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 15

2019 April 15


   Jane Cameron sends a photograph of a Pillbug from her patio door.  Although it is not, of course, a bug, we can call it a “pillbug” as long as it is one word, just as we use “dragonfly” and “butterfly” although they are not flies.  The spellings  pill  bug, dragon  fly and butter  fly won’t do!


Common Pillbug Armadillidium vulgare (Isopoda: Armadillidiidae)

Jane Cameron



   Jeremy Tatum sends photographs of a noctuid caterpillar found yesterday on Snowberry along Lochside Drive north of Blenkinsop Lake.  It belongs to the subfamily Plusiinae – most of whose members have only two pairs of mid-abdominal prolegs instead of the usual four.  The most familiar plusiine here is Autographa californica.  However, I am almost certain (we’ll await emergence of the adult moth to be absolutely certain) that this is Autographa ampla.   Further, it’s a boy!


Autographa ampla (Lep.: Noctuidae – Plusiinae)  Jeremy Tatum


Autographa ampla (Lep.: Noctuidae – Plusiinae)  Jeremy Tatum


  Rosemary Jorna found this spider yesterday in the Sooke Hills.  Robb Bennett writes:  The spider is an immature male anyphaenid. There are two species in British Columbia : Anyphaena aperta (Banks) and Anyphaena pacifica (Banks). Both are common, especially in conifer woodlands, but I think aperta is the one most frequently seen here on the south coast.

Anyphaena sp. (probably aperta)  (Ara.: Anyphaenidae)  Rosemary Jorna



   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I have seen three butterflies today. The last butterflies reported on this site were Val’s Western Spring Azures on April 9, and I haven’t seen one since a brief glimpse of a Satyr Comma on April 4.  Today I saw a Cabbage White crossing McKenzie Avenue  just east of the McKenzie interchange.   Then near the transformer end of the Munn Road pond I saw a Western Spring Azure (I had forgotten how stunningly blue they are!) and a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell.  I don’t know when I last saw one of these – I don’t think I saw one last year.  It may not hang around for long, because I don’t think there are any nettles nearby.


   Also at Munn Road were a very few Mesoleuca gratulata, Epirrhoe plebeculata and Leptostales rubromarginaria.  I don’t believe the caterpillars of the latter two species are known.  Neither oviposited for me today.