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 12

2021 July 12


    A Big Thank You.  Following a recent reorganization of the UVic email system, we have had difficult problems getting the Invertebrate Alert daily postings up for the past couple of weeks or so.  A big thankyou to Adam Taylor (VNHS Webmaster) and staff at the UVic Help Centre (Sage, Zoë, and the rest of the team), who put in a lot of hours and effort into keeping Invert Alert going, and eventually solving the problem.  I think we are now back in business.


Jeremy Tatum writes:  There was a Painted Lady on the very summit of Mount Tolmie yesterday evening, July 11.


Here is another photograph of an adult Malacosoma disstria.   ­ It is no more exciting in appearance than yesterday’s, except that this time we can see the bipectinate antennae showing that it is, at last, a male.  This one was only 13 mm from the head to the forewing apex.

Male Malacosoma disstria (Lep.: Lasiocampidae)  Jeremy Tatum


Jochen Möhr’s batch from Metchosin this morning fortuitously includes a male M. californicum.

His batch also includes a Polyphylla beetle.  Andrew Smith writes:  The hair-like setae on the disc of the pronotum clearly indicate that this is Polyphylla crinita.  Nice pic!



Male Malacosoma californicum (Lep.: Lasiocampidae)  Jochen Möhr

Polyphylla crinita (Col.: Scarabaeidae)   Jochen Möhr

Protitame subalbaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Elder Moth Zotheca tranquilla (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Jeremy Tatum writes.  I visited McIntyre reservoir today (Monday July 12).  The Teasel is at full display now, but, strangely, the only butterflies there were Cabbage Whites (a-plenty).  The Cabbage Whites were more interested in nectaring at Raphanus rather than on the Teasel.  Recall that Ron saw a Red Admiral there yesterday, so butterflies could arrive in force at any time – let us hope before the Teasels are cut down.


There were lots of dragonflies there.  Eight-spotted Skimmers seemed especially numerous, though there were also several Black Saddlebags, which seem to be unusually widespread this year.


Nearby, I found these two caterpillars within inches of each other on adjacent willowherb plants –  two different species of hawk moth:


White-lined Hawk Moth Hyles lineata (Lep.:  Sphingidae) Jeremy Tatum

Bedstraw Hawk Moth Hyles galii (Lep.: Sphingidae)  Jeremy Tatum


Rosemary Jorna writes that there was a small moth on her Bigfeaf Maple at Kemp Lake today.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  It is Clemensia umbrata.  Its caterpillar feeds on lichens.


Clemensia umbrata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Rosemary