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.

November 29

2020 November 29


   Photographs from Colquitz River Park last night by Ian Cooper.  Thanks to Dr Robb  Bennett for the spider identifications.  Dr Bennett writes  that the first is a species of Cybaeus – almost certainly Cybaeus signifer. A mature female.


Cybaeus signifer (Ara.: Cybaeidae)  Ian Cooper


The second, he writes, is a theridiid cobweb spider in the broad genus concept of Theridion (i.e., possibly a member of one of the many genera that have more or less recently been split off from Theridion.


Theridion (sensu lato) (Ara.: Theridiidae)  Ian Cooper


Harvestman (Opiliones)  Ian Cooper


Ambigolimax valentianus (Pul.: Limacidae)  Ian Cooper


Oniscus asellus (Isopoda:  Oniscidae) Ian Cooper


   Jeremy Tatum speculates:  This individual doesn’t look quite typical.  I wonder if it has just undergone ecdysis.  Or maybe a different species?

November 28

2020 November 28


Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin yesterday and today:


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


   Next, an unusually well-patterned Operophtera. I think it is probably O. brumata, writes Jeremy Tatum, but there is a slight chance that it might be O. occidentalis, so I’ll play it safe and label it Operophtera sp.


Operophtera sp.: (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


   We don’t know what this next one is, but it’s too nice a photograph to leave out!   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I think I can say with some certainty that it’s either a member of the huge gelichiid genus Chionodes or it isn’t


What?   Jochen Möhr


November 27

2020 November 27


   A woodlouse and a slug and a snail from Colquitz Creek Park, Ian Cooper:


Porcellio scaber (Isopoda:  Porcellionidae)  Ian Cooper


Arion hortensis agg. (Pul.: Arionidae) (the large one)  and Lauria cylindriacea (Pul.: Lauriidae)  Ian Cooper


Dr Robert Forsyth writes that there’s a good chance that the Arion hortensis agg. is A. distinctus – most of them are.

November 26

2020 November 26


   Here are three pictures of a globose springtail and one of a woodlouse, by Ian Cooper at Colquitz River Park.  At the bottom right of the woodlouse photograph you can just make out a springtail, to give you some idea of the size of this animal.


Ptenothrix sp. (Collembola – Symphypleona – Dicyrtomenidae) Ian Cooper

Ptenothrix sp. (Collembola – Symphypleona – Dicyrtomenidae) Ian Cooper

Ptenothrix sp. (Collembola – Symphypleona – Dicyrtomenidae) Ian Cooper

Oniscus asellus (Isopoda: Oniscidae)  Ian Cooper


November 25

2020 November 25


   Amazing butterfly sighting! –  from Mr E, behind Red Barn Grocers in Oak Bay today, November 25.   On the very rare occasions that Monarchs appear here, we are never sure of their provenance – are they genuine wild butterflies, or have they been released at a wedding or something?   Probably at least some of them are wild, but at this time of year, when western populations of Monarchs would be expected to be wintering in California, the provenance of this Oak Bay specimen must be at least slightly suspect!  There is some information about commercially-reared Monarchs in an article by Annie Pang in the November-December 2011 issue of the Victoria Naturalist.


Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus (Lep.: Nymphalidae – Danainae)  Mr E