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.

September 24

2018 September 24


   Scott Gilmore writes from Upper Lantzville that he saw a Red Admiral fly through his yard yesterday.


   Jeremy Tatum writes that he has seen Cabbage Whites today at UVic, on Mount Tolmie, and from his Saanich apartment window.

September 23

2018 September 23


   Jochen Möhr writes:  Today, a Cabbage White came up straight from the road 20m below.  She went straight to my garden where new kale plants are sprouting, and she immediately started laying eggs.  

She remained at it for quite a few minutes, allowing me to get back inside, unpack the camera from the travel luggage and go back and capture her as well as one of the eggs she laid.  The first butterfly egg of this autumn?


   Jeremy Tatum writes: Almost certainly.  It may also have been the first adult butterfly of the season.  I saw two Cabbage Whites today in the Martindale Valley.  The first was at 2:05 pm.


   Jochen was all packed and just about to go on holiday to Germany.  Libby Avis writes:  Unpacking your travel luggage to get it is real dedication!     Yes, indeed it is!


Female Cabbage White Pieris rapae (Lep.: Pieridae)  Jochen Möhr


Ovum (egg) of Cabbage White Pieris rapae (Lep.: Pieridae)  Jochen Möhr


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is a third instar caterpillar of a Large Yellow Underwing, reared from one of the 1450 ova shown on September 1.


Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

September 22

2018 September 22


   Jeremy Tatum writes: I saw a Cabbage White at Lamont Road, Central Saanich, at 3:35 pm.this afternoon.  This may be the last butterfly of Summer, which ends at precisely 6:54 pm PDT this evening.  Who is going to spot the first butterfly of Fall?  

September 21

2018 September 21


   Jeremy Tatum writes:   Although it has been raining on and off today, I saw a Cabbage White flying in light rain near McIntyre Reservoir this afternoon.  Am trying to drag the butterfly season on as late as possible!


September 20 morning

2018 September 20 morning


   Seems this is a spidery time of year.   Two from Lantzville photographed by Scott Gilmore, and one in Victoria by Aziza Cooper.   Thanks to Dr Robb Bennett for the identifications.

  Of this one, Robb  writes:  This is one of our common agelenid house spiders but I’m not sure if it is a Tegenaria domestica or a juvenile Eratigena duellica.

Tegenaria domestica or Eratigena duellica (Ara.: Agelenidae)

Scott Gilmore

Female Steatoda (perhaps albomaculata) (Ara.: Theridiidae) Scott Gilmore


Araneus diadematus (Ara.: Araneidae)  Aziza Cooper

   Gordon Hart sends a photograph of a dragonfly from Panama Flats, Deptember 15.   Thanks to Dr Rob Cannings for the identification.  Rob writes:  This is a very nice picture of a male Aeshna umbrosa. The most obvious character in this photo is the lack of a strong black line across the face, as seen in A. palmata. In addition, the lateral thoracic stripes are bordered in black (not so obvious here), the abdominal spots are relatively small (takes practice) and, if you could see it better, the top of the tenth abdominal segment is black, not with blue spots as in A. palmata.  Also, if you could see the ventral surface of the abdomen, there would be paired pale spots on the segments, absent in A. palmata.

Shadow Darner Aeshna umbrosa (Odo.: Aeshnidae)  Gordon Hart


   Barb McGrenere sends a photograph of a caterpillar from a blueberry plant in her Cordova Bay garden, September 19.

Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae) Barb McGrenere


   Mark Wynja writes:  On September 18th I spotted a road-killed Praying Mantis on Edwards Road at the end of Dawson Road, Nanoose. I stopped to check it out and almost immediately another one nearly flew into me. It landed in the tall grass along a wire fence allowing me to catch it easily.  A nearby homeowner told me his wife found one a couple weeks ago on their property.

Praying Mantis Mantis (probably religiosa) (Man.: Mantidae) Mark Wynja


Cheryl Hoyle sends a photograph of a Chocolate Arion Slug from Glendale Trail taken September 19th.



Chocolate Arion Arion rufus  (Pul.:  Arionidae) Cheryl Hoyle


   Jochen Möhr sends a photograph of a moth from Metchosin.  Libby Avis writes:  Safe to say “Xestia infimatimis species group”, but I can’t go beyond that. There are three species in the group which are very similar – X. finatimis, X. infimatis and X. verniloides.


Xestia finatimis group (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr