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 26

2018 August 26


   Jochen Möhr sends a photograph from Metchosin of a weevil, kindly identified for us by Scott Gilmore, as a Black Vine Weevil.


Black Vine Weevil Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Col.: Curculionidae)  Jochen Möhr

August 25

2018 August 25


   Jochen Möhr sends a picture of a grasshopper from Metchosin.


Melanoplus femurrubrum (Orth.: Acrididae)  Jochen Möhr

August 24 evening

2018 August 24 evening


   Libby Avis sends a photograph of Sympistis dunbari  (formerly Oncocnemis dunbari) from Port Alberni, August 23rd.


Sympistis dunbari (Lep.:  Noctuidae)  Libby Avis


  Jeremy Tatum writes:  I found this beetle today near Blenkinsop Lake.  It took about one nanosecond for Scott Gilmore to identify it for me.


Plectrura spinicauda (Col.: Cerambycidae)  Jeremy Tatum

August 24 morning

2018 August 24 morning


   Unknown moth identified!   Viewers may have noticed that we had had to label one of Jochen Möhr’s recent moths (August 21 morning and August 22 morning) merely as “noctuid moth”,  or “Euxoa sp.”   We are happy now to thank Lars Crabo for successfully identifying the moth as Euxoa difformis, and we have labelled the images accordingly.

  Bryan Gates responded quickly to my plea for photographs of the Fall Webworm.  Now we need someone to get a photograph of one of the webs.  There is a photograph of a web in the posting for August 6 morning, taken by Gordon Hart during the VNHS monthly Butterfly Walk.

Fall Webworm Hyphantria cunea (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Bryan Gates


  Val George writes:  Yesterday, August 23, there were seven moths settled on the outside walls of the Nature Centre at Goldstream Park.  Six of them were Neoalcis californiaria, which I haven’t attached photos of because several photos have recently been posted on the Alert.  I’ve attached a photo of the seventh – Coryphista meadii.


Coryphista meadii (Lep.: Geometridae)  Val George


August 23

2018 August 23


   Bryan Gates writes:  At least two of these in my beach-side garden, Saratoga Beach, Black Creek, yesterday afternoon.   Jeremy Tatum adds:  Larval foodplant – Stinging Nettle.


Udea profundalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Bryan Gates


    Jeremy Tatum:  Below is a photograph of Heliothis phloxiphaga.  This is one of the pale sandy-coloured day-flying moths that one often sees flying over the dunes at Island View Beach and Cordova/Saanichton Spit.  Larval foodplant – Gumweed.   While I was there this morning, I saw a few Ringlets (Large Heaths) and Woodland Skippers  – but no Branded Skippers or Purplish Coppers.


Heliothis phloxiphaga (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum


  Jeremy continues:  I am sure that viewers will have noticed the many silken webs of the Fall Webworm Hyphantria cunea on the trees this year.  There is a particularly spectacular one at the north end of Fowler Park, in which a Black Hawthorn is totally engulfed.  It would make a spectacular photograph for someone.  My own camera isn’t set up for that sort of thing.   Fowler Park is just a tiny area at the north end of Cordova Bay Road, just south of Sayward Road.  The caterpillars are of the genuine woolly bear type.  The adult moth is totally white.  They are not at all related to the tent caterpillars that we see in Spring.


   Scott Gilmore writes:    I found a very interesting 4mm long beetle sitting on my car windscreen as I was about to drive away from home yesterday. After looking into it a bit I was able to identify it as Peltodytes callosus a member of the family Haliplidae, commonly called the Crawling Water Beetles.  It is the first time I have found this family and normally you would expect to find it in water and not on your car, so this one must have been on the move.


Peltodytes callosus (Col.: Haliplidae) Scott Gilmore