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.

2022 October 8

2022 October 8

    This month and last, we have had a good invasion of Sulphur butterflies.  Both species – Orange Sulphur and Clouded Sulphur – have occurred.  While some individuals have been fairly easy to identify, some have not been easy, and we are not certain which of the two species they are.  I (JeremyTatum) and Val George have examined the photographs received by Invert Alert to the best of our abilities, and I have labelled them accordingly. I don’t think either of us would claim to have identified them with 100 percent certainty, and I have labelled some of them either/or. We think that all sulphurs before September 30 have been Orange Sulphurs.  From September onwards, both species have been present.

  Ron Flower photographed two at McIntyre reservoir yesterday.  We believe the first of the photgraphs below is an Orange Sulphur.  We are not certain of Ron’s second photograph.

Female Orange Sulphur Colias eurytheme (Lep.: Pieridae)  Ron Flower


Male sulphur Colias eurytheme/philodice  (Lep.: Pieridae) Ron Flower.

  There are probably Cabbage Whites still around, although none were actually reported yesterday.  However, I did see one in the Martindale Valley today. No other butterflies or other invertebrates have been reported to Invertebrate Alert today.

2022 October 7 evening

2022 October 7 evening

    October 7 – and there are still butterflies around!  Jeff Gaskin reports that the Lorquin’s Admiral first seen on Markham Road near the Layritz Park entrance [see September 22 and October 2 entries] was still there today.  And Ron Flower sends a photograph taken today at McIntyre reservoir of a Grey Hairstreak:

 Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Ron Flower

   There are still sulphurs at McIntyre reservoir – probably of two species.  We’ll delay posting sulphur photographs received today until we are sure of the species.  They’ll probably be posted tomorrow.

   It is probably still worth looking for Painted Lady in the late afternoons near the Jeffery Pine atop Mount Tolmie.  And there must still be Cabbage Whites around.  Wouldn’t it be extraordinary to find six species of butterflies on an October day!


2022 October 7 morning

2022 October 7 morning

Some more nighttime photographs by Ian Cooper from the Galloping Goose trail and Colquitz River Park.  We thank Scott Gilmore and Robb Bennett for help with the identifications of the beetles and spiders respectively.

Tetragnatha (probably versicolor) (Ara.: Tetragnathidae)  Ian Cooper





(probably agrestis) (Ara.: Agelenidae)  Ian Cooper

Rove Beetle (Col.:  Staphylinidae – Staphylininae)  Ian Cooper

Ian notes that the above beetle bears a close resemblance to Philonthus rufulus, which could therefore be considered as a possible identification.

Otiorhynchus singularis (Col.: Curculionidae) Ian Cooper





2022 October 6 evening

2022 October 6 evening

    Talking of October Lorquin’s Admirals,  we hear that Kirsten Mills saw one on Finlayson Street near Cedar Hill Road on October 3rd.

Jeremy Tatum sends a picture of Noctua pronuba from his Saanich apartment today.

Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum


2022 October 6 morning

2022 October 6 morning

    Jeremy Tatum sends a photograph of a snout moth, reared from a caterpillar found on nettle at Swan Lake.  The name “snout moth” has been applied to several unrelated species.  However, it was originally applied to moths of the subfamily Hypeninae, on account of their exceptionally long labial palpi.  The first mention I can find is that of Moses Harris, writing in the eighteenth century (1766) of a moth now classed as a hypenine, The Snout being a “standard name, as given and established by the worthy and ingenious Society of AURELIANS.”   Hypenines were also called snouts in the standard nineteenth century (Kirby) and the twentieth century (South) books.

Hypena californica is quite variable, as can be seen by comparing the moth shown below to another of the same species shown on  October 1.


Hypena californica (Lep.: Erebidae – Hypeninae)  Jeremy Tatum


Val George writes:  A few days ago Jeff Gaskin reported the sighting of a Lorquin’s Admiral and commented that he had never before seen this species in October.  I, too, don’t recall having seen one this late, but yesterday, October 5, this one was in the parking lot at Swan Lake.  [Possibly the same one as the one reported by Robert Fraser on October 2.  – Jeremy Tatum]

Jeremy Tatum writes:  I perused the Butterfly Reports from 2014 to 2021, and I found that the last Lorquin’s Admirals are usually gone by late August.  In that period, five of the eight years had September sightings, the latest being 2014 September 27.  This year, 2022, is the first year since the Butterfly Reports began in 2014 in which the species has been seen in October.

Lorquin’s Admiral Limenitis lorquini (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Val George