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.

2024 May 2 morning

2024 May 02 morning

   Note to photographers.  If you work from a PC, and if it is convenient for you, please send photographs to Invert Alert as an attachment and as a .jpg or .jpeg extension.   If you send it in some other form, I can sometimes figure out how to handle it, but I am not a computer expert, and it may take me quite a long while to do so.  I think there are just two contributors working from a Mac at the moment.  Please continue to do what you at present do.


Yesterday, May 1, Marie O’Shaughnessy saw four Western Spring Azures, a Painted Lady, a Mourning Cloak, a Cabbage White and a Cedar Hairstreak  at Outerbridge Park.  Aziza Cooper saw a Western Spring Azure, a Mourning Cloak, and a Cabbage White at Tod Creek Flats.  Val George saw a Painted Lady near the Jeffrey Pine on Mount Tolmie.

Painted Ladies often seem to fly near the Mount Tolmie Jeffrey Pine.  I am not sure if I have always spelled Jeffrey correctly in earlier Invert Alerts.  The correct spelling is Jeffrey.

This is the first Cedar Hairstreak reported this year to Invertebrate Alert.  The Cedar Hairstreak has had what the taxonomists call an “extensive synonymy”  – i.e. it has been given many scientific names.  In previous years we have called it Mitoura rosneri.  We are now attempting to follow the 2023 ATC, in which it is listed as Callophrys gryneus.  The ATC treats Mitoura as a subgenus within Callophrys, and rosneri as a subspecies of gryneus.


Here are some photographs from yesterday’s sightings.

Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy

Western Spring Azure Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy

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

Painted Lady  Vanessa cardui  (Lep.:  Nymphalidae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy


Painted Lady  Vanessa cardui  (Lep.:  Nymphalidae)   Val George

Cedar Hairstreak  Callophrys gryneus  (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy


2024 April 28

2024 April 28

   Richard Ryder reports that he saw a very faded, worn Mourning Cloak Nymphalis antiopa in his Oak Bay garden this afternoon, sunning before it clouded over.

Aziza Cooper photographed a Bombus vosnesenskii today at Lochside Trail near Lohbrunner Road East.


Bombus vosnesenskii (Hym.: Apidae)  Aziza Cooper

2024 April 27

Aziza Cooper writes, re spraying for Gypsy Moths:

See this government site for the spraying schedule.
These are the dates that poison is sprayed from airplanes, 5 AM to 7:30 AM and the droplets drift on the wind and settle gradually on the ground and everyone who is outside. This weekend, Saturday and Sunday April 27 and 28, Colwood will be sprayed. Think about that if you’re out birding at Esquimalt Lagoon.
The government says it’s harmless, but advises people to stay inside during the spray. Two women in Communities United for Clean Air tell of their children wheezing and gasping for breath after the spray came down. One man in Metchosin lost a crop after the spraying.
The spray has been stopped in Sweden, and on Salt Spring Island in 2006.
Please join with Communities for Clean Air to stop this dangerous and unnecessary poisoning of our world.
For more information, listen to this broadcast (25 minutes) from last year. Dr. Jennifer Tynan is organizing the efforts to end aerial spraying.
Get in touch with Communities United for Clean Air here:

And as well as the above impacts, the insects that birds depend on for food will die in large numbers from the spraying.

2024 April 25

2024 April 25

Aziza Cooper photographed this bee on Mount Tolmie on April 23.  Unfortunately, writes Jeremy Tatum, I’m no good at identifying bees.  I’m pretty sure it’s not Apidae.  I think it’s one of Halictidae, Adrenidae or Megachilidae, which isn’t much help.  If anyone can do better than this, please do let us know.


Unidentified bee (Hymenoptera)   Aziza Cooper

Unidentified bee (Hymenoptera)   Aziza Cooper



2024 April 24 evening

2024 April 24 evening

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I mentioned on the April 23 posting that a young lady, who was passing when I released the Ceanothus Silk Moth, took a photograph of it in more natural surroundings.  I have added Talia’s photograph to the April 23 posting – viewers can scroll back to have a look at this spectacular moth.

Today, Aziza Cooper photographed a damselfly and an early-instar geometrid (but otherwise unidentified) caterpillar at Swan Lake:


Pacific Forktail  Ischnura cervula (Odo.: Coenagrionidae)  Aziza Cooper

Unidentified geometrid caterpillar  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Aziza Cooper