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.

October 26

2019 October 26


   It looks as though invertebrates are taking a day off today.  Jochen Möhr reports just a single Epirrita autumnata from Metchosin this morning.

October 25

2019 October 25


   Mr W sends a photograph of a bee found on October 22.  Thanks to Lincoln Best and Annie Pang for identifying it as a halictid.  Lincoln writes:  Certainly either Halictus tripartitus or Halictus confusus, probably the latter.  Female.


Halictus confusus/tripartitus (Hym.:  Halictidae)  Mr E


   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning.


1 Agrochola purpurea (same individual as for the last three days, still in same spot)

2 Drepanulatrix sp. 

2 Epirrita autumnata

1 Orthosia mys (different individual from the one yesterday)

2 Sunira decipiens

and one monstrous Orb Weaver Spider Araneus diadematus, of which I attach some pictures as well.


Orthosia mys (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr


Araneus diadematus (Ara.: Araneidae)  Jochen Möhr



Araneus diadematus (Ara.: Araneidae)  Jochen Möhr



Araneus diadematus (Ara.: Araneidae)  Jochen Möhr



   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I hate to mention it, but it’s Winter Moth  time again.  This one at my Saanich apartment this morning:


Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum


   But don’t despair – there are still a few butterflies around – Cabbage Whites at any rate.  Jeff Gaskin saw one in Gorge Community Garden in Gorge Park;  Kirsten Mills saw one at the corner of West Shore Parkway and Highway 1; Mike Yip saw one at French Creek.  All of these today, October 25.

October 24

2019 October 24


   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning.


2 Epirrita autumnata

1 Orthosia mys

1 Sunira decipiens

1 Tetracis sp.

1 Udea profundalis


Epirrita autumnalis (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Tetracis jubararia/pallulata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Sunira decipiens (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Drepanulatrix secundaria/monicaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Udea profundalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Jochen Möhr


Orthosia mys (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


   Mr E found this tiny fungus-eating ladybird beetle in Thetis Lake Park on October 22.  The choice is between the rather similar Psyllobora vigintimaculata and P. borealis.  Charlene Wood writes: 

That is tricky! I often leave them as Psyllobora sp., but if I must, I’d be happy to call this Psyllobora vigintimaculata based on the small gap between the lateral and apical spots on the elytra.


The main difference as I understand from Gordon (1985):


Elytron with strongly developed lateral spot behind middle, spot either free or narrowly connected the large inner spot, widely separated from apical spots (Fig. 693 f) ….. borealis Casey

– Elytron with lateral spot behind middle usually not strongly developed, narrowly separated from apical spot or spots, or joined to it (Figs. 691 f)  ….. vigintimaculata (Say)



   Jeremy Tatum continues:   Unfortunately  my computer is refusing to reproduce Gordon’s drawings, but, yes, Mr E’s beetle does indeed look like Psyllobora vigintimaculata.  The “apical spot” is the one near the very tip of the elytron.  In Mr E’s beetle, it is barely separated by a tiny white isthmus from the main big blotch. In boreale that apical spot is lonely, quite separated by a mile from the big main blotch.


Psyllobora vigintimaculata (Col.: Coccinellidae)  Mr E


   Mr E sends a photograph of a spider from Centennial Park, October 23, kindly identified for us by Dr Robb Bennett as a male Callobius severus.


Callobius severus (Ara.: Amaurobiidae)  Mr E


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I found another daddy-long-legs spider, also known as cellar spider Pholcus phalagioides , in my bedroon today.  I wonder how many more there are?


Pholcus phalangioides (Ara.: Pholcidae)  Jeremy Tatum


   Libby Avis  sends a photograph of a Juniper Carpet Moth Thera juniperata from Port Alberni.  She writes:   It’s a common fall moth here. We’ve had few at the light over the last 2-3 weeks – another three this morning. 


Thera juniperata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Libby Avis


       Libby follows this up with:   Just remembered that Rick photographed a caterpillar on the juniper about 6 weeks ago (Sept 8th). I didn’t try to ID it at the time, but have just taken another look at his photos and am pretty sure that’s what it has to be. Good match for photo on MPG.  [Jeremy Tatum writes: Yes definitely a good match.  I’d say no doubt at all.  We can tell from the swollen thoracic segments that it is shortly going to pupate.]



Thera juniperata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Rick Avis





October 23

2019 October 23


   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning.   No photos taken:


1 Agrochola purpurea

2 Epirrita autumnalis

2 Sunira decipiens


    Jeremy Tatum writes:  In yesterday’s (October 22)  posting I reported a Painted Lady, and I wondered if it might be the last butterfly of the season.   Not quite, for Jeff Gaskin reports that he saw a Cabbage White in the Gorge Park Community Garden, and Kirsten Mills saw two Cabbage Whites around Hillside Centre and one on Glanford Avenue between Baker Street and McKenzie Avenue also yesterday, October 22.


  Mr E sends photographs of Araneus diadematus.


Araneus diadematus (Ara.: Araneidae)  Mr E



Araneus diadematus (Ara.: Araneidae)  Mr E



October 22

2019 October 22


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  In an effort to stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder for as long as possible, I was glad to see a butterfly today.  The last of the year, perhaps?  – or can someone stretch the season out a little further?  I saw a Painted Lady on the big flowering Ivy patch on Mount Tolmie.  I know that English Ivy is not the botanists’ favorite plant, but at this time of year, if it is flowering, it is very attractive to butterflies, bees, wasps, syrphid flies, etc.  There are several big patches of flowering Ivy in the Victoria area.  To find the one on Mount Tolmie, enter Mount Tolmie from the end of Rattenbury Place.  Turn right just before the big patch of Pampas Grass, and go up the stairs.  As soon as you are at the top of the stairs you are at the Ivy patch.  I bet if you went there after dark with a flashlight you’d see lots of moths.


  Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:


2 Agrochola purpurea

1 Dryotype opina 

2 Epirrita autumnata

3 Sunira decipiens

1 dilapidated Xanthorhoe defensaria


Epirrita autumnata  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Epirrita autumnata  (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Dryotype opina (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Agrochola purpurea  (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr