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.

2021 July 21 evening

2021 July 29 evening

    Yesterday, Grace Morris photographed this bug in Duncan:


Banasa Bug Banasa dimiata (Hem.: Pentatomidae)  Grace Morris

   Aziza Cooper photographed two bees and a spider in a friend’s garden near Cook and Hillside, Victoria.


Bombus vosnesenskii (Hym.: Apidae)  Aziza Cooper



 Bombus vosnesenskii (Hym.: Apidae)  Aziza Cooper



Araneus diadematus (Ara.: Araneidae)   Aziza Cooper

   Jeremy Tatum shows a caterpillar found at Royal Roads University today:

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

2021 July 29 morning

2021 July 29 morning

Ron Flower sends photographs of an Anise Swallowtail and a Black Saddlebags from McIntyre Reservoir, Central Saanich, July 26.


Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Ron Flower

Black Saddlebags Tramea lacerata (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Ron Flower


Grace Morris sends a photograph of a caterpillar of a Ceanothus Silk Moth from a pine tree in her garden in Duncan.


Ceanothus Silk Moth Hyalophora euryalus (Lep.: Saturniidae)   Grace Morris

Jeremy Tatum writes:   I mentioned on July 18 that I had learned from the Sussex, England, butterfly site that there is a difference in the shapes of the antennae of the Woodland and Essex Skippers.  This can be seen in photographs on this site for July 28 (Woodland) and July 11 (Essex).  The tip of the antenna of the Woodland Skipper is hooked at the end.  That of the Essex Skipper is blunt.

2021 July 28

2021 July 28


   Rosemary Jorna sends photographs of a wasp and a skipper from her deck in the Kemp Lake area, July 26-27.


European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Rosemary Jorna



Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Rosemary Jorna

2021 July 27

2021 July 27

    It is nice to see that our local newspapers are taking an interest in butterflies.  For the third time in a few days a newspaper  –  this time the Saanich News –  has published a photograph of a butterfly.  The caption described it as a “moth”.  It is in fact a Cabbage White butterfly.

   This brings up the question of just what is the difference between a butterfly and a moth.  The answer is – in biological terms not very much.  In the English language, we happen to call two groups of Families within the Order Lepidoptera “butterflies”.  This distinction is not recognized in many other languages – papillon, mariposa, farfalla, Schmetterling all refer to either butterflies or moths.  Nevertheless, anyone with even a small interest in natural history can usually instantly recognize a butterfly as a butterfly.

   The animals below are both moths!   The first is known either as a Vapourer Moth or a Rusty Tussock Moth. This one was reared on willow from a caterpillar found at Rithet’s Bog.   It is a male – the female has no functional wings and does not fly.

Vapourer, or Rusty Tussock Orgyia antiqua (Lep.: Erebidae – Lymantriinae)  Jeremy Tatum

     Val George writes:   This Sabulodes edwardsata moth was on the wall of my house in Oak Bay yesterday , July 26.

Sabulodes edwardsata (Lep.: Geometridae)   Val George

2021 July 26

2021 July 26

    Jochen Möhr sends a photograph of a Silver-spotted Tiger Moth from Metchosin this morning.


Silver-spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa argentata (Lep.: Erebidae –Arctiinae)  Jochen Möhr


      Kirsten Mills writes:  Jeff Gaskin and I went to Mount Washington today, July 26th, and we saw what we think is an Arctic Blue.   Yes, indeed, responds Jeremy Tatum – a male Arctic Blue.   And a very nice upperside and underside to make identification so much easier.  I do like your new camera.  Well done!

Male Arctic Blue Agriades glandon (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Kirsten Mills

Male Arctic Blue Agriades glandon (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Kirsten Mills

   Jeremy  Tatum writes:  It is easy to record the first occurrence in the year of a particular butterfly species – but it is not so easy to record the last.   There are still Tiger Swallowtails and Lorquin’s Admirals to be seen – I saw a Western Tiger Swallowtail and a Lorquin’s Admiral at Swan Lake today, and another Lorquin’s Admiral at UVic – but their numbers are beginning to dwindle, so we encourage observers to continue to record them, especially into August.