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 19

2015 February 19


            Jeff Gaskin writes: On Tuesday February17, a Mourning Cloak flew by me when I was in a car at the corner of Saanich Road and Oak Street. This is right where Uptown shopping mall is. This is also the first butterfly of the year for me.

February 15

2015 February 15


   First butterfly of the year!   (Or at least the first that Invert Alert has heard of).  Ann Nightingale saw, and photographed upper- and underside of, a Satyr Comma on Channel Ridge on Salt Spring Island, with Ian Cruickshank and Karen Ferguson, on February 14.   In case anyone is wondering – no, I didn’t inadvertently post the photo upside down.  Commas often rest head down.  And, by the way – it’s a boy!   (Females have a more uniform and less scribbly underside.)      Jeremy Tatum

Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Ann Nightingale

Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Ann Nightingale


February 9

2105 February 9


      This site is devoted to terrestrial invertebrates.  There is one animal that surely comes into this category and which has not been shown before.   It is certainly terrestrial and certainly doesn’t have a backbone – the Common Earthworm.   Jeremy Tatum sends a picture of one from his Saanich apartment this morning. 


Common Earthworm Lumbricus terrestris (Hap.: Lumbricidae)

 Jeremy Tatum

    Also a Winter Oak Highflyer moth.



 Winter Oak Highflyer Hydriomena nubilofasciata (Lep.: Geometridae)

Jeremy Tatum


   Meanwhile Bill Katz is keeping me on my toes with more pugs – this time from Goldstream Park, February 8.  I find pugs hard to identify.  Bill suggests that the first one below is Eupithecia annulata and I think I agree, but I cannot be 100 percent certain.  The other, for the time being, will have to remain as Eupithecia sp.  I can see that I’m going to have to work on this large genus.


Probably Eupithecia annulata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Bill Katz

Pug Eupithecia sp. (Lep.: Geometridae)  Bill Katz



   Jeremy continues:  I got a surprise when I opened my fridge door this morning.  There, looking somewhat forlorn and waiting patiently just inside the door, was this large bug:


Leptoglossus occidentalis (Hem.: Coreidae) Jeremy Tatum



    Jeremy Gatten writes:  The unseasonably warm conditions have got the moths moving.  Yesterday (February 8) I had six species on the Saanich Peninsula.  Here are the species I have seen: Phigalia plumogeraria (3), Eupithecia annulata (1), Emmelina monodactyla (4), Agonopterix alstroemeriana (1), Hydriomena nubilofasciata (1), and Egira hiemalis (3).  He sends a shot of the latter.

Egira hiemalis (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jeremy Gatten


February 7

2105 February 7


   Bill Katz’s wonderful garage on Summit Hill produced a few moths yesterday.  I think I may have asked before _ I believe there was a Greman WWI monoplane with a shape somewhat like that of Emmelina monodactyla. Can anyone think of what it was? I’m not sure what species the pug is – Eupithecia can be difficult.  Phigalia plumogeraria  is one of our earliest spring geometrids, having appeared on this site on dates ranging from January 19 to March 14.  Like Operophtera and Erannis, the female is wingless and flightless.    Jeremy Tatum.


Emmelina monodactyla (Lep.: Pterophoridae) Bill Katz

Pug Eupithecia sp. (Lep.: Geometridae) Bill Katz

Phigalia plumogeraria (Lep.: Geometridae) Bill Katz

February 6

2015 February 6


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Here is an Egira hiemalis from my Saanich apartment this morning.  This is the earliest of the woodlings (Egira) and indeed one of the earliest noctuids to be seen early in the year.  Previously on this site it has been seen on dates ranging from January 15 to March 26.


Egira hiemalis (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jeremy Tatum