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.

2020 June 5 afternoon

2020 June 5 afternoon


   No more photos at press time, but, writes Jeremy Tatum, I have to report that this afternoon I closely watched an adult White-lined Hawk Moth  Hyles lineata flying to and fro for about a couple of minutes at Panama Flats.  All butterflies and moths are exciting, but hawk moths have a special magic about them – they are very exciting!


   This moth is sometimes called the “White-lined Sphinx”.  It is a member of the Family Sphingidae, so I suppose it could be called the “White-lined Sphingid”.  But it is not in the genus Sphinx, so that to call it a “Sphinx” is not just misleading – it is plain wrong.  Best not to try and mix English and scientific names, but to call it either by the totally English name “White-lined Hawk Moth”, or else the totally scientific name Hyles lineata.


  I still haven’t seen any swallowtail butterfly.

June 5 morning

2020 June 3 morning


   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:


1 Drepanulatrix secundaria

2 Euceratia castella

1 Nadata gibbosa (the same one still)

1 Tyria jacobaeae


Euceratia castella (Lep.: Plutellidae)  Jochen Möhr

Drepanulatrix (probably secundaria) (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


June 4 afternoon

2020 June 4 afternoon


   Rosemary Jorna writes:  These are the spiders and bees that I was able to photograph on the Galloping Goose yesterday afternoon (between Charters & Todd Creek Trestles).  Several of the moths were sharing the Yarrow with the dining crab spider, and one  seemed unconcerned when the spider finished the meal dumping the moth over the side and turning for more of the same.  I blew on the moth and it flew. The black dust around the spider (second photograph near bottom right) is the moth scales.


Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisidae) eyeing

 Adela septentrionella (Lep.: Adelidae)

Rosemary Jorna

Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisidae) eating

 Adela septentrionella (Lep.: Adelidae)

Rosemary Jorna

Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisidae) eating

 Bombus sp. (Hym.: Apidae)

Rosemary Jorna

The next bee (identified by Annie Pang and Lincoln Best) looks safe – for the moment:



Bombus melanopygus (Hym.: Apidae)  Rosemary Jorna




Jeremy Tatum writes:  Below is a male Satyr Comma, underside.  The undersides of the sexes of the commas are different, although much more so in satyrus than in the other commas.  I reared two of them from caterpillar, hoping to show the undersides of the two sexes side by side – but inevitably the two turned out to be the same sex.   When I showed a caterpillar from Lochside Drive on May 22, I wrote:  “One just hopes that Saanich will not cut or spray the verges.”   When I went to Lochside Drive to release the adult butterfly, Saanich were right there, cutting the edges, with a big machine.  I spoke to the lady who was doing it, and I asked if she would spare the nettles, and I showed her the butterfly.  She was quite impressed, and she agreed to cut the vegetation on the verges only where it was seriously encroaching on the trail and impeding cyclists and pedestrians, and she did indeed keep her word.  There is hope!  The biggest danger to the nettles and caterpillars now is the large number of racing cyclists (known in the UK as Lycra Louts) who throw up large clouds of dust which covers the nettles and other vegetation.  The ordinary cyclist out for a ride is not a problem.  It’s the ones who use the trail as a racing track.


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


June 4 morning

2020 June 4 morning


   Two pictures from Jochen Möhr in Metchosin.  The first one rated PG.  We are greatly indebted to Dr Rob Cannings who identified the predator, and to Scott Gilmore who identified the prey!   That photograph is followed by a rather gentler one.


Male robber fly Laphria fernaldi (Dip.: Asilidae) and click beetle Hadromorphus sp. (Col.: Elateridae)  Jochen Möhr


Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo  (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Jochen Möhr


Jochen’s moths from Metchosin this morning.  (No pics.)


1 Nadata gibbosa – the permanent resident

4 Tyria jacobaeae

1 Udea profundalis


   Rosemary Jorna writes from Kemp Lake:  I walked the Galloping Goose between the Charters and Todd Creek Trestles yesterday afternoon and in that stretch I saw 2 blues ,  1 Pale Tiger Swallowtail and 3 Western Tiger Swallowtails.   Around kilometre 46 this Western Pine Elfin was so engaged with the flowers that I was able to get some good photos.  There was a 30 metre stretch of Yarrow that had 25+ fairy moths Adela septentrionella nectaring.  They let me take some interesting shots


Western Pine Elfin Incisalia eryphon (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Rosemary Jorna


Adela septentrionella (Lep.: Adelidae)  Rosemary Jorna

June 3 afternoon

2020 June 3 afternoon


   More small insects from Mr E, mostly as yet unidentified, tentatively labelled at Order level.


Diptera    Mr E


Diptera      Mr E

European Earwig Forficula auricularia (Derm.:  Forficulidae)  Mr E


European Earwig Forficula auricularia (Derm.:  Forficulidae)  Mr E


Ladybird beetle larva    (Col.:  Coccinellidae)      Mr E


Willow gall caused by sawfly Pontania sp. (Hym.: Tenthredinidae)  Mr E



   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin  this morning:


1 Adela septentrionella (there are scores of them around!)

1 Lacinipolia sp.  

1 Nadata gibbosa (the permanent resident)

1 Scopula quinquelinearia

1 Tyria jacobaeae


Scopula quinquelinearia (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


   Libby Avis writes from Port Alberni:  We’re seeing lots of Adelas too. Also three Polyphemus Moths in the last week, but very little else.