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 9


   Rosemary Jorna writes from the Kemp Lake area:  Does this one qualify for the first butterfly of 2021? It was on our kitchen counter today and has been trying to leave ever since. 


   Yes, writes Jeremy Tatum, it most certainly does.  This is not one of the butterflies that overwinters in the adult state – it normally does so as a pupa.  The pupa has presumably been indoors, and the butterfly ecloded (with a d) prematurely because of the warmth.  Yet it is often asserted that daylight length is at least as important as temperature in determining date of eclosion (with an s).



Cabbage White  Pieris rapae (Lep.: Pieridae) Rosemary Jorna


Cabbage White  Pieris rapae (Lep.: Pieridae) Rosemary Jorna




February 8

2021 February 8


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  The caterpillar season is back!   This one is a very young (3 mm) Paraseptis adnixa (formerly known as Aseptis adnixa).  This is one of the earliest caterpillars to be found in the year.  It feeds on the leaves of Indian Plum Oemleria cerasiformis, which is the earliest of our local shrubs to come into leaf.  At this time of year it is safe from the dangers of parasitoidal tachinid flies.


Paraseptis adnixa (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jeremy Tatum

February 7

2021 February 7


   This morning we have two difficult ones.   First a photograph by Rosemary Jorna, Kemp Lake, of a maggot on a maple tree.   Jeremy Tatum writes:


I am almost certain, or I think I can even say certain, that it is the larva of a dipteran.  I think we can go so far as to say Suborder Nematocera.  It may be pushing it a bit to suggest perhaps Family Mycetophilidae, fungus gnats.


Just possibly fungus gnat (Dip.: Mycetophilidae)  Rosemary Jorna

   Next, two organisms photographed at Victoria Airport by Jody Wells, February 6.  The larger of the two organisms is not an invertebrate, but is Sialia currucoides (Aves – Passeriformes – Turdidae).  I think Jody is right in suggesting Hymenoptera for the smaller of the two.  Maybe we can go so far as to suggest Superfamily Ichneumonoidea.


Mountain Bluebird with ichneumonoidean     Jody Wells





February 6

2021 February 6


    Gordon Hart writes from the Highlands:  The sunshine yesterday (Friday, February 5) brought out an early Drone Fly Eristalis tenax sunning itself on a frond of Polypodium glycyrrhiza (Liquorice Fern).  I am basing the identification on a photo from the same area last year on March 10.  [Agreed!  – Jeremy Tatum]


Eristalis tenax (Dip.:  Syrphidae) Gordon Hart


   Rosemary Jorna writes from Kemp Lake:  I have been keeping track of our Nearctula species snails. It varies from day to day but yesterday I counted 68 on the seven trunks in our Big Leaf Maple group. I’ve kept a daily record and have just sent it off to K. Ovaska. I wonder what they will make of next week’s cold and snow?


Nearctula sp. (Pul.: Vertiginidae)  Rosemary Jorna

Snout mite (Acari:  Bdellidae)  Rosemary Jorna


February 2

2021 February 2


  Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin:  Finally some life on the wall in the form of two caddisflies.

Libby Avis identifies them as from the Family Limnephilidae, almost certainly Psychoglypha bella.


Psychoglypha bella (Tri.: Limnephilidae)  Jochen Möhr