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.

May 2 morning

2019 May 2 morning


   Val George writes:  Yesterday, May 1, two of these small moths, Pyrausta californicalis, were checking out the mint plants in my Oak Bay garden.


Pyrausta californicalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Val George


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Yesterday, May 1, this caterpillar, Hedya nubiferana, was checking out the Cotoneaster plants in my Saanich garden.

Hedya nubiferana (Lep.: Tortricdae)  Jeremy Tatum


   And lots of moths have been visiting Jochen Möhr in Metchosin:

                 May 1                                                  May 2

12 Hydriomena manzanita                          1 Eupithecia

7 Melanolophia imitata                               1 Egira crucialis

3 Eupithecias                                                  1 Egira rubrica

3 Feralia comstocki                                       1 Feralia comostocki

2 Orthosia transparens                                1 Hydriomena manzanita

1 each of                                                         1 Perizoma curvilinea

Lobophora nivigerata                                  1 Phyllodesma americana

Perizoma curvilinea                                     1 Anticlea vasiliata

Phylodesma Americana

Venusia obsoleta

Anticlea vasiliata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


May 1 evening

2019  May 1 evening


   It seems that most invertebrates took time off this afternoon, the only report being a California Tortoiseshell on the Mount Tolmie reservoir at 5:00 pm today.


May 1 morning

2019 May 1 morning


   Jochen Möhr’s April 31 haul, Metchosin:

15 Eupithecia spp.

9 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli

9 Melanolophia imitata

8 Hydriomena manzanita

2 Cladara limitaria

2 Feralia comstocki

2 Xanthorhoe defensaria

1 Behrensia conchiformis

1 Egira crucialis

1 Egira curialis

1 Egira rubrica

1 Perizoma curvilinea

1 Lobophora nivigerata

1 Triphosa haesitata

   Some photographs.  Thanks to Libby Avis for help with the identifications.

Xanthorhoe defensaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Cladara limitaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Melanolophia imitata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Feralia comstocki (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Lobophora nivigerata (Lep.: Geomtridae)  Jochen Möhr

Perizoma curvilinea (Lep.: Geometridae)

   Jeremy Tatum shows a small moth from Mount Tolmie, May 1:

Euceratia castella (Lep.: Plutellidae)  Jeremy Tatum


   Annie Pang sends photographs of a Blue Orchard Bee (Mason Bee) from Gorge Park, April 28.

Osmia lignaria (Hym.:  Megachilidae)  Annie Pang

Osmia lignaria (Hym.:  Megachilidae)  Annie Pang


   Rosemary Jorna sends photographs of butterflies on April 30.  A comma from Charter’s Creek, a Western Brown Elfin from Todd Creek trestle, and a Cabbage White from Whiffen.  Would anyone out there dare to identify the comma?

Comma Polygonia sp. (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Rosemary Jorna

Western Brown Elfin  Incisalia iroides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Rosemary Jorna

Cabbage White Pieris rapae (Lep.: Pieridae) Rosemary Jorna


April 30

2019 April 30


    Jeremy Tatum found this beetle at the waterfront along Beach Drive on April 29.   Thanks to Charlene Wood for the identification.


Eleodes (Blapylis)sp. (Col.: Tenebrionidae)  Jeremy Tatum


Eleodes (Blapylis)sp. (Col.: Tenebrionidae)  Jeremy Tatum


   Val George writes: This morning, April 30, the Tuesday birding group saw an Anise Swallowtail at Cattle Point and a Propertius Duskywing  on Mount Tolmie.

Coordinates:  Anise Swallowtail:  48.438516/-123.292919

                         Propertius Duskywing:  48.458075/-123.325452



Propertius Duskywing Erynnis propertius (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Val George


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  There were two California Tortoiseshells on the Mount Tolmie reservoir at 4:30 this afternoon.  I also got a brief glimpse of what I thought was a Western Tiger Swallowtail, but I’m not sure.


   Charlene Wood sends a picture of a small bee, which Annie Pang and Linc Best agree with Charlene is a female Adrena sp.


Mining bee Adrena sp. (Hym.: Adrenidae)  Charlene Wood



  Annie Pang photographed a female California Darner at Gorge Community Park on April 28.  Thanks to Rob Cannings for the identification.


