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.

April 20

2016 April 20


   Jeremy Tatum photographed this White-shouldered House Moth Endrosis sarcitrella at his Saanich apartment, April 20.


White-shouldered House Moth Endrosis sarcitrella (Lep.: Oecophoridae) Jeremy Tatum


Annie Pang photographed a bumblebee at Gorge Park, April 18.   We are grateful to Jared Amos for suggesting that it is a good match for Bombus fervidus


Bumblebee Bombus (possibly fervidus)  (Hym.:  Apidae)  Annie Pang

Jeremy Tatum writes:  At 6:30 this evening, April 20, there were 2 California Tortoiseshells, a Red Admiral and a Mourning Cloak together on the Mount Tolmie reservoir, as well as a Painted Lady near the Jeffery Pine.  And earlier in the afternoon there were two Mourning Cloaks near the Swan Lake nature house.


Jeff Gaskin sends the following sightings:  On April 18, a Sara Orangetip at the Interurban campus of Camosun College.  On April 19, a Mourning Cloak over Bowker Avenue.  And on April 20, while on a walk along Hector and Conway Roads, he recorded 1 Propertius Duskywing, 3 Sara Orangetips, 6 Cabbage Whites and 29 Western Spring Azures.


April 20 morning

2016 April 20 morning


   Rosemary Jorna writes: I saw my first Western Tiger Swallowtail on Kemp Lake Road as we drove out yesterday morning (April 19).  When we arrived at parking lot 2 at Sooke Potholes Regional Park there were two Western Spring Azures puddling in bird droppings and a fresh Mourning Cloak. I took the picture below when we returned some hours later. There were five Western Spring Azures feeding on dog dung and two others flying .


Western Spring Azures Celastrina echo (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Rosemary Jorna


   Rosemary continues: When we stopped for lunch at Peden Bluff this industrious spider started spinning a web between my shirt and my back pack.  We watched for quite a while and then moved it off to the bush at trail side. 


    Robb Bennett identifies it for us (thank you. Robb!) as an immature linyphiid of the genus Neriene.


Neriene sp. (Ara.: Linyphiidae)   Rosemary Jorna



   Rosemary continues:  This tiny moth on a Blue-eyed Mary was the only insect obliging enough to hold still long enough to photograph on the slope of Peden Bluff.


Adela septentrionella (Lep.: Incurvariidae)  Rosemary Jorna.



    Wendy Ansell writes: Gerry managed to spot this dragonfly at Layritz Park (Monday Apr 18) and I was wondering if anyone could identify it for me. 


    Yes!   We are grateful to Rob Cannings who kindly identified it for us as a female California Darner Rhionaeschna californica.


California Darner Rhionaeschna californica (Odo.: Aeshnidae)  Wendy Ansell



   Mike Yip sends  photographs of a moth, and two butterflies from Nanoose that had me guessing!


   Jeremy Tatum comments on the moth, Epirrhoe plebeculata.  I am very interested in this moth.  The literature has the larval foodplant as Galium, but I think this is very unlikely. If anyone sees this moth ovipositing, save me the egg or, if you can’t find the egg, please let me know what plant you think it laid on.

Epirrhoe plebeculata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Mike Yip


Western Brown Elfin Incisalia iroides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Mike Yip


Western Pine Elfin Incisalia eryphon (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Mike Yip



   Aziza Cooper writes:  On Mount Tolmie on April 19 from 5:15 pm to 6:30 pm there were:


California Tortoiseshell – 2

Western Brown Elfin – 2

Sara Orangetip – 1, quite worn and not very orange.

Cabbage White – 1

Western Spring Azure – 2

Painted Lady – 1, perching on a Norway Spruce next to the road north of the reservoir.


Western Brown Elfin Incisalia iroides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper


Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Aziza Cooper



   Jeremy Tatum writes:  We’re in a spell of hot, sunny weather, so there may well be a second posting today, in the evening.  Keep the observations and photos coming!



