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.

January 1

2010 January 1a


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I went to Goldstream Park this morning, hoping to find an Erannis.  I was unsuccessful – I may have left it too late in the season.  However, there were lots of Winter Moths there – mostly occidentalis  and “dunnos”.    I couldn’t resist photographing a well-patterned one, shown below.  I believe it to be occidentalis.  The occidentalis “streak” isn’t very obvious, but is best seen (as it often is) when viewed from a distance. There were a number of rather uniform unpatterned grey moths there (one shown below), which could easily be dismissed as just brumata.  However, it may be that occidentalis, like brumata, has an unpatterend form, and, since it was Goldstream Park, and late in the season,  I’d like to keep open the possibility that these unpatterned ones there were occidentalis.  I am beginning to suspect that occidentalis flies later than brumata; that winter moths seen in November are mostly brumata, and winter moths seen in January are mostly occidentalis.  Further observations needed!




Operophtera occidentalis (Lep.: Geometridae)   Jeremy Tatum


Operophtera sp.  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum



   I’ll post the 2019 Butterfly Report separately in another posting later today.  It is in a different computer.


   Thank you all who contributed to photographs and sightings in 2019, and to the several  experts who identified many animals for us.  Here’s wishing all a Happy New Decade.



No invertebrates reported today.

However:  If anyone comes across a dead specimen of the moth that we have been calling Erannis vancouverensis, please would you save it for me?  It need not be in pristine condition.  It may be getting a little late in the season, for I haven’t seen one for a while.  I’d prefer that you didn’t kill one – just if you find a dead one.  Viewers of this site will know that I believe it is in fact Erannis defoliaria, and I’d like to try and settle the question.

Thank you.     Jeremy Tatum

December 27

2019 December 27


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Apologies for showing yet another Winter Moth, but this one, photographed this morning at UVIc, is the first time I have seen what I believe to be Operophtera occidentalis  either at UVic or at my Saanich apartment.   It is maybe a couple of weeks since I have seen Operophtera brumata, and seeing this occidentalis today reinforces my suspicion that perhaps occidentalis flies a little later than brumata.



Operophtera occidentalis (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum


    Gordon Hart sends one from the Highlands.  I think it is O. brumata beginning to look a little bit past its “sell by” date.

Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Gordon Hart


December 23

2019 December 23


   Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:   This morning 23 Operophtera, 17 of them classified as brumata, 6 as occidentalis.  I did not take any pictures.


December 22

2019 December 22


   Jochen Möhr sends several more pictures of Operophtera from Metchosin.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  I believe they are distributed about evenly between O. brumata and O. occidentalis.   Here is one that I’m fairly sure is O. occidentalis.


Operophtera occidentalis I(Lep.: Geometridae)   Jeremy Tatum