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.

November 13

2020 November 13


Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:


3 Epirrita autumnata

1 Operophtera brumata

Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


November 12 morning


   More strange creatures found by Ian Cooper in Colquitz RiverPark.   Thanks to Dr Frans Janssens of Antwerp  University for identifying the globose springtail, and to Dr Robb Bennett of the Royal British Columbia Museum for identifying the spider.


Ptenothrix beta (Collembola – Symphypleona – Dicyrtomenidae)

Ian Cooper


Ptenothrix beta (Collembola – Symphypleona – Dicyrtomenidae)

Ian Cooper



Philodromus dispar (Ara.: Philodromidae)  Ian Cooper


   Late dragonflies:  Are there any dragonflies still to be seen?  If you see any, please let us know.  If you can photograph one, or even identify it without a photo, that would be nice, but let us know if you just see one, even without a photo or an ID.



  We have had just a few sightings of the Winter Moth this fall, although it is still technically autumn, and there are appropriately lots of Autumnal Moth around, as Jochen shows below.


   Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:  This morning, after a week of nothing but one E. autumnata on the wall (one was there for two days), this morning there were four of them.  And as they exhibited quite some variation in their markings, I took a picture of each.  That was not easy, as they were all beyond the reach of a tripod mounted camera.  So I had to do with free-hand photography.


Epirrita autumnata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Epirrita autumnata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Epirrita autumnata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Epirrita autumnata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

November 11

2020 November 11

    Ian  Cooper has been getting some interesting photographs of unfamiliar creatures at Colquitz River Park by getting down on his hands and knees and searching in the ground detritus.  Most harvestmen that we see are the common European Phalangium opiliio, but the one shown below , identified by Dr Philip Bragg, is the less familiar Paroligolophus agrestis.



Paroligolophus agrestis (Opi.: Phalangiidae) Ian Cooper

   Thanks to Dr Robb Bennett for identifying the spider below as an immature male Philodromus dispar.

Immature male running crab spider Philodromus dispar (Ara.: Philodromidae)

  Ian Cooper

Deroceras reticulatum (Pul.: Agriolimacidae)  Ian Cooper

Red Cross Shield Bug  Elasmostethus cruciatus (Hem.: Acanthosomatidae)  Ian Cooper

Red Cross Shield Bug  Elasmostethus cruciatus (Hem.: Acanthosomatidae)  Ian Cooper

Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Ian Cooper

   The snail below was less than 2 mm long.  Probably Lauria cylindracea

Probably Lauria cylindracea sp. (Pul.: Lauriidae)  Ian Cooper


November 10 morning

2020 November 10 morning


Astonishing Butterfly Sighting!!!


   Jeremy Gatten sends the photograph below of an American Lady he saw on November 8 at Silver Spray in East Sooke.   Notice that you cannot see its abdomen, and that it because the butterfly is ovipositing!!!    The plant is a young Pearly Everlasting, one of the main foodplants of the species.

This is an astonishing record!


American Lady Vanessa virginiensis (Lep.: Nymphalidae)   Jeremy Gatten


November 9 evening

2020 November 9 evening


   Jochen Möhr sends photographs of a grasshopper and a dragonfly from Metchosin, November 7.   Claudia Copley identifies the grasshopper as Melanoplus sp.   This is a large genus of very similar grasshoppers, which generally need close examination of a specimen, with a lens or microscope, for species identification.


Melanoplus sp. (Orth.: Acrididae)  Jochen Möhr


   Dr Rob Cannings identifies the dragonfly as a late female Yellow-legged Meadowhawk.

He writes:  This species, along with Aeshna umbrosa and A. palmata, is usually the last to disappear in the fall. The latest BC S. vicinum record is about now (second week of Nov).


Female Yellow-legged Meadowhawk Sympetrum vicinum (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Jochen Möhr


   Ian Cooper sends photographs of two arionid slugs, which probably cannot be accurately identified to species without dissection.  The first may be part of the Arion “hortensis”  complex, and the second may be part of the A. “subfuscus” complex.


Maybe Arion “hortensis” (Pul.: Arionidae)  Ian Cooper


Maybe Arion “subfuscus” (Pul.: Arionidae)  Ian Cooper


More tomorrow…