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 (jtatum@uvic.ca). 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.

December 21

2015 December 21

 

   Scott Gilmore writes:  I was a little surprised to find this 3.5mm long beetle outside on Saturday (December 19). I think it is from the genus Anthobium (family Staphylinidae). 

Dec 21 1

 Anthobium sp. (Col.: Staphylinidae)  Scott Gilmore

December 8

2015 December 8

 

   Rosemary Jorna writes:  This was what was fascinating our cat. It was under a radiator in our home near Kemp Lake.  I have not seen an invertebrate outside in some time.

Jeremy Tatum writes:  If anyone can identify this animal, please do let us know.  In the meantime, I believe it is what is called variously a camel cricket or a cave cricket.  I’ll put a tentative label below it, but we’d be glad of verification from anyone more familiar with these insects:

Dec 8 2015

Camel cricket  probably Ceuthophilus sp. (Orth.: Rhaphidophoridae)  Rosemary Jorna

December 5

2015 December 5

 

  Nathan Fisk writes:  Amazing amount of little crawlers about in the leaf litter yesterday, December 4. Seen at Fort Rodd Hill under the oaks. Lovely colouration. Roughly 1.5cm long.

Dec 5 1
Unidentified caterpillar (Lep.: Noctuidae)

Nathan Fisk

November 28

2015 November 28

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here’s a Firebrat from my Saanich apartment building – mercifully not from my own suite, from where Marlin Smyth expelled them earlier this year.

  Are these animals insects?  They certainly used to be thought of as insects, but I believe that in recent years they have been expelled from the Class Insecta.  There are taxonomic changes every year, but it is my understanding that the Phylum Arthropoda now includes a Subphylum Hexapoda, which in turn includes two Classes, Insecta and Entognatha.  Several Orders of primitively wingless creatures – including the Order Thyatira (to which the Firebrat belongs) – now comprise the new Class Entognatha.  Thus the Firebrat is no longer an insect. It is a hexapod, and it is an entognath.

  It is often called a “silverfish”.  Is this correct?   I suppose that you could call any member of the entognath Family Lepismatidae a “silverfish”, provided you spelled it with a small s and you intended the word to cover any lepismatid.  But “the” Silverfish, with a capital S, is a distinct species from the Firebrat – and I have not yet encountered it in my building.  It is probably best to call a Firebrat a Firebrat and a Silverfish a Silverfish.

Nov 27 1

Firebrat Thermobia domestica (Thy.: Lepismatidae)  Jeremy Tatum

November 23

2015 November 23

 

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is the flightless female of the Winter Moth from my Saanich apartment this morning.

Nov 23 1

Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum