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 18

2018 October 18


   Bryan Gates sent this photograph of a harvestman from Oak Bay on October 12.  I think it is possible that it is not the usual European Phalangium opilio, but we haven’t got an identification yet, so for the time being we’ll just have to leave it at Order level.

Harvestman (Opiliones)    Bryan Gates


   Nathan Fisk sends a photograph of Bombus melanopygus  from Fort Rodd Hill.

Bombus melanopygus (Hym.: Apidae)  Nathan Fisk


   He also sends a photograph of a Grey Hairstreak caterpillar on Black (or Beach) Knotweed.

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Given this foodplant, my immediate reaction is that this must be the caterpillar of a Purplish Copper butterfly.   The difficulty is that I don’t think it looks quite right for that species, which is usually green and rather weakly, if at all, patterned.  The patterning, the colour, and the slightly bristly appearance make me wonder if it might actually be a Grey Hairstreak.  Here they usually feed on Salal (spring generation) or on Pearly Everlasting (fall), though a wide variety of foodplants has been recorded.  See the October 19 posting, to see why I finally convinced myself that it is a Grey Hairstreak.

Grey Hairstreak Strymon melinus (Lep.: Lycaenidae)  Nathan Fisk


October 7

2018 October 17


   Bryan Gates writes:  I cleaned out 40+ nest boxes at the Uplands Golf Course today. This spider was encountered in at least five boxes, along with other spiders not photographed.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  I think this is… well, I shan’t say what I thought it was, for Robb  Bennett writes:  Oops – go to the back of the class until such time as you have an opportunity to redeem yourself.  It’s an amaurobiid – Callobius severus.


Callobius severus (Ara.: Amaurobiidae)   Bryan Gates

October 16

2018 October 16


   Jochen Möhr is just back from holiday in Germany – and he didn’t waste any time in photographing an Autographa californica  in his Metchosin garden!


Autographa californica  (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Two Cabbage Whites today – one at Hillside Mall, and one at Cattle Point.

October 15

2018 October 15


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Four Cabbage Whites at McMicking Point this afternoon.


October 14

2018 October 14


   Jeremy Tatum writes: Today I saw one Cabbage White at Longview Farms, and another one at Turgoose Point.