California Darner Rhionaeschna californica (Odo.: Aeshnidae)  Annie Pang


California Darner Rhionaeschna californica (Odo.: Aeshnidae)  Annie Pang



      There’s a long line of moths waiting for tomorrow morning’s posting!

April 29 afternoon

2019 April 29 afternoon


     Mike Yip writes from Nanoose:  Great day for golf at Fairwinds (April 25), and it was even more enjoyable to find a Western Pine Elfin basking on the 3rd green and a Grey Hairstreak on the 18th green. After golf I checked Cross Road and found an obliging Western Spring Azure.


Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)   Mike Yip


   And here’s an upperside (from the broad grey outer margin, a female) from Ken Vaughan:


Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)   Ken Vaughan



   Jeremy Tatum writes that there was a California Tortoiseshell on the Mount Tolmie reservoir at 3:45 on the afternoon of April 25.


   Jochen Möhr’s moth counts in Metchosin on the mornings of April 25, 26 and 27 were

                     25                                                 26                                                    27

6 Hydriomena manzanita       4 Melanolophia imitata            2 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli

5 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli  4 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli  and one each of:

2 Behrensia conchiformis         and one each of:                        Behrensia conchiformis

and one each of:                        Anticlea vasiliata                       Cladara limitaria

Cladara limitaria                       Behrensia conchiformis            Drepanuilatrix monicaria

Melanolophia imitata              Cladara limitaria                       Egira crucialis

Egira simplex/crucialis             Eupithecia ravocostaliata/nevadata

Feralia comstocki/deceptiva   Eupithecia sp.                           Feralia comstocki.deceptiva

Phyllodesma americana                                                               Perizoma curvilinea

                                                                                                           Anticlea vasiliata


   Photographs of a few of them:


Behrensia conchiformis (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr


Feralia (probably comstocki) (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr


Cladara limitaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Phyllodesma americana (Lep.: Lasiocampidae)  Jochen Möhr


Perizoma curvilinea (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Egira crucialis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr



   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I photographed a weevil, on Rumex crispus at Rithet’s Bog on April 24.  Identification proved a bit of a problem and it needed a combined effort from three beetle enthusiasts.  Charlene Woods identified it as a species of Lixus, but she pointed out that there were only two species of Lixus on the British Columbia list, and Scott Gilmore didn’t think it was either of these.  Finally Bob Anderson identified it as Lixus concavus – a widespread species in North America, but which somehow had managed to avoid being on the British Columbia list.  An exciting experience, and thanks to the three people who went to a lot of trouble to identify it.

Lixus concavus  (Col.: Curculionidae)   Jeremy Tatum



   Here’s a photograph of a bee fly Bombyliu major from Ken Vaughan in the Highlands:


Bee fly Bombylius major (Dip.: Bombyliidae)  Ken Vaughan


   Syrphine flies and chrysomelid beetles are notoriously difficult to identify from photographs, and Ken has a photograph of one of each from the Highlands.  We are very grateful to Jeff Skevington (flies) and Scott Gilmore (beetles) for giving it their best shot.


    First, the fly.  Dr Skevington writes:   It looks like Eupeodes but I hesitate to put even generic identifications on syrphines with only one view.


Possibly Eupeodes  (Dip.: Syrphidae – Syrphinae)  Ken Vaughan


   Now the beetle.  Scott Gilmore writes:  Leaf beetles are hard even with a specimen in hand. This appears to be from the tribe Alticini and I think (guess?) genus Altica.


Possibly Altica (Col.: Chrysomelidae – Alticini)  Ken Vaughan


Jochen Möhr’s line-up in Metchosin for the morning of April 30:


This morning’s lineup:


5 Eupitheciae

4 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli

1 Coryphista meadii

1 Cladara limitaria

1 Drepanulatrix monicaria

1 Egira crucialis

1 Egira curialis

1 Egira simplex

1 Egira rubrica

1 Perizoma curvilinea

1 Orthosia transparens

1 Xanthorhoe defensaria


Photographs of a few of them:


Egira curialis (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr



Egira crucialis/simplex (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Egira crucialis/simplex (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Perizoma curvilinea (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Triphosa haesitata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr