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 12

2021 April 12


   Although it has been sunny in the last few days, there has been a cold, cold wind – a bit too cold for most butterflies.  Today, Jeremy Tatum caught a glimpse of a Cabbage White near Shelbourne Street and Cedar Hill Cross Road,  and yesterday Marie O’Shaughnessy caught a glimpse of a Satyr Comma at Francis/King Park.

Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae)

Marie O’Shaughnessy


April 10 morning

2021 April 10 morning


   Bruce Whittington sends a photograph of a moth from his Ladysmith garden, April 4.  It shows mostly underside with just a tantalizing glimpse of the upperside, and hence a challenge to identify.  Libby Avis rose up to the challenge and suggests Hydriomena manzanita.  She also says that she had six of them in Port Alberni last night and nothing else.  She says she can’t be absolutely sure of the identification, but, writes Jeremy Tatum, I believe it is very, very probably correct.


Probably (very probably indeed!) Hydriomena manzanita (Lep.: Geometridae)  Bruce Whittington


   Gordon Hart writes from Highlands District that Thursday, April 8 was windy and cool, but sunny, and a Mourning Cloak was enjoying the Pieris flowers along with many bumblebees.


Mourning Cloak Nymphalis antiopa (Lep.: Nymphalidae)   Gordon Hart



April 9

2021 April 9


   It is still a wee bit cold for many moths and other insects, but Jochen Möhr got a few at his new house in Metchosin last night.  First, a nematoceran fly.  The choice is most probably between Tipulidae and Trichoceridae.   For gnats like these, it is sometimes helpful for a very close-up of the top of the head and the top of the thorax. 


Nematoceran gnat, probably Trichoceridae or Tipulidae

Jochen Möhr


Emmelina monodactyla (Lep.: Pterophoridae)  Jochen Möhr



Emmelina monodactyla (Lep.: Pterophoridae)  Jochen Möhr


Eupithecia ravocostaliata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Eupithecia ravocostaliata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Pleromelloida conserta (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jochen Möhr

April 6

2021 April 6


   Mr E sends a photograph of an ant of the genus Formica.  These are known as wood ants or thatcher ants.  They are the ants that make nests of huge piles of fir needles, small twigs,  etc.


Formica sp.  (Hym.: Formicidae)  Mr E

April 5 evening

2021 April 5 evening


   Val George writes:  It looks as though the butterfly season has really started.  Today, April 5, I saw a Sara Orangetip and two Cabbage Whites, and one of the two birders with me today saw a Mourning Cloak yesterday.  The Sara Orangetip was at Fort Rodd Hill and the Mourning Cloak was at Macaulay Point.


   Kirsten Mills writes:  Jeff Gaskin and I went today, April 5th, to Mount Tolmie. On the summit, at around 4:15pm, we had a California Tortoiseshell. Here is a picture. My first photograph of a butterfly with my new camera. 


California Tortoiseshell Nymphalis californica (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Kirsten Mills