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 24 afternoon

2019 June 24 afternoon


   Kem Luther found an interesting caterpillar alongside the Hillman Trail in Metchosin yesterday:


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  It appears to be constructing its cocoon prior to pupation, and is incorporating fragments of bark into the cocoon.  There are several caterpillars that do this, for example Behrensia, Furcula, Archiearis.  I know it’s neither of the first two, so I was wondering if it might be Archiearis, though the caterpillar looks more like a noctuid.  Does any viewer have any suggestions?

  I visited the nature house at Swan Lake today, and there were several insects around the front entrance:  2 Zotheca tranquilla, 1 Leucoma salicis, a final instar caterpillar of Lophocampa argentata, and the two splendid beasts shown below, kindly photographed by Kalene Lillico.

Yellow Douglas Fir Borer Centrodera spurca (Col.: Cerambycidae)

 Kalene Lillico

Eulithis xylina (Lep.: Geometridae)  Kalene Lillico




June 24 morning

2019 June 24 morning


   We start this morning with two dragonflies – a Common Whitetail from Gorge Park, June 22, and a Western Pondhawk from Beaver Lake, June 23.

Common Whitetail Plathemis lydia (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Annie Pang

Western Pondhawk Erythemis collocata (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Cheryl Hoyle


   Now we go to three moths, from three Families, not Noctuidae or Geometridae!   Nadata gibbosa from Metchosin,  Lophocampa argentata and  Malacosoma californicum from Saanich, all June 23.

Rough Prominent Nadata gibbosa (Lep.: Notodontidae)  Jochen Möhr

Silver-spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa argentata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae) Jeremy Tatum

Male Malacosoma californicum (Lep.: Lasiocampidae)  Jeremy Tatum


   Lastly, a gigantic (three inches) insect found on Mount Cokely by Mike Yip, June 22.   You’d think an insect of this size would be easy to identify, but there are several similar species, and we even had to resort to looking at he details of the wing venation to be sure.  Mike correctly identified it as a species of fishfly¸ and Jeremy Tatum then starting looking into a couple of wrong genera.  We are grateful to Claudia Copley for putting us on to Dysmicohermes disjunctus.



Fishfly Dysmicohermes disjunctus (Meg.: Corydalidae) MikeYip

Fishfly Dysmicohermes disjunctus (Meg.: Corydalidae) MikeYip


Fishfly Dysmicohermes disjunctus (Meg.: Corydalidae) MikeYip




June 23 morning

2019 June 23


   Mike Yip saw 15 species of butterfly on Mount Cokely yesterday, including these two little beauties:


Arctic (also known as Chequered) Skipper Carterocephalus palaemon (Lep.: Hesperiidae)

Mike Yip


Mariposa Copper Lycaena mariposa (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Mike Yip


   Jeremy Tatum reports that he saw the recently deserted nests of about a dozen Painted Lady caterpillars along Millstream Road yesterday.   Single caterpillars of the Painted Lady make an easily-recognizable silk nest soiled with frass on thistles; when they are ready to pupate, they wander off.  That’s what I mean by “recently deserted nests” – the caterpillars were presumably OK and have now pupated somewhere.


   Gordon Hart saw a Grey Hairstreak, missing one tail, in his Highlands garden yesterday,  and one each of Pale Tiger Swallowtail, Lorquin’s Admiral, Western Tiger Swallowtail , and Cabbage White.


Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Gordon Hart


   Val George sends a photo of a Chalk-fronted Corporal  Ladona julia  taken at Durrance Lake yesterday, June 22.


Chalk-fronted Corporal Ladona julia (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Val George


      Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:


Enypia packardata 2
Lacinipolia strigicollis 2
Macaria adonis 1
Nadata gibbosa 1



Lacinipolia strigicollis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr



Macaria adonis (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


June 22 evening

2019 June 22 evening


   Jeff Gaskin writes:  This morning, June 22, I found a very fresh, brand new looking California Tortoiseshell on Summit Hill. It was seen near the Highview Street entrance. Also on Summit Hill this morning were 8 Cabbage Whites, 6 Lorquin’s Admirals, and 1 Western Tiger Swallowtail.


  Jochen Möhr sends photographs of four moths from his Metchosin property, June 22.


Sympistis semicollaris (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


This species was previously called Oncocnemis semicollaris.


Hydriomena californiata/marinata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Enypia packardata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Enypia sp. (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr









June 22 morning

2019 June 22 morning


  West Coast alert.


   Val George writes:   Yesterday morning, June 21, I saw a West Coast Lady on a trail a block from my house in Oak Bay (48.424271/-123.309455).  It settled on the ground a few metres from me;  it looked very fresh.


   Jeremy Tatum suggests:  Time for daily late afternoon visits to Mount Tolmie, Mount Douglas, Christmas Hill, etc.???