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.

2024 February 11

2024 February 11

  Here are some invertebrates photographed by Ian Cooper in *Colquitz River Park in Saanich and by the 9 km marker on the Galloping Goose Trail in #View Royal early on Feb 7 2024.   Ian’s suggested identifications are given.

Invertebrate Alert has not often had photographs of earthworms – although they are certainly invertebrates!  The default species found in gardens is usually Lumbricus terrestris – the one we all learned about in biology lessons at school!  But this one was not in a garden, and Ian suggests that it might be a native species – Arctiostrotus vancouverensis.  If there are any earthworm specialists among our viewers, please let us know what you think!

 *Possibly Arctiostrotus vancouverensis (Opisthopora: Acanthodrilidae) Ian Cooper

#European Sowbug – Oniscus asellus (Isopoda: Oniscidae)  Ian Cooper

*Harvestman (Opi.: Phalangiidae)  Ian Cooper

Val George writes:  This morning, February 11, this moth, Phigalia plumogeraria, was on the wall of my Oak Bay house, along with two Hydriomena nubilofasciata.

 Male Phigalia plumogeraria  (Lep.: Geometridae) Val George


2024 February 10

2024 February 10

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  This small moth was at my Saanich apartment building on February 8. Libby Avis identifies it as Ypsolopha falciferella. She writes:  They’re one of the first ones we get here [Part Alberni] early in the year. Also see them later, too – probably more than one generation a year.

Ypsolopha falciferella (Lep,: Ypsolophidae)   Jeremy Tatum




2024 February 7

2024 February 7

   Today we show a selection of invertebrate photographs taken recently by Ian Cooper.  We have managed to identify the ladybird beetle shown from different angles in the first three photographs.  We shall post identifications of the rest if and when we manage to identify them.  If any viewer can help with the identifications, please do so.

Male Hyperaspis lateralis (Col.: Coccinellidae)  Ian Cooper

Male Hyperaspis lateralis (Col.: Coccinellidae)  Ian Cooper


Male Hyperaspis lateralis (Col.: Coccinellidae)  Ian Cooper

Possibly Steatoda sp. (Ara.: Theridiidae)  Ian Cooper

Sheetweb spider (Ara.: Linyphiidae)  Ian Cooper

Globose springtail (Collembola)  Ian Cooper

Possibly Haplotrema vancouverense (Pul.: Haplotrematidae)  Ian Cooper

Deroceras panormitanum (Pul.: Agriolimacidae)   Ian Cooper

Moth caterpillar  (Lep.: Noctuidae) Ian Cooper

2025 February 5

   Val George photographed the first pug of the year at the Nature House, Goldstream Park, February 3.

Eupithecia sp. (Lep.: Geometridae)  Val George

2024 February 2

2024 February 2

Invert Alert is not yet fully back in operation as we upgrade our computer system, so expect delays (perhaps long ones) for a while.  However, I am able to post a posting today.  I shall let you know when Invert Alert is fully back in operation. Jeremy Tatum

First, a miscellany of creatures from Ian Cooper, starting with a tiny (3 mm) hymenopteran found in a bathroom sink in James Bay January 23.  This is probably a parasitoidal insect from one of several hymenopteran families, most likely (although not certainly) Braconidae.

Perhaps Braconidae (Hymenoptera)  Ian Cooper


Next, a linyphiid spider, Colquitz River Park, January 7.

Sheet-web spider(Ara.: Linyphiidae)  Ian Cooper


Another spider, also from Colquitz River Park, January 7, rather easier to identify, the more familiar Araneus diadematus.

Araneus diadematus (Ara.: Araneidae)  Ian Cooper


A harvestman, Colquitz River Park, January 7:

Harvestman (Opiliones)  Ian Cooper


A tiny snail from Colquitz River Park, January 9, probably Lauria cylindracea.

 Probably Lauria cylindracea (Pul.: Lauriidae)  Ian Cooper


Val George photographed this highflyer moth from the wall of his Oak Bay house on the morning of February 1.

Hydriomena nubilofasciata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Val George

  Thus, this year we have already had, on Invertebrate Alert, two of the to-be-expected early moths, Egira hiemalis and Hydriomena nubilofasciata. What other early moths may be expected at this time of year?  One that comes to mind is the geometrid Phigalia plumogeraria.  The male has handsome bipectinate antennae (which he doesn’t always show). The female, like that of Operophtera and Erannis, is wingless. (It has tiny stubs, useless for flight, instead of functional wings.) In February, if you see a wingless female geometrid, it is most likely Phigalia.