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

2021 April 20


  Megan Buchkowski sends a photograph today of Melanolophia imitata from the front door of the Swan Lake Nature House:


Melanolophia imitata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Megan Buchkowski


   Jochen Möhr saw the following at his Metchosin home this morning:


2 Emmelina monodactyla

1 Eupithecia

1 Hypena californica

1 Gluphisia severa

4 Triphosa haesitata


Hypena californica (Lep.: Erebidae – Hypeninae)  Jochen Möhr


Eupithecia sp. (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Triphosa haesitata  Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Gluphisia severa (Lep.: Notodontidae)  Jochen Möhr


   Jeremy Tatum writes that he saw his first Western Spring Azures of the year – two of them – at Swan Lake this morning.


  Val George writes:  I did my official April butterfly count for Mount Douglas and the surrounding area yesterday afternoon, April 19.  Result:  15 Cabbage Whites, 8 Sara Orangetips, 4 California Tortoiseshells, 2 Grey Hairstreaks, 1 Western Spring Azure.  I managed to get a photo of one of the hairstreaks.


Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Val George


   Kirsten Mills writes:  Jeff Gaskin and I went to Little Mountain in Parksville today. We had 1 Mourning Cloak and 1 Oreas Comma. On Kaye Road we had 3 Western Brown Elfins, 3 Western Pine Elfins and a comma sp.

Oreas Comma Polygonia oreas (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Kirsten Mills


Mourning Cloak Nymphalis antiopa (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Kirsten Mills



Western Brown Elfin Incisalia iroides (Lep.: Lycaenidae) Kirsten Mills



Western Pine Elfin Incisalia eryphon (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Kirsten Mills


   Yesterday Rosemary Jorna photographed a snakefly on Peden Bluff.  At one time snakeflies were included in the Order Neuroptera, but these days they have their own Order, Raphidioptera, and in our area they are distributed among several genera in two Families.  I haven’t yet learned how to identify them (writes Jeremy Tatum), although I think the one Rosemary photographed may be a species of Agulla  in the Family Raphidiidae.  If any viewer can help us with this, please let us know.


Snakefly, Raphidioptera   Rosemary Jorna


Snakefly, Raphidioptera   Rosemary Jorna




April 19 evening

2021 April 19 evening


   Three Moss’s Elfins were reported today.  Rosemary Jorna saw two at Sooke Potholes, and she photographed one of them.  Jeremy Tatum saw one along the Panhandle Trail off Munn Road.


Moss’s Elfin Incisalia mossii (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Rosemary Jorna

April 19 morning

2021 April 19 morning


   Jeremy Tatum sends a photograph of a striking moth from his Saanich apartment building this morning.  He writes:  I didn’t recognize it as being a colour variety of the same species  – Sabulodes aegrotata – as Jochen’s moth shown on April 16.  Thanks to Libby Avis for setting me straight!


Sabulodes aegrotata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum


   This morning Jochen Möhr in Metchosin noted several moths, including


Eupithecia nevadata/ravocostaliata

1 Melanolophia imitata

2 Nola minna

1 Orthosia hibisci

1 Venusia obsoleta/pearsalli

Orthosia hibisci  (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Melanolophia imitata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

April 18 evening

2021 April 18


    Here’s Jochen Möhr’s haul from Metchosin last night.  We’ve only once had Litholomia napaea before on this site – ten years ago,  2011 May 3, by Jeremy Gatten.


Litholomia napaea (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Behrensia conchiformis (Lep,: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr


Triphosa haesitata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr


Eupithecia nevadata/ravocostaliata (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

April 18 morning

2021 April 18 morning


   Jeremy Tatum writes that the two California Tortoiseshells that have been on the Mount Tolmie reservoir for several days were still there at 5:30 pm on April 17.  They are best seen in the late afternoon or early evenung.


   Jeremy Tatum continues:  On April 4 we showed a photograph of some newly-hatched caterpillars of the Sheep Moth.  Here are these same caterpillars today:


Sheep Moth Hemileuca eglanterina (Lep.: Saturniiidae) Jeremy Tatum

   I don’t know how the moth acquired its name “Sheep Moth” .  (Ideas, anyone?)  I have occasionally seen it called the “Elegant” Sheep Moth, although the recent addition of this adjective is quite inappropriate.  The “eglanterina”  in its scientific name does not mean “elegant” or anything like it.  It refers to one of the frequent foodplants of the caterpillar, namely the Sweet Brier Rose Rosa eglanteria, the word “eglanteria” meaning “spiny”, referring to the prickles on the plant.  The Sweet Brier Rose is also known as the Eglantine Rose, so those who would like an adjective before “Sheep” should perhaps call the moth the Eglantine Sheep Moth, rather than the Elegant Sheep moth.


Marie O’Shaughnessy writes:  I saw this beauty on Mount Douglas on the 16th April around 2- 3pm. All rather hot up there at that time. Seen near the top parking lot.


Male Sara Orangetip Anthocharis sara (Lep.: Pieridae)  Marie O’Shaughnessy