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 4

2021 July 4

    Jeremy Tatum writes:  I have been trying for ages to photograph a male Malacosoma disstria –  but so far they have all been females! –

Female Malacosoma disstria (Lep.: Lasiocampidae)  Jeremy Tatum

   This Red Admiral is from a caterpillar found near Blenkinsop Lake.  I released it on Mount Tolmie in the hope that we might see it during this afternoon’s Butterfly Walk!

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Jeremy Tatum


This caterpillar was found in Layritz Park during the VNHS July Butterfly Walk today.  It is Nycteola frigidana or N. cinereana.  The former is supposed to feed on Salix;  the latter on Populus.  The ones on June 25 were on Salix, so I labelled them probably  frigidana.  This one was on Populus, so I’ll label it probably cinereana.  We’ll see if this is correct when the adult moths emerge.  Note the very fine hairs on the caterpillar.

Nycteola probably cinereana (Lep.: Nolidae)  Jeremy Tatum


Gordon Hart sends a photograph of a tiger swallowtail .  The crescent at the base of the “tail” is a mixture of yellow and orange, which illustrates nicely why sometimes these tiger swallowtails can be difficult to separate.  Nevertheless I think we can confidently say that this one is a Western Tiger Swallowtail.



Western Tiger Swallowtail  Papilio rutulus (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Gordon Hart


Jeff Gaskin writes:  There was a brand new California Tortoiseshell at UVic this afternoon, July 4.  It was seen along the trail on the east side of the campus. The trail cuts across University Drive and is directly across from Finnerty Gardens.  A lot of Lorquin’s Admirals –  25 or more I’m guessing, as well as several Western Tiger Swallowtails were also seen.

Jeremy Tatum saw a Mourning Cloak at UVic this afternoon, July 4.