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 5

2017 November 5


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Yes, indeed, it is Winter Moth time again.  Here is a female that turned up at my Saanich apartment this morning.  Sorry the image looks a bit misty.   I think it’s a scattered light problem caused by trying to use too many close-up lenses.


Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)

Jeremy Tatum

November 4

2017 November 4


   It’s Winter Moth time again!  After a prolonged warm fall, we suddenly get a blast of wintry weather and the European Winter Moth immediately appears.  Kirsten Mills (who probably saw the last butterfly of the year – see October 3 posting) spotted this moth at the Hillside shopping centre just two days later.  It might be worth it for someone to go out to the Goldsteam Nature House soon to photograph a winter moth – they are probably mostly bruceata  there.


European Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Kirsten Mills

November 3

2017 November 3


   A butterfly in November!  I didn’t know if we were going to make it, but Jeff Gaskin tells us that Kirsten Mills saw a Cabbage White at the corner of Cadboro Bay Road and Tudor Avenue on November 1.  The following day we were surprised to have snow in the evening, so I imagine that our extended butterfly season this year is now really over.  But let us know if anyone sees any more.



November 2 morning

2017 November 2 morning


   Ian Cruickshank sends some pictures of a butterfly (October 26), and a beetle and two spiders (October 27) from the sand dunes among the Ammophila on Sidney Island Spit.


Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (Lep.: Nymphalidae)   Ian Cruickshank



   Charlene Wood identifies the beetle for us as Pterostichus algidus.  Note that it has fused elytra and does not fly.

Pterostichus algidus (Col.: Carabidae)  Ian Cruickshank


   Robb Bennett writes:  These two spiders are old friends, both introduced from Britain or western Europe about 100 years ago:


         The reddish one is Dysdera crocata, known to the British as the “slater slayer” because of its preference for preying upon woodlice.


        The other is one of our two species of Eratigena (previously classified in Tegenaria) – either Eratigena agrestis (hobo spider) or Eratigena atrica (giant house spider).  I suspect it is E. agrestis based on its subtle golden hue – atrica is usually much darker/grayer.


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Latin and Greek Scholars will be wondering what “Eratigena” means.  They may well continue to wonder.  Fans of cryptic crosswords will doubtless immediately notice that Eratigena is merely a meaningless Greek-looking anagram of Tegenaria.


Dysdera crocata (Ara.: Dysderidae)  Ian Cruickshank


Eratigena (probably agrestis )  (Ara.: Agelenidae)  Ian Cruickshank







October 31 morning

2017 October 31 morning


    Thanks to Thomas Barbin for spotting a misidentification of a spider on the October 21 posting.  I have now corrected it.  A reminder to all viewers that, if you spot a mistake, please do let me know. 


     Here are three more insects from Metchosin, photographed by Jochen Moehr.  Sincere thanks to Libby Avis for help with the moth identifications, and to Claudia Copley for the caddisfly.

White-speck Moth Mythimna unipuncta (Lep.: Noctuidae)

Jochen Moehr


American Tissue Moth Triphosa haesitata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Moehr



Caddisfly Halesochila taylori (Tri.: Limnephilidae)  Jochen Moehr