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.

February 26

2021 February 26


   Slugs and snails from Colquitz River Park and the Galloping Goose Trail, by Ian Cooper:


Possibly Ambigolimax valentianus (Pul.: Limacidae)  Ian Cooper

Grey Field Slug Deroceras reticulatum (Pul.: Agriolimacidae) Ian Cooper

Limax maximus (Pul.: Limacidae)  Ian Cooper

Cryptomastix germana or Vespericola columbianus (Pul.: Polygyridae)  Ian Cooper

… and a leatherjacket:


Leatherjacket (crane fly) probably Tipula paludosa (Dip.: Tipulidae)

Ian Cooper


February 22

2021 February 22


   Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:  This morning finally!  After a night with 7 °C, three Egira hiemalis at the wall.


Egira hiemalis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr



Jeremy Tatum writes:  “Lepidoptera” means “scale wings” – and you can see why from this photo!


Here are some more small creatures from the Galloping Goose Trail photographed by Ian Cooper.  First a small (4 mm) spider – two images of the same individual:


Spider (Ara.:  Linyphiidae)  Ian Cooper

Spider (Ara.:  Linyphiidae)  Ian Cooper

   Next, two (different) harvestmen:


Harvestman – possibly Paroligolophus agrestis (Opiliones)   Ian Cooper

Harvestman – possibly Paroligolophus agrestis (Opiliones)   Ian Cooper

  We have not been able to identify the spider or harvestmen above.  We have not been able to identify the Order of the creature below, though we believe it to be the larva of some sort of fly (Diptera). If anyone can help, please do so!

Fly larva (Diptera)  Ian Cooper


February 20

2021 February 20


   More springtails from Ian Cooper, kindly identified for us by Dr Frans Janssens.   Most of us rarely see these tiny animals, so it is quite an education to see them so close up.


Globose springtail Ptenothrix sp. nov.  (Symphypleona – Dicyrtomidae)  Ian Cooper


Dicyrtomina minuta f. saundersi  (Symphypleona – Dicyrtomidae)  Ian Cooper


Dicyrtomina minuta f. saundersi  (Symphypleona – Dicyrtomidae)  Ian Cooper


   And here are two spiders.   Among the numerous small creatures we come across, we cannot always identify every one, and we’ll have to settle with admiring and appreciating these two without necessarily being able to attach a label to them.


Linyphiine spider     Ian Cooper


Immature male spider   Ian Cooper


   Rosemary  Jorna photographed this gnat on a maple in her Kemp Lake garden.  I am not expert enough, writes Jeremy Tatum, to make an identification, but I think it is probably either a limoniine tipulid (a sort of small crane fly) or a trichocerid (winter gnat).


Dip.: probably Tipulidae – Limoniinae,  or Trichoceridae  Rosemary Jorna


   Caterpillars are easier for me to identify.  This one, on Indian Plum, is Paraseptis adnixa first shown as a very young caterpillar on February 8, now almost full grown, perhaps one more instar to go.

Paraseptis adnixa (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jeremy Tatum



February 19

2021 February 21


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is one of a number of commensal creatures that share my table (Latin mensa, a table) with me – or at least share my apartment building in Saanich if not my actual table.


Anthrenus verbasci (Col.: Dermestidae)   Jeremy Tatum

February 18

2021 February 18


   Ian Cooper sends an unusual photograph of a harvestman on snow, Colquitz River Park, February 17.   Dr Philip Bragg writes:  I have not seen a harvestman on snow before. I notice that it is keeping its body well away from the snow on its long legs. The photo is not clear enough for a positive identification but I think that it is Platybunus triangularis.


Harvestman, probably Platybunus triangularis (Opiliones: Phalangiidae)  Ian Cooper

  Rosemary Jorna, sends photographs of spider engaged in Anglo-Saxon attitudes in her Kemp Lake basement, February 17.   Dr Robb Bennett writes:


Hmm, not your usual indoor trashy theridiid. It’s a linyphiine linyphiid – always have trouble eyeballing them based on colour patterns: probably either a Neriene or Microlinyphia but I really don’t know.

Probably Neriene or Microlinyphia (Ara.: Linyphiidae – Linyphiinae)  Rosemary Jorna

Probably Neriene or Microlinyphia (Ara.: Linyphiidae – Linyphiinae)  Rosemary Jorna