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 21

2019 June 21


   Jeremy Tatum reports that, at 6:30 pm yesterday evening, he saw an Anise Swallowtail at the entrance to the reservoir on Mount Tolmie.  This evening, June 21, there were about six Painted Ladies and a Lorquin’s Admiral on the top of Mount Tolmie, but I didn’t see the Anise Swallowtail.


      Marie Shaughnessy writes that she saw and photographed a Common Emerald Moth (a European invader!) on the grass on Linden Street on June 18.  She writes that she hasn’t seen a green moth before.


Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy


   Butterflies, moths and dragonflies have been well-represented recently, so I hinted (writes Jeremy Tatum) to Scott Gilmore that we would welcome some beetles, and Scott promptly obliged!  Scott writes:  Here are a couple of beetles from Lantzville to fill the void. This first is Uloma longula from the family Tenebrionidae. It occasionally turns up at lights and I found this one on the night of June 12 at my house.  The second one is from the genus Heteroceris (family Heteroceridae, the Varigated Mud-loving Beetles) which I found on the edge of a local pond on June 16.


Uloma longula (Col.: Tenebrionidae)  Scott Gilmore


Heterocerus sp. (Col.: Heteroceridae)

Scott Gilmore


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Today, June 21, at Royal Roads University, I saw about half-a-dozen each of caterpillars of Satyr Comma and Painted Lady.  The Painted Lady caterpillars were on Onopordum, that gigantic “Cotton Thistle”.  The commas were, as usual, on Stinging Nettle.


Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Jeremy Tatum


Here is a caterpillar of Egira crucialis, a noctuid woodling moth whose adult is seen in early spring.  I have found this caterpillar on several plants, e.g. Salmonberry, Salal, Hardhack, Alder, but there is no doubt what it really likes to eat – the flowers of Ocean Spray.  This one is eating some with a fervour that is a joy to watch.


Egira crucialis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum




June 20 afternoon

2019 June 20 afternoon


   Jochen Möhr sends pictures einer Heuhüpfer from Metchosin.

Melanoplus sp.  (Orth.: Acrididae)  Jochen Möhr

Melanoplus sp.  (Orth.: Acrididae)  Jochen Möhr


   Jeff Gaskin writes:  This morning, June 20, I found a fresh Satyr Comma at the University of Victoria just outside Finnerty Gardens near Cedar Hill Cross Road.  Also, at the university were the following  :   16 Lorquin’s Admirals, 1 Painted Lady, 4 Western Tiger Swallowtails, 13 Cabbage Whites, and 1 Essex Skipper.





June 20 morning

2019 June 20 morning


   In case you are wondering – there was no June 19 posting.  The invertebrates have been working hard for us, so they took a day off.

   Gordon Hart writes from his Highlands home:  Several of the usual butterflies here, and I saw two Green Commas on Monday. They were quite faded.  I am starting to see Meadowhawks now, and I have attached a photo, I think it is a Red-veined Meadowhawk Sympetrum madidum.


   Bingo! – Rob Cannings writes:  It is S. madidum – a yellow female. You can see the two lateral thoracic stripes. The pattern on the side of the abdomen is also a useful character. In the radial planate area (see wing with clear green behind – find the spindle-shaped field of cells) two of the cells in the middle are doubled – this is a good character, too.

Female Red-veined Meadowhawk Sympetrum madidum (Odo.: Libellulidae) Gordon Hart


   I think this is the spindle-shaped group with the two doubled cells referred to by Dr Cannings:


Sympetrum madidum

  But – a word of caution!  Dr Cannings adds a little later:  I should have said that the doubled radial subplanate cells occur also in S. illotum (sometimes) and S. corruptum, so they are not foolproof. However, their presence in all four wings in Leucorrhinia glacialis is one of the best ways to separate this species from L. proxima.

So now you know!


June 18 afternoon

2019 June 18 afternoon


   Jeff Gaskin writes:  I’ve been doing a few butterfly counts and I just thought I’d pass on to you a few results:

 Today, June 18 in Layritz Park I saw  26 Essex  Skippers, 24 Ringlets, and 2 Lorquin’s Admirals. Along Markham Road and at Quick’s Bottom I saw another Ringlet plus 7 Lorquin’s Admirals, and 2 Western Tiger Swallowtails.

On June 17, at Panama Flats I counted 125 Cabbage Whites, 94 European Skippers, 14 Lorquin’s Admirals, 1 Painted Lady, and 10 Western Tiger Swallowtails.

On June 16, at Swan Lake I saw 27 Lorquin’s Admirals, 4 Cabbage Whites, and 12 Western Tiger Swallowtails.

And finally on June 15 in Cuthbert Holmes Park I saw 3 Cabbage Whites, 5 Essex Skippers, 14 Lorquin’s Admirals, and 2 Western Tiger Swallowtails.


   Val George writes:  This afternoon, June 17, there were 3 Purplish Coppers at Island View Beach (48.582714/-123.372904) (photo of one).  Also there were:  about 10 Lorquin’s Admirals; one Painted Lady; about a dozen Cabbage Whites; 2 Essex Skippers.  Also saw and photographed these two dragonflies:  Western Pondhawk, Erythemis collocata; Cardinal Meadowhawk, Sympetrum illotum.


Male Purplish Copper Lycaena helloides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Val George

Western Pondhawk Erythemis collocata (Odo.: Libellulidae) Val George


   Jeremy Tatum notes:  According to Rob Cannings’ book Introducing the Dragonflies of British Columbia and the Yukon, this species “usually perches flat on the ground”.  This individual has evidently read the book.


Cardinal Meadowhawk Sympetrum illotum (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Val George

  …and this one, according to the same book, perches “with wings cocked downward”.  Two well-read dragonflies.


June 18 morning

2019 June 18 morning


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I walked a little way along the railway north of Cowichan Station yesterday.  Both sides of the railway have been sprayed with herbicide, doing a very good job of destroying the vegetation there.  In spite of that, I saw a Clodius Parnassian and about 10 Margined Whites.  These were second generation, in which at least the males are absolutely pure immaculate white on both wings, above and below, unlike the early spring generation in which there is some maculation above, and the veins on the underside of the hindwings are heavily emphasized,  Also seen were about half-a-dozen each of Lorquin’s Admiral and Western Tiger Swallowtail, and it seemed every few yards a Common Whitetail dragonfly.

   Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:  After five days of NOTHING, which may be even more noteworthy than the two individuals, who kindly volunteered to appear on my wall finally, I got these two, tentatively identified as L. cuneata and Hydriomena sp Libby Avis writes:  Hydriomena speciosata, plus agree on Lacinipolia – possibly cuneata again but looks a bit faded, so hard to be certain.

Hydriomena speciosata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr




Lacinipolia (possibly cuneata) (Lep.:  Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr