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.

July 26

2015 July 26


   Cheryl Hoyle sends photographs of a caterpillar and a moth.


Cinnabar Moth Tyria jacobaeae (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Cheryl Hoyle


Caripeta aequaliaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Cheryl Hoyle



   Jeremy Tatum writes:  On Saturday July 25 I came across a huge active nest of a White-faced Hornet Dolichovespula maculata.  It was on an Ocean Spray bush only a couple of feet from the ground, near the top of Knockan Hill.  Believing this wasp to be rather docile and nonaggressive, I had a long, close look at all the activity that was going on.  Then when I got home I consulted the books and read that it was highly aggressive and dangerous. So what do viewers think?  I think they (the hornets, not the viewers) are probably nonaggressive in the sense that they don’t pester you like the Vespula yellowjackets do, and they doubtless leave you alone if you leave them alone.  But it is probably not at all a good idea to interfere with their nests.


   Lastly, a small guide to contributors.  Please remember to give the when and the where of your sightings and photographs.  Also, photos are easiest for me to process if they are sent in .jpg format as an attachment and not embedded in the body of the message.  Thanks.

July 25

2015 July 25


   Jeff Gaskin clarifies:   It was 240 Lavenders, hence 1200 Woodland Skippers (see July 23 posting).  Don’t worry, Jeff – everyone makes arithmetic mistakes every day!  Big bunch of skippers, whatever!


  Annie Pang photographed the Cabbage White below at Gorge Park, July 22.


Cabbage White Pieris rapae (Lep.: Pieridae)  Annie Pang


   Scott Gilmore writes:  There was a nice surprise at my black light this morning. A Black-rimmed Prominent.


Black-rimmed Prominent Pheosia rimosa (Lep.: Notodontidae)

Scott Gilmore



   Val George writes:  Today, July 25, I found this long-horned beetle Xestoleptura crassicornis on my bean plants.   Also today, you might be interested to know that I almost ate (really) a Myzia subvittata. [That’s the big ladybird reported recently by Libby Avis (July 22) and Scott Gilmore (July 12 – Jeremy]. I was picking blackberries and popping them into my mouth when I noticed  –   just in time  –   that the one I was about to eat had a beetle on it.  I immediately recognized it as one I thought I`d just seen on the Invertebrate Alert.  Sure enough, when I got home and checked, that’s what it was.

Xestoleptura crassicornis (Col.: Cerambycidae)  Val George




July 24

2015 July 24


   Gordon Hart writes:  This week in the yard (Highlands District) there have been lots of Woodland Skippers, a few Lorquin’s Admirals , a couple of Cabbage Whites, and a Grey Hairstreak. I have seen no Pine Whites this week.


   Gordon also sends a picture of a bug nymph that he found on his blueberry bushes.  While bug nymphs can be difficult to identify, Scott Gilmore suggests that it may well be a young specimen of Cosmopepla intergressa or a closely related species.  Scott has photographed an adult bug of this species, to be seen at   

Probably Cosmopepla intergressa (Hem.: Pentatomidae)  Gordon Hart


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  The Anise Swallowtail caterpillars from Jochen’s farm now seem to be almost full grown.  I was having difficulty finding a local source of Oenanthe, but fortunately they are very happy to feed on Fennel, of which there is a lot on Mount Tolmie.


Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon (Lep.: Papilionidae)  Jeremy Tatum

July 23

2015 July 23


   Jeff Gaskin writes:  What I’m about to tell you is not a rarity sighting but on July 18 Linda Dowling, who runs the Happy Valley Lavender and Herb farm on her property on Happy Valley Road, tells me she had around 1200 Woodland Skippers at her place. This was a rough estimate but judging that she has 2400 lavender plants and there were around five skippers on each plant you can see how she arrives at a huge number like 1200.  Also, there were eight Lorquin’s Admirals which I feel is a good number considering how dry the woods are, and she also had two Western Tiger Swallowtails.


   On July 20th, I saw a Painted Lady on Logan Avenue in the Gorge neighbourhood.


   [Jeremy Tatum remarks:  Well, I make that 12,000 skippers! (Or maybe 240 lavenders?).]

July 22

2015 July 22


   Libby Avis writes:  Just got back from a great weekend at the Saturna Bioblitz where we ran a moth light on Friday (July 17th). It was fairly windy and we didn’t get too many moths, but it was made up for by the arrival of this beautiful Lophocampa roseata. We don’t see them very often and this once obligingly hung around and posed.


    Also had a very large, unusual ladybird at the light here in Port Alberni on July 19th. I had no idea what this was, but it was ID’d on Bug Guide as Myzia subvittata (Subvittate Lady Beetle). Don’t know if you get them in Victoria, but it was the first time I’d seen one.  [Jeremy Tatum responds:  I’ve never seen one in Victoria, but Scott Gilmore found one in Upper Lantzville – see July 12 posting.]

Lophocampa roseata (Lep.: Eerebidae – Arctiinae)  Libby Avis


Myzia subvittata (Col.: Coccinellidae)  Libby Avis