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 2

2020 September 2


   Jochen Möhr writes from Metchosin: This morning, after a full moon and cold and foggy night merely one Neoalcis californiaria.  Libby Avis writes from Port Alberni:  Yes, similar here too.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  This morning I visited the nature houses at Goldstream Park and Swan Lake with the intention of photographing moths.  There was just one Neoalcis californiaria at Goldstream, and nothing at all at Swan Lake.


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


   Jochen writes:   Yesterday afternoon up to four Pine Whites simultaneously and one Woodland Skipper.

September 1

2020 September 1


   Jochen Möhr’s moths in Metchosin this morning:


1 Eupithecia sp.

1 Euxoa difformis

1 Drepanulatrix secundaria

1 Lacinipolia pensilis

3 Neoalcis californiaria 

2 Xestia finatimis complex

1 Ypsolopha canariella 


Euxoa difformis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Drepanulatrix (probably secundaria) (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

August 30, 31

2020 August 31


   Seventeen photographs today – a record!


   Barb McGrenere writes:  Mike and I saw a very worn Lorquin’s Admiral at Outerbridge Park on August 29.  We haven’t seen this species for several weeks.  Jeremy Tatum comments:  Yes, this is indeed a late sighting for the species, although they have occasionally been seen in September.


Lorquin’s Admiral Limenitis lorquini (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Barb McGrenere


   A miscellany from Ian Cooper:


The first looks like a parasitoidal hymenopteran, probably either Braconidae or Ichneumonidae.  I’m not sure if we’ll be able to identify it any closer than that.


Unidentified hymenopteran.  Probably Braconidae or Ichneumonidae

Ian Cooper

Seven-spotted Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata (Co.: Coccinellidae)  Ian Cooper

Honey Bee Apis mellifera (Hym.: Apidae)  Ian Cooper

Honey Bee Apis mellifera (Hym.: Apidae)  Ian Cooper


Harvestman Phalangium opilio (Opi.: Phalangiidae)  Ian Cooper

   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin yesterday morning:

1 Eulithis xylina

2 Lacinipolia pensilis

2 Neoalcis californiaria

1 Noctua pronuba

1 Oligia divesta

1 Xestia finatimis species group


Oligia divesta (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Xestia finatimis species group (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

   Jochen writes (August 30) that there were three Woodland Skippers among the Hairy Cat’s Ears on his property in Metchosin, and he saw six Pine Whites there simultaneously.


Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Jochen Möhr

   Jochen continues:  I also took a few pictures of some wasps which are common here, building nests inside the railing around our deck.  These here built a nest under our table on the deck.  They are not aggressive.   I never got in trouble with any of them.   [But I strongly suggest that you don’t threaten or annoy them, Jochen.  ]


European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Jochen Möhr

European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Jochen Möhr

European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula (Hym.: Vespidae)  Jochen Möhr

   Brenda Sopow sends a photograph of a caterpillar from the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific below.

Jeremy Tatum writes:  It looks a bit like Spilosoma virginica, but these are usually yellow or brown.  I have never seen one white like this.


Spilosoma virginica ?  (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Brena Sopow

   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:


1 Apantesis

1 Eulithis xylina 

1 Eupithecia sp.

2 Drepanulatrix sp. 

1 Feltia jaculifera

2 Lacinipolia pensilis

6 Neoalcis californiaria

1 Xestia finatimis sp. group

2 Xanthorhoe defensaria

1 Platyptilia carduidactyla



Apantesis nevadensis (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae) Jochen Möhr

Feltia jaculifera (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Platyptilia carduidactyla (Lep.: Pterophoridae)  Jochen Möhr

   This is a good opportunity for comparing this one with Sharon Godkin’s Amblyptilia pica on August 28.

2020 August 30


   Two caterpillars for today’s posting.   The  first, a Polyphemus Moth found by Peggy Hutchison at Swan Lake.  The second,  a young Peppered Moth found today by Jeremy Tatum on Hardhack at the Munn Road power line.


Polyphemus Moth Antheraea polyphemus (Lep.: Saturniidae)  Peggy Hutchison


Peppered Moth Biston betularia (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jeremy Tatum






August 29

2020 August 29


   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:


2 Eulithis xylina

1 Drepanulatrix sp

1 Fishia illocata

4 Lacinipolia pensilis

1 Nadata gibbosa 

2 Neoalcis californiaria 

1 Ypsolopha canariella 


Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr



Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr



Fishea illocata (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr

   A miscellany from the Galloping Goose Trail by Ian Cooper, August 28:


Raspberry Crown Borer Moth Pennisetia marginata (Lep.: Sesiidae)  Ian Cooper

   Thanks to Dr Jeff Skevington for the identification of the two flies below.  The first of these is a recent European arrival in British Columbia.

Myathropa florea (Dip.: Syrphidae)  Ian Cooper

Eristalis tenax (Dip.: Syrphidae)  Ian Cooper

Zootermopsis angusticollis (Blatt.: Archotermopsidae)  Ian Cooper

Nymph of bug.  Hemiptera, probably Pentatomidae, possibly Brochymena.   Ian Cooper

Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisidae)  Ian Cooper


August 28

2020 August 28


Two dragonflies by Gordon Hart from the Pike Lake substation ponds, August 26:


Paddle-tailed Darner Aeshna palmata (Odo.: Aeshnidae)  Gordon Hart

Sympetrum pallipes (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Gordon Hart

and another, near his Highlands house, the following day:


Sympetrum pallipes (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Gordon Hart

   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:

1 Emmelina monodactyla 

2 Eulithis xylina

1 Lacinipolia pensilis

1 Nadata gibbosa

1 Neoalcis californiaria

1 Fishea illocata

1 Pyrausta perrubralis

1 Catocala aholibah


Fishea illocata (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr

Catocala aholibah (Lep.: Erebidae – Erebinae)  Jochen Möhr

   A miscellany from Ian Cooper from the Galloping Goose Trail near Tillicum Road, August 27:


Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)  Ian Cooper

Vespula pensylvanica/germanica (Hym.: Vespidae)

with Zootermopsis angusticollis (Blatt.: Archotermopsidae) Ian Cooper

(Thanks to Claudia Copley for the identifications.)

Salticus scenicus (Ara.: Salticidae)  Ian Cooper

Syritta pipiens (Dip.: Syrphidae)  Ian Cooper

Honey Bee Apis mellifera (Hym.: Apidae)  Ian Cooper


Pennisetia marginata (Lep.: Sesiidae)   Ian Cooper

   …And, for those who are wondering if the “Lep.” in the legend is a misprint, and it should be “Hym.” – no, these are indeed clearwing moths.   Male below, female above.  Known in the fruit-growing industry as the Rasbperry Crown Borer Moth.


An exciting moth day, capped off by a nice pterophorid from Sharon Godkin.  Known as the Geranium Plume Moth, though the caterpillar feeds on a wide range of plants as well as geraniums.  Sometimes found in greenhouses.  Not sure if the “Geranium” if its names refers to plants genuinely in the genus Geranium or to the popularly mis-named “Geranium”  – actually Pelargonium.


Amblyptilia pica (Lep.: Pterophoridae)  Sharon Godkin.