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.

2023 May 28

2023 May 28

    Jeff Gaskin writes: A great day for Lorquin’s Admirals.  I saw a total of four today in the Colquitz River/Swan Creek/Hyacinth Park areas.  Plus,  I got an email from Dorothy Chambers saying  that she saw her first Lorquin’s Admirals in Cuthbert Holmes Park today.  I also saw three Mourning Cloaks in different places at Panama Flats this morning.  All sightings were today, May 28.

Jeremy Tatum writes that he had a Mourning Cloak settle on his sleeve for several seconds, and, very briefly, on his head, at Rithet’s Bog today.  We have heard of so many instances of Mourning Cloaks alighting on people that I think we can say that it a fairly regular and distinctive habit of the species.  Jeremy also found a hawk moth egg on willow at Rithet’s Bog:


Smerinthus ophthalmica  (Lep.: Sphingidae)   Jeremy Tatum

Jochen Möhr writes today from Metchosin: I think today I spotted more Swallowtails than Cabbage Whites. At one time I saw three almost simultaneously on the property, where we live, but was only able to record one.

Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus  (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Jochen Möhr


Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus  (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Jochen Möhr


2023 May 27

2023 May 27 morning

   Val George tallied Cabbage White 37; Western Tiger Swallowtail 6; Pale Tiger Swallowtail 2; Western Spring Azure 6; Painted Lady 6; Red Admiral 1  on Mount Douglas on May 25.  He photographed a Nadata gibbosa on the wall of his Oak Bay house on May 26.


Nadata gibbosa  (Lep.: Notodontidae)   Val George


Kirsten Mills sends a photograph of a pair of Pacific Forktails from McIntyre Reservoir, May 25, and a Common Green Darner from Blenkinsop Lake, May 27.  She also reports seven Mourning Cloaks from the Blenkinsop Lake area.


Pacific Forktails Ischnura cervula (Odo.: Coenagrionidae)
Kirsten Mills


Common Green Darner Anax junius (Odo.: Aeshnidae)
Kirsten Mills


Jeff Gaskin writes:  On May 27, at Ocean Boulevard and Lagoon Road, there was a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell.  On Heatherbell Road I saw a Mourning Cloak and at my mom’s home on Wascana Street I saw a second Mourning Cloak.  Adam Ross told me at the Colwood Tim Horton’s that he saw a third Mourning Cloak at Witty’s Lagoon as well as 8 or 9 Western Tiger Swallowtails.   Jeremy Tatum adds yet another Mourning Cloak – one at Maber Flats, May 27.









2023 May 26

2023 May 26


   Ian Cooper sends a selection of photographs taken along the Galloping Goose Trail in Saanich near Harriet Road on the afternoon of May 24.

Narcissus Bulb Fly Merodon (probably equestris)  (Dip.: Syrphidae)  Ian Cooper


Bombus vosnesenskii  (Hym.: Apidae)   Ian Cooper


Striped Sweat Bee  Agapostemon  (Hym.: Halictidae)  Ian Cooper


Mining Bee  Andrena (Hym.: Andrenidae)   Ian Cooper


Small Carpener Bee Ceratina  (Hym.: Apidae)  Ian Cooper

Jeff Gaskin writes:   I had a half decent day butterfly walking on May 25.   First of all, I had a total of 14 Ringlets, 1 near Viaduct Flats, and the rest or 13 in Layritz Park.   I also saw my first Lorquin’s Admirals of the year.   Both were on the Colquitz River trail north of Roy Road and south of Lindsay sreet.  One of the Lorquin’s Admirals was attacking a Mourning Cloak too.  I saw only 4 Western Spring Azures.  The rest of my butterflies were:   14 Cabbage Whites, 5 Pale Tiger Swallowtails, and 6 Western Tiger Swallowtails.


Marie O’Shaughnessy photographed two damselflies at McIntyre reservoir yesterday.  She also saw a Cardinal Meadowhawk and seven Cabbage Whites.


Tule Bluets Enallagma carunculata (Odo.: Coenagrionidae)
Marie O’Shaughnessy


Pacific Forktail Ischnura cervula (Odo.: Coenagrionidae)
Marie O’Shaughnessy

On May 24 Marie saw two Western Tiger Swallowtails, one Red Admiral and 11 Cabbage Whites at Government House.  She secured these two photographs:


Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus (Lep.: Papilionidae)
Marie O’Shaughnessy


Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta (Lep.: Nymphalidae)
Marie O’Shaughnessy




2023 May 25

2023 May 25


In case anyone is wondering, we did not issue a May 24 Alert.


    Ron Flower photographed these two Pale Tiger Swallowtails at Goldstream, May 24:

Pale Tiger Swallowtails Papilio eurymedon (Lep.: Papilionidae)
Ron Flower

   He also photographed another Cedar Hairstreak at Goldstream on May 24.   Jeremy Tatum also reports a Cedar Hairstreak from the Panhandle Trail on May 24.


Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri  (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Ron Flower

   Western and Pale Tiger Swallowtails, as well as Western Spring Azures and Cabbage Whites, are now being seen generally. Sightings of Mourning Cloaks continue, Jeff Gaskin reporting one on Christmas Hill, and Jeremy Tatum reporting two from the Panhandle Trail.  Other goodies from the Panhandle trail today include a Propertius Duskywing and three Grey Hairstreaks.


Aziza Cooper reports the following from Sooke Potholes, May 24:

Pale Tiger Swallowtail – 4

Western Tiger Swallowtail – 2

Western Spring Azure – 29

Cedar Hairstreak – 1


Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo  (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper

Pale Tiger Swallowtail  Papilio eurymedon  (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Aziza Cooper



Cedar Hairstreak  Mitoura rosneri  (Lep.: Lycaenidae)    Aziza Cooper

   Ian Cooper sends a photograph of the California Mint Moth Pyrausta californicalis from along the Galloping Goose Trail in Saanich near Harriet Road today:

Mint Moth Pyrausta californicalis (Lep.:  Crambidae)  Ian Cooper

   Jeremy Tatum sends a photograph of Spilosoma virginica reared from a caterpillar found last year.

Spilosoma virginica  (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Jeremy Tatum


2023 May 23

2023 May 23


   Marie O’Shaughnessy sends photographs of a Cabbage White and a Tule Bluet from McIntyre reservoir, and a California Darner from Mount Tolmie.  Thanks to Dr Rob Cannings for identification of the damselfly and dragonfly.   Of the dragonfly, Dr Cannings writes:  It looks like a female with the cerci broken off.





Cabbage White  Pieris rapae (Lep.: Pieridae)   Marie O’Shaughnessy


Tule Bluet Enallagma carunculatum (Odo.: Coenagrionidae)
   Marie O’Shaughnessy


California Darner  Rhionaeschna californica  (Odo.: Aeshnidae)

Marie O’Shaughnessy

   Val George sends a photograph of a moth from the wall of his Oak Bay house this morning, May 23.




Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata  (Lep.: Erebidae –Arctiinae)

Val George

  Jeremy Tatum shows a caterpillar found near Blenkinsop Lake:



Orthosia hibisci  (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jeremy Tatum