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.

May 23

2015 May 23


   Aziza Cooper writes: In spite of a bit of cloud and some wind, there were good butterflies at both summits (Mount Tolmie, Mount Douglas) in the late afternoon of May 22:


Mt Tolmie:

Red Admiral – 2 – one on the reservoir, and one perching on a tree over the steps near the reservoir.

Painted Lady – 2 – both very worn

West Coast Lady – 3 – seen all at once. Two on the reservoir concrete, and another in the grass next to the reservoir entrance.


Mt Doug west summit:

Painted Lady – 2

Red Admiral – 1


   Jeremy Tatum reports a Pale Tiger Swallowtail  from UVic, and a Large Heath (“Ringlet”) Coenonympha tullia from Island View Beach today, May 23.


   Jeremy Tatum sends a photograph of  Spilosoma virginica,which emerged from a cocoon this morning.  The caterpillar was found last year at UVic, and the moth was released there this morning.  This is the adult of the well-known Yellow Woolly Bear.

He also sends a photograph of a Rose Weevil from Island View Beach.


Spilosoma virginica (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae) Jeremy Tatum


Merhynchites bicolor (Col.: Attelabidae)  Jeremy Tatum





May 22

2015 May 22


   Gordon Hart sends some pictures from the power lines that run parallel to Prospect Lake Road, on May 21.


Metarrhanthis duaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Gordon Hart


Adela septentrionella (Lep.: Incurvariidae)  Gordon Hart


Four-spotted Skimmer Libellula quadrimaculata (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Gordon Hart

Swift Forktail Ischnura erratica (Odo.: Coenagrionidae) Gordon Hart


   Today, May 22, Gordon writes that his wife picked dozens of beetles off their Coreopsis plants.  He noted that he and Ann Nightingale has seen similar beetles on May at Panama Flats, where they feed on the related Bidens.  Appropriately they are known in horticultural circles as the Coreopsis Beetle Calligrapha californica.

Coreopsis Beetle Calligrapha californica (Col.: Chrysomelidae) Gordon Hart


Coreopsis Beetle Calligrapha californica (Col.: Chrysomelidae) Gordon Hart




   Jeremy Tatum writes:  The tiny caterpillar burrowing its way into the base of a Gaultheria (Salal) flower below is a first instar caterpillar, just out of its egg, of the Western Brown Elfin.  I couldn’t help noticing it while I was strolling along the Munn Road powerline yesterday.


Western Brown Elfin Incisalia iroides (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Jeremy Tatum




May 21

2015 May 21


  Jeff Gaskin writes:  I managed to see at least one Silvery Blue today, Thursday May 21, and it was amongst lupines at the Colwood turnoff and at the start of Sooke Road and about a block away from Atkins Road.  I am also seeing a lot more Pale Swallowtails in Victoria so far this year. There were five along the Galloping Goose/Atkins Road and a further seen on Observatory Hill on Tuesday. Amazingly enough I’m not seeing any Western Tiger Swallowtails this year yet.


Annie Pang sends a photo of a caterpillar of a Lorquin’s Admiral:


Lorquin’s Admiral Limenitis lorquini (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Annie Pang

   She also sends photographs of a species of ichneumon wasp.  A correspondent has suggested a probable identity as Opheltes sp.



Probably Opheltes sp. (Hym.: Ichneumonidae) Annie Pang

Probably Opheltes sp. (Hym.: Ichneumonidae) Annie Pang

Probably Opheltes sp. (Hym.: Ichneumonidae) Annie Pang



May 20

2015 May 20


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  A while ago a friend dug up some pupae in her veggie garden in Victoria.  One of the moths emerged two days ago, and its identification stumped me.  I consulted Jeremy Gatten, and he got it – it is Apamea cuculliformis.  Thank you, Jeremy.


Apamea cuculliformis (Lep. Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum


   Doris Mooney sends a photograph of a male Ceanothus Silk Moth Hyalophora euryalus which she has had in her Saanich garden since May 14.


Hyalophora euryalus (Lep.: Saturniidae) Doris Mooney



   One May 18 we mentioned how good it has been for lycaenids recently.  Here are three more from Rosemary Jorna in the Sooke Hills.


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

Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)

Western Pine Elfin Incisalia eryphon (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Rosemary Jorna



    And yet another, from Val George, one of two Purplish Coppers that he saw at Island View Beach on May 19, this one a female.   Also there, he writes, was a Coenonympha tullia  (a.k.a. Large Heath or “Ringlet”).




Purplish Copper Lycaena helloides (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Val George



   In addition to these little lycaenid jewels, we also seem to be having lots of reports of the big sphingid and saturniid spectaculars recently.  Val George found this one at Cattle Point on May 19.


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




May 19

2015 May 19


   Jeremy Tatum sends photographs of two caterpillars.  The first from Panama Flats yesterday.  The second from Blenkinsop Lake today.


Orthosia hibisci (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

Zotheca tranquilla (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum



   Nathan Fisk writes:  West Coast Lady?  Fort Rodd Hill last Friday afternoon (May 15), 4-ish.    Jeremy Tatum writes:  Yes!



West Coast Lady Vanessa annabella (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Nathan Fisk


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  A Red Admiral and a Mourning Cloak from Lochside Drive between Blenkinsop Lake and Lohbrunner’s this afternoon.  I also went to the Mount Tolmie reservoir at about 3:00 pm, but there were no hill-topping nymphalids there.  Too early in the afternoon.  I bet there’ll be lots of them there at 5:00 pm.  There were two Western Tiger Swallowtails flying around the periphery at 3:00.