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.

March 6

2017 March 6


Annie Pang sends photographs of a caterpillar of a Large Yellow Underwing moth from the Gorge Park Community gardens, March 6.


Large Yellow Underwing  Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae) Annie Pang

Large Yellow Underwing  Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae) Annie Pang


March 5

2017 March 5


   Rosemary Jorna writes:  This very cold Conifer Seed Bug landed on a fellow hiker’s jacket yesterday afternoon on Larkspur in the Sooke Hills.


   Jeremy Tatum comments:  Rosemary was either brave or lucky – not sure which.  I think (not 100 percent certain!) that the Conifer Seed Bug may be OK – but there are some quite similar-looking bugs in the Family Reduviidae that can give a rather nasty and painful poisonous stab. Just look at the length of the rostrum in the view of the underside of Rosemary’s bug! 


Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis (Hem.: Coreidae)  Rosemary Jorna

 Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis (Hem.: Coreidae)  Rosemary Jorna



Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis (Hem.: Coreidae)  Rosemary Jorna


2017 March 4

2017 March 4


   Where do flies go in winter?  Well, these two elected to spend the winter in a rotten log on southern Vancouver Island, where they were photographed by Leah Ramsay.  Although it is difficult to be certain of the exact identity, it is pretty sure that these are a species of cluster fly Pollenia sp.  Rob Cannings writes:  P. rudis used to be considered the sole species in North America, but recent revisionary work has resulted in six species, all found in British Columbia.  Five of these occur on Vancouver Island.  They are earthworm parasitoids and, as you might expect from their hosts, are introduced from Europe.  They are among the most common flies around in fall through spring as they overwinter as adults.  Sometimes they fly in warm winter days here; usually you see them sunning on warm walls.  They are duller looking than most blow flies (lack metallic sheen) and have characteristic crinkly yellow hairs on the thorax (sometimes not easy to see).


 Probably Pollenia  sp. (Dip.: Calliphoridae)  Leah Ramsay



March 3

2017 March 3


   We are grateful to Charlene Wood for identifying the  Flat Brown Scavenger Beetle  photographed by Ian Cruickshank on Sidney Island on February 22.   Charlene writes:  By the large hairy pads on the tips of the forelegs, it appears to be a male.  Adults are scavengers of decaying organic material and are found in moist cool ares of the Pacific Northwest, from Alaska to California.  Luckily the photograph was clear enough to see some characteristics that helped with determination, including the number of segments on the hind tarsus (5) and the antennae with 5 terminal segments widened and the first and third antenna segments lengthened.


Necrophilus hydrophiloides (Col.: Agyrtidae)    Ian Cruickshank


March 1

2017 March 1


   Best wishes for St David’s Day, Val.


   Dar Churcher photographed the micro moth below in Metchosin last week.  Many thanks to Eric LaGasa for identifying it for us.  Eric writes:  This nice image is a very dark Oegoconia novimundi, a fairly common detritivore species that does seem to overwinter as an adult and can be very common at porch lights in summer.


  It apparently also has an English name:  Four-spotted Yellowneck.   It is the first representative of its Family to appear on Invert Alert.


Oegoconia novimundi (Lep.:  Autostichidae)  Dar Churcher



  In the February 16 posting, we mentioned the appeal for volunteers for “butterfly rangers” for the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterfly Project.  I am told that, in spite of the very short notice before the application deadline, there were more than 100 applications from Victoria.  Wow! Isn’t that something!  If any contributors to the Invert Alert Website are among the rangers, we would be glad to hear how things go.