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.

August 11

2020 August 11


Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:


 1 Biston betularia

1 Coryphista meadii

2 Cosmia praeacuta

3 Eulithis xylina

1 Lacinipolia strigicollis

3 Nemoria darwiniata 

1 Evergestis funalis

2 Oligia divesta

1 Panthea virginarius


   Here’s the easy-to-identify colour variety of Coryphista meadii:


Coryphista meadii (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr


   Jeremy Tatum shows an Orgyia antiqua from Salmonberry at Blinkhorn Lake this afternoon.  It has a rather unkempt appearance because it has just undergone ecdysis (in English, it has just changed skin), and it hasn’t tidied its new clothes yet.  It will look much smarter later on.  (Libby will probably guess why I was looking on Salmonberry at Blinkhorn Lake.  I didn’t find what I was looking for.)


Orgyia antiqua (Erebidae – Lymantriinae)  Jeremy Tatum


    Mike Yip writes from Nanoose:   Common Wood Nymphs have been flying in my yard since Sunday. They were constantly on the move and impossible to photograph until I discovered their weakness – blackberry wine. I simply set up close to my small blackberry patch and waited.  Within 15 minutes  I had some very decent photographs.  [I’d say very decent indeed!   Jeremy Tatum]



 Male Common Wood Nymph Cercyonis pegala (Lep.: Nymphalidae – Satyrinae)  Mike Yip



 Male Common Wood Nymph Cercyonis pegala (Lep.: Nymphalidae – Satyrinae)  Mike Yip



August 10

2020 August 10


   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning.


1 Biston betularia

1 Callizzia amorata

3 Eulithis xylina

1 Fishia illocata

1 Lacinipolia strigicollis

1 Lophocampa argentata

1 Nemoria darwiniata 

1 Neoalcis californiaria

1 Oligia divesta

1 Panthea virginarius

1 Perizoma curvilinea

1 Sicya crocearia

1 Enypia packardata

1 Thallophaga taylorata

1 Xanthorhoe defensaria



Nemoria darwiniata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Cosmia praeacuta (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Callizzia amorata (Lep.: Uraniidae)  Jochen Möhr

Oligia divesta (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Perizoma curvilinea (Lep.: Geometridae) and Lacinipolia strigicollis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Lophocampa argentata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Jochen Möhr

Sicya crocearia (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Enypia packardata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

Thallophaga taylorata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

   Jochen also notes the four Pine Whites and ten Woodland Skippers.


August 9

2020 August 9


   Jochen Möhr’s butterflies from Metchosin yesterday, and moths this morning:


1 Lorquin’s Admiral

1 Pine White

5 Woodland Skippers

1 Painted Lady


1 Campaea perlata

1 Eupithecia (annulata?)

1 Lophocampa argentata

2 Lacinipolia strigicollis (same as yesterday)

1 Nemoria darwiniata

1 Oligocentria pallida

3 Perizoma curvilinea 

1 Panthea virginarius

1 Pero (morissonaria?) (same as yesterday)


Oligocentria pallida (Lep.: Notodontidae)  Jeremy Tatum


  A nice handsome Firebrat from Jeremy Tatum.  Am still waiting for someone to send a photo of a genuine silverfish.




Firebrat Thermobia domestica (Thysanura:  Lepismatidae)  Jeremy Tatum



August 8

2020 August 8


   Gordon Hart photographed the moth below at his Highlands home on August 4.  Since we could see only the underside of the wings, I despaired (writes Jeremy Tatum) as to whether we could identify it.  For Libby Avis, however, nae bother!  Libby writes:  “That one’s easy – for once!

Ceratodalia gueneata. We’ve had five this week in Port Alberni.  One of the few moths that always sit with their wings up. I would probably find it hard to identify it from the top side.”


Ceratodalia gueneata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Gordon Hart


     Jochen Möhr had a big haul in Metchosin  last night.  Thanks to Libby for help with the identifications.


