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 25

2021 July 25

   Aziza Cooper writes: On Saturday, July 24, there was a small wasp nest on the floor of the boardwalk at Florence Lake:

European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)    Aziza Cooper

    Jeff Gaskin writes:  Today I saw another 17 Pine Whites at Elk /Beaver Lakes Park, mostly in the southern section or near the retriever ponds.  Also, I counted at least 215 Cabbage Whites in the fields at Martindale/ Island View flats.

2021 July 24

2021 July 24

       Cheryl Hoyle sends a photograph of a jumping spider – probably Salticus scenicusfrom View Royal:

Probably Salticus scenicus (Ara.: Salticidae)  Cheryl  Hoyle

   Jochen Möhr shows two moths from Metchosin:

Neoalcis californiaria (Lep: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Acleris albicomana (Lep.: Tortricidae)  Jochen Möhr

  A small black (not brown) pupa found on Rosa nutkana is likely to be of this species.

   Jeff Gaskin writes:   Kirsten Mills and I did our July Butterfly count today, July 24.  We were in Colwood – particularly the Royal Roads University and along Metchosin Road.  A Mourning Cloak was seen on Metchosin Road near Wishart Road.   A Western Spring Azure was near the flower gardens at Royal Roads University beside Hatley Castle.  We had a total of 59 Pine Whites at the end of the day, with 30 on Metchosin Road between Painter Road and Wishart Road.  Other butterflies seen were 44 Cabbage Whites,  14 Woodland Skippers, 3 Western Tiger Swallowtails, and 2 Lorquin’s Admirals.


2021 July 23

2021 July 23


   Today – another fly and another bug.   Photographed in View Royal yesterday by Cheryl Hoyle. The fly is a greenbottle,  Lucilia sp.  I think the commonest here, writes Jeremy Tatum, is L. sericata.


Greenbottle Lucilia (probably sericata) (Dip.: Calliphoridae)  Cheryl Hoyle


Rhododendron Leafhopper Graphocephala fennahi (Hem.: Cicadellidae)  Cheryl Hoyle


Jeremy Tatum writes:   Here are two hawk moth pupae.  The caterpillars were shown on July 12.


Top:  Bedstraw Hawk Moth Hyles galii (Lep.: Sphingidae)

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

Jeremy Tatum

  Butterflies featured in two of our local newspapers this week. Today’s Times-Colonist shows a butterfly that it calls a swallowtail – and it is indeed a Pale Tiger Swallowtail – so, well done, T-C!   The Oak Bay News was not quite so successful.  Its photograph of a “giant tiger swallowtail” is actually a Lorquin’s Admiral.

2021 July 22

2021 July 22

    Kalene Lillico sends photographs of a fly and a bug nymph from Swan Lake.  The fly was identified as Rhagoletis by Cara Gibson.  It is on the fruit of Oregon Grape, and this (together with other details) makes it almost certainly Rhagoletis berberis.


Rhagoletis berberis (Dip.: Tephritidae)  Kalene Lillico

  The bug is a nymph.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  My best effort is

Certainly Pentatomidae

Probably  Chlorochroa

Possibly  C. ligata


Probably Chlorochroa (possibly ligata) (Hem.: Pentatomidae)   Kalene Lillico

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Today, July 22, I saw two pristine-fresh Mourning Cloaks near the bubble aerator at the NE end of the boardwalk at Swan Lake.  Mourning Cloaks lay their eggs in a large batch and the young caterpillars stay close together, dispersing a bit when they are full-grown.  It is therefore likely that there are other freshly-emerged adults in that area.  Butterfliers should be aware that at present, owning to construction, it is very difficult to drive down Rainbow Street to Swan Lake.

  Jeremy writes that today he also saw two pristine-fresh Pine Whites at Sitting Lady Falls, Witty’s (Metchosin) Lagoon.

2021 July 21

2021 July 21

    Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is a small, slightly worn, moth found on a window at the University of Victoria today.   Amazingly, if we follow some taxonomists, this little moth, known as a scoopwing moth, is in the same Family as the huge, brilliantly-coloured tropical swallowtail moths of the Family Uraniidae. 

    Although the Uraniidae is regarded as being in the Superfamily Geometroidea, and is therefore related at that level to the Geometridae, the caterpillars of the scoopwings don’t look at all like geometrids.   They have their full set of prolegs, and look rather similar to noctuid caterpillars.  They feed on honeysuckle

Callizzia amorata (Lep.: Uraniidae – Epipleminae)   Jeremy Tatum