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 11

2018 October 11


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  This is the second time this season that I have found this bug on my bed – but I swear to you it is not a Bed Bug. It is a Western Conifer Seed Bug.  I don’t know why it likes my bed – I have no conifer seeds to offer it.


Western Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis (Hem.: Coreidae)

Jeremy Tatum


   Here is the cocoon of a Polyphemus Moth:

Polyphemus Moth Antheraea polyphemus  (Lep.: Saturniidae)   Jeremy Tatum



   Banded Woolly Bears are showing up now.   Here is one photographed by Sonia Voicescu this afternoon on the Lochside Trail next to Michell’s Farm.

Banded Woolly Bear Pyrrharctia isabella (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Sonia Voicescu


   Libby Avis writes from Port Alberni:  Things are starting to wind down here. So far this week, a couple of Ceranemota, Tetracis jubararia, Ennomos magnaria, Philedia punctomacularia, Sunira decipiens, Agrotis ipsilon, Pleromelloida cinerea and Lithophane innominata. Autographa californica still around in the garden. Definitely well into the fall species!

   Gordon Hart writes:  Yesterday at Swan Lake, while I was watching Yellow-rumped Warblers eating Red Osier Dogwood berries, a fresh Red Admiral flew by landing on some brambles.

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Gordon Hart


October 10

2018 October 10


    Jeremy Tatum writes:   Yesterday there were three Tetracis (formerly Synaxis) jubararia  at the Swan Lake nature house.   Alas!   I didn’t have my camera with me – so I drove all the way home to fetch the camera.  The moths were still there when I got back.  Alas!   No card in my camera!   So I hastened back to the car park to drive back home again – but then to my rescue appeared Aziza!  She had her camera with her, and she even had a card in it, so she photographed two of them.  The third one had by then lost patience and it had flown away.


Tetracis jubararia (Lep.: Geometridae)  Aziza Cooper


Tetracis jubararia (Lep.: Geometridae)  Aziza Cooper



   Aziza writes:  Yesterday, Monday October 8 in Centennial Park I observed two banana slugs six or seven feet up a big cedar on the dry bark. Any idea why? Have you or has anyone seen this behaviour before?  


Banana Slugs Ariolimax columbianus (Pul.: Arionidae)   Aziza Cooper


   Rosemary Jorna writes:  This small insect was on our picnic table (Kemp Lake area) yesterday afternoon, October 9.



 Larva of lacewing (Neu.: Chrysopidae)   Rosemary Jorna


October 9

2018 October 9


      Val George writes:   This caterpillar was at Panama Flats on Saturday, October 6.


Acronicta dactylina (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Val George


    Mark Wynja writes:  On Saturday October 6  I was birding from the logging roads in the High Country between Mount Arrowsmith and Mount Moriarty. In the morning when we first arrived, there was frost with a thin layer of ice on the ponds and puddles well below 1,000 metres elevation. In the early afternoon Guy Monty, David Baird and I saw two butterflies at an elevation of around 1,000 metres. The first flew past and appeared to be a Comma (species?). Later we encountered a Hydaspe Fritillary nectaring on Pearly Everlasting. 


Hydaspe Fritillary Speyeria hydaspe (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Mark Wynja



Hydaspe Fritillary Speyeria hydaspe (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Mark Wynja


   Bryan Gates writes:  This landed on me in the White Spot parking lot in Courtenay, Oct. 4. 2018.  Thanks to Libby Avis for the identification to genus.


Caddisfly Limnephilus sp. (Tri.: Limnephilidae)  Martin Gates



   Bryan Gates sends a photograph of Triphosa haesitata from Oak Bay, October 6.


Triphosa haesitata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Bryan Gates


   Nathan Fisk writes from Fort Rodd Hill:  Fly-by of medium sized, dominantly orange coloured butterfly this morning.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  Anyone like to guess?  California Tortoiseshell perhaps?   Keep looking!


October 8

2018 October 8


   Thanksgiving Day is perhaps a good day for me to give thanks to all the many contributors to this site, to the experts who helped so willingly with the identifications, and to whomever or whatever you believe in that gave us all these wonderful invertebrate creatures to marvel at.


   The butterfly season is probably now really over (but keep your eyes open – you never know), but there are still lots of invertebrates around, and this site will remain open for contributions.


   Libby Avis spotted a geometrid caterpillar on Pearly Everlasting on Mount Arrowsmith on October 6.   It matches the colour of the flowers perfectly.  It is almost certainly a pug (Eupithecia sp.), but I don’t think we can go beyond that.  


Eupithecia sp. (Lep.: Geometridae)  Libby Avis


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  This American Tissue Moth was at my Saanich apartment this morning:


American Tissue Moth Triphosa haesitata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum



   Rosemary Jorna writes:  This beetle was on the trail  near Camp Thunderbird  on October 6.  Thanks to Scott Gilmore for identifying it as Scaphinotus angusticollis.


Scaphinotus angusticollis (Col.: Carabidae)  Rosemary Jorna


         Jeremy Tatum writes:  In the May 28 evening Invert Alert, we posted pictures of a snakefly photographed by Andrew Simon on Galiano Island.  We had to struggle with the identification of an insect from this not-very-familiar Order.  Now we are grateful to Chris Ratzlaff of the Spencer Entomology Museum, who has identified it as Agulla assimilis.  We have added this label to the May 28 evening entry, together with some remarks by Dr Ratzlaff.

October 7

2018 October 7


   Jeremy Tatum writes:   Yesterday I saw my first Banded Woolly Bear (caterpillar of the Isabella Tiger Moth) of the season at McIntyre reservoir.   There should be lots of them in the next couple of weeks.  Panama Flats is a good spot for them.  Photograph, someone?


   This moth was on my bedroom carpet this morning.  It was in good health, and it flew strongly out of the window after posing for its portrait.


Tetracis jubararia (Lep.: Geometridae)   Jeremy Tatum



   Now, three dragonflies – thanks to Rob Cannings for the identifications. 


   This Common Whitetail (not particularly common!) was photographed by Jody Wells in North Saanich on October 8.


Male Common Whitetail Plathemis lydia  (Odo.: Libellulidae)   Jody Wells


             Next is a Saffron-winged Meadowhawk photographed by Rosemay Jorna at Glintz Lake on October 6


Male Saffron-winged Meadowhawk  Sympetrum costiferum (Odo.: Libellulidae)

  Rosemary Jorna


   The meadowhawks can be tricky, and Rob suggests leaving the next one, photographed by Jody at Rocky Point on October 4,  as Sympetrum sp.


Meadowhawk  Sympetrum sp. (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Jody Wells

   The October Butterfly Walk didn’t take place today.  Jeremy Tatum writes that although he said he’d be on Mount Tolmie rain or shine, it was roaring with pain at 1:00 pm, so he stayed indoors with a good book.  Apologies to anyone who turned up and found no one there!