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.

March 18

2015 March 18


   Barbara Begg reports a very early Cabbage White from Kersey Road, Central Saanich, February 17.  And a Western Spring Azure (the first we have heard of this year) from Wain Road, Central Saanich, March 14.



  Jeremy Tatum writes:


   I am often given a verbal description of a moth and asked to identify it from the verbal description.  With more than 12,000 moths in North America, this can be quite a challenge.  They are nearly all brown and grey with spots and streaks and blotches.  It helps to know the words to use when giving a description, and how to describe the various markings and where these markings are on the wings.  Thus do you know where to look for a tornal spot, or an antemedial transverse line, or what the costa is, or the claviform stigma?


  I have prepared a three-page tract on how to describe the pattern on a moth’s wings, with diagrams showing where these things are, and the apex and the base, and a very few more, with a few diagrams, and a photo of a local noctuid moth nicely showing the reniform, orbicular and claviform stigmata.


 Unfortunately my computer skills aren’t up to posting it on this web site (I tried!), and I’m not sure how appropriate it would be anyway.  But if any viewer thinks it might be useful or helpful, let me know (jtatum at and I’m pretty sure I can email it to you!