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 9 morning

2020 November 9 morning


   Apologies to viewers for a gap in service in the last few days.  This was the result of a computer glitch, which is now fixed.


More miscellaneous creatures from the ground detritus at Colquitz River Park, by Ian Cooper:


Nebria brevicollis (Col.: Carabidae)  Ian Cooper

     Jeremy Tatum writes:  What in the world is the animal below?   It appears to be (but isn’t!  See below!) a two-pronged bristletail  (Diplura).  In modern classifications it is a hexapod but not an insect.   The divisions of the Hexapoda have undergone some revisions in recent years, and some animals that were formerly included in the Class Insecta are no longer considered to be insects.  My present understanding is as follows:


Within the Phylum Arthropoda is included the Subphylum Hexapoda.  Within the Subphylum Hexapoda are several Classes, which include Insecta, Arachnida, Entognatha.    Each of these Classes are divided into several  or (in the case of Insecta) many Orders.


The Class Arachnida includes spiders, mites, ticks, harvestmen, scorpions.


The situation with regard to springtails and bristletails is now a little complicated, and not all authors agree.


Springtails used to belong to the insect Order Collembola.

The springtails are no longer insects, but they belong  to Class Entognatha, within which are four  Orders of different groups of springtails, namely Entomobryomorpha,   Symphypleona,

Poduromorpha, Neelipleona.


There used to be three sorts of bristletails, belonging to the insect Orders Thysanura (three-pronged bristletails),  Diplura (two-pronged bristletails) and Microcoryphia (jumping bristletails).


There are now, as before three sorts of bristletails:   three-pronged bristletails, two-pronged bristletails, and jumping bristletails, but their classification is a little different that formerly.  These used to be respectively the Orders Thysanura, Diplura and Microcoryphia within the Class Insecta.   The Order names Thysanura and Microcoryphia are no longer supposed to be used, but are replaced by the Order names Zygentoma and Archaeognatha.  Whether the Orders Zygentoma and Archaeognatha remain in the Class Insecta or are in the Class Entognagtha varies with author.  The Order Zygentoma (formerly Thysanura) includes the Family Lepismatidae (firebrats and silverfish). The Order Archaeognatha (formerly Microcoryphia) are the jumping bristletails.   The Diplura are not at all closely related to the other bristletails.  Some authors place them as an Order within the Class Entognatha.  Others promote them to Class  (i.e. of the same rank as Insecta, Arachnidae, Entognagtha).

Now, after that lengthy learned article about bristletails, it appears that the animal isn’t one after all  (though I’ll leave the learned article up in case we do ever get a genuine one).  Charlene Wood believes it is a beetle larva, and it is therefore, an insect!  Possibly Carabidae or Staphylinidae – she’d need to see a close-up of the tarsal claws to go further!  Further photographs of this animal by Ian Cooper, showing the head more clearly, are posted on November 15.

Beetle larva (possibly Carabidae or Staphylinidae)  Ian Cooper

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

Maybe more this afternoon…


November 6

2020 November 6


    A woodlouse and two slugs photographed by Ian Cooper in Colquitz Creek Park and the Galloping Goose Trail.


Oniscus asellus (Isopoda:   Oniscidae)  Ian Cooper



Oniscus asellus (Isopoda:   Oniscidae)  Ian Cooper



Probably Arion rufus (Pul.: Arionidae)  Ian Cooper

Banana Slug Ariolimax columbianus (Pul.: Arionidae)  Ian Cooper


   Short videos of the woodlouse and the Banana Slug can be viewed at   and



November 4

2020 November 4


   Jeremy Tatum laments:  Oh, dear – it’s that time of year again –


Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)


   Jochen Möhr’s  moths from Metchosin this morning:

1 Drepanulatrix (monicaria?)

1 Epirrita autumnata

1 Sunira decipiens


Drepanulatrix (monicaria?)  (Lep.: Geometridae)   Jochen Möhr


Epirrita autumnata (Lep. Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Sunira decipiens (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr





November 3

2020 November 3


   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:


Mythimna unipuncta (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jochen Möhr


Agrotis ipsilon (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Agrotis ipsilon (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


   And a moth photographed at the Swan Lake Nature Centre on November 1 by Val George:


Sabulodes aegrotata (Lep.: Geometridae) Val George

November 2

2020 November 2


    Beetles, a bug,  and a caterpillar, by Ian Cooper, from Colquitz River Park.  Thanks to Scott Gilmore for the beetle identifications.


Nebria brevicollis (Col.: Carabidae)   Ian Cooper


Strophosoma melanogrammum (Col.: Curculionidae)   Ian Cooper


Strophosoma melanogrammum (Col.: Curculionidae)   Ian Cooper


Himacerus major (Hem.: Nabidae)  Ian Cooper

Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Ian Cooper