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 20

2021 July 20


   Val George saw the following on Mount Douglas on July 18:

Cabbage White 60;  Western Tiger Swallowtail 1;  Pale Tiger Swallowtail 1;  Anise Swallowtail 2;  Lorquin’s Admiral 4;  Painted Lady 2;  Essex Skipper 3.


   Jeremy Tatum saw the following at UVic on July 20:

Cabbage White 8;  Western Tiger Swallowtail 2;  Lorquin’s Admiral 6.

2021 July 19

2021 July 19


   Aziza Cooper writes:  On July 18, a Mourning Cloak flew by and five or more Woodland Skippers were at a house on Old West Saanich Road, on the east side of Observatory Hill.

This tiny moth was in the kitchen today.

Jeremy Tatum writes:  I believe the small moth is a tortricid.  If anyone knows what it is, please let us know.


Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Aziza Cooper

Unidentified   (Lep.: Tortricidae)  Aziza Cooper

   Jeremy Tatum shows a photograph of a caterpillar of a Vapourer or Rusty Tussock Moth from Rithet’s Bog.


Vapourer or Rusty Tussock Moth Orgyia antiqua (Lep.: Erebidae – Lymantriinae)   Jeremy Tatum


Val George writes:  This Silverspotted Tiger Moth (Lophocampa argentata), was on the wall of my house in Oak Bay yesterday, July 18.  Today, July 19, I saw my first Pine White butterfly of the season, a female, at Rithet’s Bog.


Silver-spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa argentata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Val George


Jeff Gaskin writes:  I had pretty dismal results at Swan Lake today, July 18.  I had just 8 Lorquin’s Admirals and 6 Cabbage Whites there – nothing else.  At Cecilia Ravine Park I saw 7 Cabbage Whites,  1 Lorquin’s Admiral and 2 Western Tiger Swallowtails.

2021 July 18

2021 July 18

    Jeff Gaskin writes:  Kirsten Mills has had a Mourning Cloak around where she lives on Shelbourne Street near Hillside Mall the last few days.  I’ve only seen Cabbage Whites, 12 Lorquin’s Admirals and about 5 Western Tiger Swallowtails in the Gorge/Cuthbert Holmes Park area. 

   Gordon Hart writes from the Highlands:  On Saturday , July 17, I saw my first Woodland Skipper of the year. There were also several Cabbage Whites , a Western Tiger Swallowtail, and a Lorquin’s Admiral. There are lots of dragonflies around now, including Western Pondhawks. I have attached a photo of a female.

Female Western Pondhawk Erythemis collocata (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Gordon Hart



Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Gordon Hart

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I learn something new every day.  I was looking at the Sussex (England) butterfly site     and it mentioned that the shape of the tip of the antenna in Ochlodes  is different from that in Thymelicus.  (In terms of our butterflies here, that is Woodland and Essex Skippers.)   That sounds like a challenge for someone here to get a pair of photographs to illustrate this. In addition, it would be nice to get a photograph of the underside of the tip of the antenna of an Essex Skipper.  It is usually black.   If you find one in which the underside of the tip is orange, I would be very excited indeed.

   Jeremy continues:  It is the time of year to cast our eyes upwards from time to time to look for Pine Whites.

2021 July 17

2021 July 17

    Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:

 This morning 

1 Carcina quercana

1 Furcula scolopendrina (same as yesterday)

1 Noctua pronuba.

 No pictures taken.

    Jeremy Tatum writes:   I met someone at UVic today who had taken a photograph of the Red Admiral on Mount Tolmie on July 15.  I say “the” Red Admiral, because I’m assuming it is the one that I released there on July 4, and which Jeff Gaskin presumably saw on July 9.   The person who photographed it told me that the Red Admiral was sitting on one of the pale patches on the Mount Tolmie reservoir.  I have remarked before (only semi-seriously) that the hill-topping nymphalids on the reservoir prefer to sit on the pale patches.  Maybe it is actually true!

2021 July 16

2021 July 16


Message from Gordon Hart:

 Hello, Butterfly Counters,

Our July count period starts Saturday, July 17, and continues to Sunday July 25. This is an informal census of butterfly numbers and species in Greater Victoria. The area is defined by the Christmas Bird Count circle, extending from Victoria to Brentwood Bay and Island View Road in Central Saanich, and west to Happy Valley and Triangle Mountain, and Langford Lake and Goldstream areas.

You can submit a count any time over the count period, just use a separate form for each count and location. In the case of repeat or duplicate counts, I will use the higher numbers. To submit counts, please use the form from the VNHS website at

If you have difficulty with the form, just send me an email with the information.

hartgordon19 at gmail dot com

Thank-you for submitting your sightings and good luck with your count.


Gordon Hart,

Butterfly Count Coordinator,

Victoria Natural History Society


Corrigendum:  Jeremy Tatum writes:  I misidentified a moth on June 14.   See June 14 for details.


   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

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

Furcula scolopendrina (Lep.: Notodontidae)

Jochen Möhr



Cheryl Hoyle photographed this antlion in View Royal yesterday, July 15.  Thanks to Libby Avis for confirming the identification.


Antlion Myrmeleon exitialis (Neu.: Myrmeleontidae)  Cheryl Hoyle


Rosemary Jorna photographed this micro moth near Kemp Lake on July 15.  In spite of the excellent quality of the photograph, we can’t be certain of its exact identity – there are several similar and difficult species.  Libby Avis identifies it as being in the Subfamily Scopariinae.



Unidentified   (Lep.:  Crambidae – Scopariinae)  Rosemary Jorna


Thomas Barbin operated an ultraviolet light in the Highlands on the evening of June 12, and found an enormous haul of interesting moths.  For details, see