obviously didn’t have here.


Codlin Moth Cydia pomonella (Lep.: Tortricidae)  Jeremy Tatum