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.

October 21

2017 October 21


   Apologies – I have been out of action for a few days.  Big backlog on my computer, so I hope I don’t inadvertently miss some contributions.  E.g., I think I missed Rosemary Jorna’s spider below some days ago.  And thanks to Thomas Barbin for identifying it – I had mislabelled it on an earlier version of this posting.  And please, all viewers, if you ever spot a mistake, please do let me know!


Platycryptus californicus (Ara.: Salticidae)  Rosemary Jorna


And also two moths photographed by Jochem Moehr in Metchosin:


Drepanulatrix sp. (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Moehr

Dysstroma citrata (Lep.: Geometridae)   Jochen Moehr



   October is the month for Banded Woolly Bears, the caterpillar of the Isabella Moth.   Here is one found near the Red Barn at Tod Flats by Jody Wells.





Banded Woolly Bear Pyrrharctia isabella (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Jody Wells


Scott Gilmore writes from Upper Lantzville:  I was surprised to find three small weevils inside a red pepper. The peppers had been grown in California and I assume they must be the Pepper Weevil, Anthonomus eugenii.  Jeremy Tatum ponders:  If they were found on Vancouver Island, but were imported from California, are they eligible for posting on Invert Alert?  I took one look at the first charming photo below and immediately decided yes!  You just have to love it.  According to a Web article, the length of the weevil varies from 1.5 to1.8 mm.  (Have a look at a ruler to remind you of how small this is.)



Pepper Weevil Anthonomus eugenii (Col.: Curculionidae)  Scott Gilmore

Pepper Weevil Anthonomus eugenii (Col.: Curculionidae)  Scott Gilmore

Pepper Weevil Anthonomus eugenii (Col.: Curculionidae)  Scott Gilmore

   Aziza Cooper writes:  On October 15 I found two flies at Lochside Trail near the pig farm. They were in a weedy patch diagonally across the trail south of the pig farm. (The pig farm is south of Martindale Road.)  Also on October 15 one moth was along McIntyre Road near McHugh Road, Central Saanich,


Jeremy Tatum writes.  The first fly is Eristalis tenax.  I think we’ll have to leave the second one as just an unidentified fly, unless anyone has a suggestion.  Because of the yellow colour (which I think is at least partly pollen), I had at first thought of Scathophaga stercoraria, which is common at the pig farm, but it’s the wrong shape and the eyes are too large.  The moth is a rather worn  Noctua pronuba.


Drone Fly Eristalis tenax (Dip.: Syrphidae)  Aziza Cooper

Unidentified fly (Diptera)   Aziza Cooper

Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba (Lep.:  Noctuidae)  Aziza Cooper


The caterpillar that Barb McGrenere found on September 21 (q.v.) yesterday produced the moth shown below.


Girdler Moth Dargida procinctus (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jeremy Tatum