April 19

2016 April 19


   Annie Pang sends a photograph of  Harmonia axyridis a species introduced from Asia into both North America and Europe, and now one of our most-often encountered ladybird beetles.  It has been given so many names that I (that’s Jeremy Tatum) have taken to calling it the “Many-named Ladybird Beetle”, although it is more often called the “Multi-coloured Asian Ladybird Beetle”.  The spotting is variable.  I usually recognize it by the black W on its thorax.


Harmonia axyridis (Col.: Coccinellidae)  Annie Pang

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is a typical double-humped cocoon of a plutellid moth, found on Snowberry at Mount Douglas Beach Park, April 19.



Euceratia securella (Lep.:  Plutellidae)    Jeremy Tatum

   He continues:  There were two California Tortoiseshells and a Mourning Cloak on the Mount Tolmie reservoir at 4:30 pm. April 19.




April 18

2016 April 18


   Jeremy Gatten found the clown beetle shown below around the vernal pools in Uplands Park on April 17.


Hister militaris  (Col.:  Histeridae)   Jeremy Gatten

 Hister militaris  (Col.:  Histeridae)   Jeremy Gatten


 Hister militaris  (Col.:  Histeridae)   Jeremy Gatten



   Gordon Hart sends photographs of a female California Darner and a Spear Moth, also known as Argent and Sable.


California Darner Rhionaeschna californica (Odo.: Aeshnidae)  Gordon Hart


Spear Moth, or Argent and Sable Rheumaptera hastata (Lep.: Geometridae)

 Gordon Hart


    Rebecca Reader-Lee sends photographs of some moths from her North Highlands home, April 17.

 Coryphista meadii (Lep.: Geometridae)  Rebecca Reader-Lee


Behrensia conchiformis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Rebecca Reader-Lee




Perizoma curvilinea (Lep.: Geometridae)  Rebecca Reader-Lee



Feralia comstocki (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Rebecca Reader-Lee



   Aziza Cooper writes: Yesterday, April 17, on Knockan Hill there were one Western Brown Elfin, two Spring Azures and one Cabbage White.


   In Beacon Hill Park on April 17 were one Mourning Cloak and one Cabbage White. At about 7pm on April 17, one Red Admiral was shivering in the wind on the reservoir at Mt Tolmie.


Today, April 18, at the railroad tracks just south of the bridge over Goldstream west of the Goldstream campground, there were about 30 Spring Azures, one Cedar Hairstreak and one Western Pine Elfin.


I observed up to 17 Spring Azures grouped together puddling in the mud between the tracks. The formerly flooded area is now only muddy.


  Wendy and Gerry Ansell write that they just had their first Western Tiger Swallowtail in their yard on Cordova Ridge – April 18th at 12:30 pm.


  Jeremy Tatum writes:  No butterflies on the Mount Tolmie reservoir on Monday (April 18) afternoon, but at about 6:30 p.m. there were two Red Admirals, one California Tortoiseshell  and a Green (I think!) Comma either on the reservoir or near the top of the steps.  The comma, in particular, seemed to enjoy resting on the Escallonia near the top of the steps.  If anyone sees it there, I’d be interested if you agree (or otherwise!) with the identification.

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

Cedar Hairstreak Mitoura rosneri (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper


Western Pine Elfin Incisalia eryphon (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Aziza Cooper


April 17

2016 April 17


   Gordon Hart sends a photograph of a lacewing, Nothochrysa californica.


Nothochrysa californica (Neu.: Chrysopidae)  Gordon Hart


Jeremy Tatum:  Here is a moth that emerged today from a pupa found on Stinging Nettle at Swan Lake.


Udea profundalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Jeremy Tatum

 The potter wasp below was in my Saanich apartment today.


Potter wasp  Ancistrocerus sp. (Hym.: Vespidae)  Jeremy Tatum