1 Biston betularia 

1 Callizzia amorata

1 Campaea perlata

1 Coryphista meadii

1 Dasychira grisefacta 

1 Dichagyris variabilis

2 Lacinipolia strigicollis 

1 Lophocampa argentata 

3 Neoalcis californiaria 

1 Panthea virginarius

1 Perizoma curvilinea

1 Pero sp.

1 Syngrapha rectangula

1 Amorbia cuneata

1 Thallophaga (probably taylorata)

and one butterfly – a Painted Lady.



Dasychira grisefacta (Lep.: Erebidae – Lymantriinae)  Jochen Möhr


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr



Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Dichagyris variabilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Biston betularia (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Coryphista meadei (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Lophocampa argentata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Jochen Möhr


Perizoma curvilinea (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Panthea virginarius (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Pero (maybe morrisonaria) (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Syngrapha rectangula (Noctuidae – Plusiinae)  Jochen Möhr


Syngrapha rectangula (Noctuidae – Plusiinae)  Jochen Möhr


Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Jochen Möhr


Thallophaga (probably taylorata) Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Amorbia cuneanum (Lep.: Tortricidae)  Jochen Möhr


   Gordon Hart’s moths from Highlands, August 6:


The first is one of those pugs that are awfully difficult to identify.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  I’ll label it possibly Eupithecia annulata – though it could well be something else!


Eupithecia (possibly annulata) (Lep.: Geometridae)  Gordon Hart


Eulithis xylina (Lep.: Geometridae)

plus one of those little crambids that we despair of identifying.

Gordon Hart


Nematocampa resistaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Gordon Hart


Catoptria latiradiella  (Lep.: Crambidae)  Gordon Hart



August 7

2020 August 7


   Jochen Möhr reports from Metchosin:


This morning:

2 Neoalcis californiaria

1 Perizoma curvilinea 


Yesterday afternoon:

2 Ochlodes sylvanoides

1 Vanessa cardui


Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (Lep.:  Nymphalidae)  Jochen Möhr

And this afternoon, a fine caterpillar:


Orgyia pseudotsugata (Lep.: Erebidae – Lymantriinae)  Jochen Möhr

   And here’s a nice miscellany from Gordon Hart in the Highlands.  The centre-stage insect is an antlion.  Don’t know the exact species.  Don’t think we can identify the noctuid moth, which is just a little out of the depth of focus.  The small insect nearest the right hand edge of the photograph is, I think, a culicid, better known to most of us as a mosquito.  Never thought we’d find out what the other small flies are, but Libby Avis identified them!   They are dark-winged fungus gnats (Dip.: Sciaridae).   We can even make out the wing venation on one of them.


Antlion (Neu.: Myrmeleontidae) and others      Gordon Hart



Crab spiders seem to be able to capture and subdue some quite large prey.  Yesterday Rosemary Jorna saw two of them, each with a large bumble bee, in her garden in the Kemp Lake area.


Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisidae) with Bombus vosnesenskii (Hym.: Apidae)   Rosemary Jorna

Random thoughts (Jeremy Tatum):


How do you spell fishfly, bumble bee, etc.?


I think the rule that I’ll follow on Invert Alert is this.  If it is a fly, then “fly” is a separate word.  If it is not a fly, “fly” is attached.


Thus    House Fly                   Butterfly

Drone Fly                   Dragonfly

Horse Fly                    Stonefly

Hover Fly                    Fishfly

Dung Fly                     Caddisfly

etc., usw.    By this rule, I suppose it should be Bumble Bee


Talking of stoneflies, we’ve had only three photographs of them in the ten years of Invert Alert.  There are usually lots at Goldstream  Park.   Photographers please note.


In the days of Moses Harris (1730-88), the word “fly” was used for any insect, in much the same way as today some people misuse the word “bug” to mean any insect.  Thus Moses Harris wrote that “The Camberwell Beauty is one of the scarcest Flies in England.”