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 20

2018 October 20


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  This moth was at my Saanich apartment this morning:

Drepanulatrix monicaria (Lep.: Geometridae)   Jeremy Tatum


   Two male millipedes were standing at the street corner, when they spotted a beautiful female millipede walking along the other side of the road.  Said one male millipede to the other:  “Boy!  Just have an eyeful of that!   What a beautiful pair of legs pair of legs pair of legs pair of legs pair of legs pair of legs pair of legs pair of legs pair of legs…”

  This one appeared indoors in my office at UVic yesterday.  It wouldn’t keep still enough for a sharp photograph.  Can anyone out there identify it, even if only to Family?  Or Suborder?

Millipede (Polydesmida)   Jeremy Tatum

     There were about five Cabbage Whites  at McMicking Point this afternoon.


October 19

2018 October 19


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Yesterday I showed a photograph of a lycaenid caterpillar photographed by Nathan Fisk on Beach Knotweed – a common foodplant of the Purplish Copper.    I cautioned, however, that the caterpillar more closely resembled that of a Grey Hairstreak.   I am now wholly convinced that it is indeed a Grey Hairstreak, and I have now labelled it as such.  Here is an enlargement of a second photograph by Nathan of the caterpillar.   On comparison with my photograph of a Grey Hairstreak caterpillar at     there can now be little doubt of the identity.


Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)   Nathan Fisk


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  One Cabbage White, Martindale Road, this afternoon.  Also a big, brightly-coloured moth flew past me, almost colliding with my head.  I believe it was probably a Garden Tiger Arctia caja.


October 18

2018 October 18


   Bryan Gates sent this photograph of a harvestman from Oak Bay on October 12.  I think it is possible that it is not the usual European Phalangium opilio, but we haven’t got an identification yet, so for the time being we’ll just have to leave it at Order level.

Harvestman (Opiliones)    Bryan Gates


   Nathan Fisk sends a photograph of Bombus melanopygus  from Fort Rodd Hill.

Bombus melanopygus (Hym.: Apidae)  Nathan Fisk


   He also sends a photograph of a Grey Hairstreak caterpillar on Black (or Beach) Knotweed.

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Given this foodplant, my immediate reaction is that this must be the caterpillar of a Purplish Copper butterfly.   The difficulty is that I don’t think it looks quite right for that species, which is usually green and rather weakly, if at all, patterned.  The patterning, the colour, and the slightly bristly appearance make me wonder if it might actually be a Grey Hairstreak.  Here they usually feed on Salal (spring generation) or on Pearly Everlasting (fall), though a wide variety of foodplants has been recorded.  See the October 19 posting, to see why I finally convinced myself that it is a Grey Hairstreak.

Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Nathan Fisk


October 7

2018 October 17


   Bryan Gates writes:  I cleaned out 40+ nest boxes at the Uplands Golf Course today. This spider was encountered in at least five boxes, along with other spiders not photographed.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  I think this is… well, I shan’t say what I thought it was, for Robb  Bennett writes:  Oops – go to the back of the class until such time as you have an opportunity to redeem yourself.  It’s an amaurobiid – Callobius severus.


Callobius severus (Ara.: Amaurobiidae)   Bryan Gates

October 16

2018 October 16


   Jochen Möhr is just back from holiday in Germany – and he didn’t waste any time in photographing an Autographa californica  in his Metchosin garden!


Autographa californica  (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Two Cabbage Whites today – one at Hillside Mall, and one at Cattle Point.