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.

September 1 morning

2018 September 1 morning


Hello Butterfly Watchers,

  This is a reminder that the monthly VNHS Butterfly Walk will be on Sunday September 2. We will meet at the summit of Mount Tolmie by the reservoir at 1 p.m. Gordon has a clash of commitments, so Jeremy Tatum will lead.   Jeremy is thinking of a trip to Layritz Park for Ringlets and whatever else might be around, but we can decide at the time.  We hope to see you on Sunday. 


 Jeremy writes:  It seems a long time since we have seen a Red Admiral (the last one reported to Invert Alert was on July 15), so I was pleased to find a young caterpillar of one on a Stinging Nettle in Colwood yesterday.

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta (Lep.: Nymphalidae) Jeremy Tatum




August 31

   [There were no Invert Alerts for August 29 and30.]


2018 August 31


   Aziza Cooper writes:  On Saturday August 25 I saw this Mason Bee  (Osmia sp. ) house in Beacon Hill Park near the rose garden. 


Mason Bee house     Aziza Cooper


      Mike and Barb McGrenere found this caterpillar on a tomato plant in their Cordova Bay garden today.


Zale lunata (Lep.: Erebidae – Erebinae)  Jeremy Tatum





August 28 evening

2018 August 28 evening


   We have our first observation for the season of a caterpillar of the Spotted Tiger Moth – found and photographed by Marji  Johns at Brentwood Bay, Auguest 15:

Spotted Tiger Moth Lophocampa maculata (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Marji Johns


Sonia Voicescu writes:  I visited Rithet’s Bog again today and saw the following:

4 Vancouver Island Ringlets

3 Cabbage Whites

44 Woodland Skippers

Most butterflies were concentrated in the wet (pretty dry now) meadow at the south end of the park. The Woodland Skippers were very numerous around thistle patches.

   Alas – Jochen’s Zenophleps lignicolorata seen on this morning’s posting was seen (and eaten!) by a jumping spider, probably Platycryptus californicus.

Platycryptus californicus (Ara.: Salticidae)

Zenophleps lignicolorata (Lep.: Geometridae)

Jochen Möhr


August 28 morning

2018 August 28 morning


   Two pictures by Jochen Möhr from Metchosin.  First, a pterophorid moth.   Although these moths can be difficult to identify, Jeremy Tatum writes that he believes this one is sufficiently distinct and that it is Amblyptilia pica.


Amblyptilia pica (Lep.: Pterophoridae)  Jochen Möhr


Next a spider.  Dr Robb Bennett writes:   It’s a male Araneus orbweaver. Most likely Araneus saevus.


Araneus (probably saevus) (Ara.: Araneidae)  Jochen Möhr


   And just in from Jochen – a nice geometrid moth identified by Libby Avis as Zenophleps lignicolorata:


Zenophleps lignicolorata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

August 27

2018 August 27


   Neoalcis californiaria  is turning up everywhere this year – from Saratoga Beach (Bryan Gates) to Metchosin (Jochen Möhr) –


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Bryan Gates


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


   Bryan Gates sends a photograph of a beetle from Saratoga Beach.   Thanks to Scott Gilmore for telling us that it is of the Family Scarabaeidae – a bit difficult to go further than this, though maybe it’s worth looking at the genus Diplotaxis.


Scarabaeid beetle (Col.: Scarabaeidae) Bryan Gates