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.

February 24

2015 February 24


            Leah Ramsay sends a photo of the pug Eupithecia graefii from the Saanich Peninsula on the very early date of February 15.


Eupithecia graefii (Lep.: Geometridae) Leah Ramsay


   Val George sends a photo of his first butterfly of the year –  a Satyr Comma from Island View Beach, February 23.

Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Val George


February 23

2015 February 23


   Jeremy Tatum writes:   I saw my first butterfly of the year today – a Mourning Cloak at Swan Lake.


   Jeff Gaskin writes:  Today, February 23, I saw my first Cabbage Whites of the year and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen them in February. One was on Harriet Road at Chown Place, and the other one was on Balfour Place. Both butterflies are in the Gorge/Burnside neighbourhood.


    Jeremy comments:  I don’t think I have ever seen one in February either, so this is indeed an early record.  Satyr Commas and Mourning Cloaks spend the winter as adult butterflies, and so in principle might be found in any month of the year.  Cabbage Whites, on the other hand, spend the winter in the pupal stage, so Jeff’s record represents an early emergence.

February 22

2015 February 22


   Gerry Ansell writes:  Yesterday (Saturday February. 21) Wendy and I saw our first Mourning Cloak of the year.  This butterfly was at the base of Christmas Hill.  We also saw a comma sp. at this location.  We saw the comma in the same spot on February 18, but again it flew too quickly for identification.

February 19

2015 February 19


            Jeff Gaskin writes: On Tuesday February17, a Mourning Cloak flew by me when I was in a car at the corner of Saanich Road and Oak Street. This is right where Uptown shopping mall is. This is also the first butterfly of the year for me.

February 15

2015 February 15


   First butterfly of the year!   (Or at least the first that Invert Alert has heard of).  Ann Nightingale saw, and photographed upper- and underside of, a Satyr Comma on Channel Ridge on Salt Spring Island, with Ian Cruickshank and Karen Ferguson, on February 14.   In case anyone is wondering – no, I didn’t inadvertently post the photo upside down.  Commas often rest head down.  And, by the way – it’s a boy!   (Females have a more uniform and less scribbly underside.)      Jeremy Tatum

Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Ann Nightingale

Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Ann Nightingale