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 17

2021 February 17


   Ian Cooper cycles along the Galloping Goose trail, which is covered with hard-packed snow and ice, alone at night, and gets down his hands and knees to photograph all sorts of unfamiliar invertebrates.  Pretty risky – but he gets some interesting results.  How many of us, I wonder, have seen the animal below, or know what it is?  It’s a springtail – a group formerly in an Order Collembola, but now considered to comprise several Orders within a Subclass Collembola of the Class Entognatha.  (Not an insect.)  The one in the next two photographs (two different individuals, same species) is in the Order Entomobryomorpha.


Orchesella villosa (Entomobryomorpha – Entomobryidae)   Ian Cooper


Orchesella villosa (Entomobryomorpha – Entomobryidae)   Ian Cooper


   The globose springtails are perhaps more familiar (if they are familiar at all!), and belong to the Order  Symphypleona.  The one below is in the genus Ptenothrix, but Collembola expert Frans Janssens tells us that this one is a new, undescribed species!


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


    Thanks to Dr Robb Bennett for identifying the spider below.

Pimoa altioculata (Ara.: Pimoidae)  Ian Cooper


Large Yellow Underwing Moth Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Ian Cooper







February 16

2021 February 16


   Libby Avis sends a photograph of Egira hiemalis from Port Alberni, February 6, her earliest date for the species there.   This is often the first noctuid to appear in the year, often appearing in February or even January.   The earliest recorded by Invertebrate Alert  was  January 16, in Victoria, 2014.


Egira hiemalis (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Libby Avis

February 15

2021 February 15


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is a Ctenolepisma longicaudata from my Saanich apartment.   This is a three-pronged bristletail – but this individual seems to have lost one of its prongs.


Ctenolepisma longicaudata (Zygentoma – Lepismatidae)  Jeremy Tatum


     Jeremy Tatum writes:  The moth shown below emerged today from a pupa formed from a caterpillar last year.  Fortunately it just missed the cold weather – today is much warmer and the snow is melting. Identifying the moth was a bit tricky, but Libby Avis and I both came up with Orthosia praeses.  The reddish brown head gave it away.

Orthosia praeses (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

February 12

2021 February 12


    Some slugs and spiders from near the 9 km marker along the Galloping Goose Trail, View Royal, by Ian Cooper, February 5.   Thanks to Dr Robb Bennett for confirming Ian’s spider identifications.


Limax maximus (Pul.: Limacidae)   Ian Cooper


Ariolimax columbianus (Pul.: Arionidae)  Ian Cooper


Eratigena duellica (Ara.: Agelenidae)  Ian Cooper


Probably Scotophaeus blackwalli (Ara.: Gnaphosidae)  Ian Cooper

Pimoa altioculata (Ara: Pimoidae)  Ian Cooper


Just possibly Helophora sp. (Ara.: Linyphiidae – Linyphiinae)  Ian Cooper

February 11

2021 February 11


   Undeterred by the cold weather, Ian Cooper was still hard at it with his camera last night near the 9 km marker on the Galloping Goose trail, when he discovered a pseudoscorpion also braving the cold.


Pseudoscorpion  (Arachnida – Pseudoscorpiones)  Ian Cooper


   Jochen Möhr found this caterpillar emerging out of some corn salad that he had harvested for dinner.


Large Yellow Underwing  Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jochen Möhr