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.

August 27

2020 August 27


   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:


4 Eulithis xylina

1 Lacinipolia pensilis

1 Nadata gibbosa

1 Panthea virginarius

1 Xestia finatimis species complex

1 Ypsolopha canariella


Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae) Jochen Möhr


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


   A Honey Bee  from Ian Cooper:


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


   An exciting adventure from  Ian:

Vespula vulgaris (Hym.: Vespidae)   Ian Cooper


Be careful… watch out!    Ian Cooper



Under the leaf – Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisidae)   Ian Cooper


Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisidae)   Ian Cooper


You were warned!!   Ian Cooper


   The wasp was lucky – it got away.  In an encounter between a crab spider and a vespid wasp,  the wasp is in great danger.  On the other hand, had it been a pompilid wasp, it is the spider that would be in danger.


   Val George writes:  This Plume Moth Emmelina monodactyla was on the window near the door of the nature house at Swan Lake yesterday, August 26.  Also on the walls near the door were 2 Neoalcis californiaria and a Noctua pronuba.  Many dragonflies were flying around the edges of the lake:  many Blue Dashers, many Darners (Blue-eyed, Green and other Darner species my inexpert eyes can’t identify when they’re flying) and at least 7 or 8 Black Saddlebags.  This last red-listed species seems to be quite numerous this year because I saw 3 or 4 at McIntyre Reservoir on Martindale Flats a few days ago and I recall that there have been several photos shown on the Alert recently.


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Yes, I, too, have seen several Black Saddlebags this year.  Agree they are unusually common this year.  Anyone else noticed this?


Emmelina monodactyla (Lep.: Pterophoridae)  Val George

August 26 afternoon

2020 August 26


   Rosemary Jorna sends a picture of a wasp (yellowjacket) feeding on a fallen apple in her Kemp Lake garden.  Thanks to Claudia Copley for the identification of the species.


Vespula vulgaris (Hym.: Vespidae)  Rosemary Jorna


   A miscellany from Ian Cooper:


Spittle bug Philaenus spumarius (Hem.: Cercopidae)  Ian Cooper


Ammophila sp. (Hym.: Sphecidae)  Ian Cooper


Leucospis affinis (Hym.: Leucospidae)  Ian Cooper



August 26 morning

2020 August 26 morning


   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:


2 Eulithis xylina

1 Lacinipolia pensilis

1 Nadata gibbosa

2 Neoalcis californiaria

1 Noctua pronuba 

2 Oligia divesta

1 Panthea virginarius

1 Perizoma curvilinea 


In addition, Jochen writes:  Also, every day, I see 2 to 4 Woodland Skippers and several Pine Whites, up to 5 simultaneously around the house.


Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Nadata gibbosa (Lep.: Notodontidae)  Jochen Möhr


And Jochen’s moths from Metchosin yesterday morning, August 26:


1 Emmelina dactylina

3 Eupithecia sp

4 Eulithis xylina

1 Evergestis funalis

1 Feltia jaculifera

1 Lacinipolia strigicollis

5 Neoalcis californiaria  

1 Nemoria darwiniata

3 Noctua pronuba

1 Oligia divesta

1 Panthea virginarius

1 Stenoporpia pulmonaria 

1 Xestia finatimis species group

1 Ypsolopha canariella



Evergestis funalis (Lep.: Crambidae)  Jochen Möhr

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

Feltia jaculifera (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

Emmelina monodactyla (Lep.: Pterophoridae)  Jochen Möhr

More this afternoon…


August 25

2020 August 25


   A nice miscellany of insects from Ian Cooper.   Thanks to Claudia Copley and Annie Pang for help with some of the identifications.


Syritta pipiens (Dip.: Syrphidae)  Ian Cooper


Bark louse Graphopsocus cruciatus (Pso.: Stenopsocidae) Ian Cooper


Pacific Coast Dampwood Termite Zootermopsis angusticollis) (Blattoidea: Archotermopsidae)


Vespula (probably vulgaris) (Hym.: Vespidae)  Ian Cooper


Vespula vulgaris (Hym.: Vespidae)  Ian Cooper


Bombus sp. (Hym.: Apidae)  Ian Cooper


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


   There are so few butterflies around that it is a pleasure to see a Grey Hairstreak (even if slightly worn) in the Royal Oak area, photographed today by Ron Flower:


Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Ron Flower


    Also a two-in-one photograph by Ron of a Woodland Skipper and a harvestman:


Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae)

Harvestman Phalangium opilio (Opi.: Phalangiidae)

Ron Flower




August 24

2020 August 24


   Jochen Möhr’s moths from Metchosin this morning:


4 Eulithis xylina

5 Neoalcis californiaria 

1 Noctua pronuba 

4 Perizoma curvilinea 

1 Xanthorhoe defensaria

1 Zenophleps lignicolorata



Zenophleps lignicolorata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr



      Sher Falls sends a photograph of a water scorpion from  a freshwater pond at Qualicum Beach.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one out of water like this – though they can fly when they have a mind to, which is not very often.  We have had very few photographs of aquatic invertebrates on this site – photographers please note!


Water scorpion Ranatra fusca (Hem.: Nepidae)  Sher Falls