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 13

2018 October 13


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Two Cabbage Whites today at Mount Newton Cross Road, and two more at Island View Road.

October 12

2018 October 12


   On October 10, Aziza photographed this very black moth at the Swan Lake nature house.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  This has puizzled me, for it is just the size and shape of a Winter Moth¸ though I have never seen one so completely black as this, and it is rather early – they usually appear in November.  But I can’t think of what else it might be, so I am labelling it as a maybe Winter Moth.


Maybe Winter Moth Operophtera brumata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Aziza Cooper


   Gordon Hart writes from his Highlands home:  No butterflies today, but we did see this nice Girdler Moth on Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) flowers.

Girdler Moth Dargida procinctus (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Gordon Hart

October 11

2018 October 11


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  This is the second time this season that I have found this bug on my bed – but I swear to you it is not a Bed Bug. It is a Western Conifer Seed Bug.  I don’t know why it likes my bed – I have no conifer seeds to offer it.


Western Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis (Hem.: Coreidae)

Jeremy Tatum


   Here is the cocoon of a Polyphemus Moth:

Polyphemus Moth Antheraea polyphemus  (Lep.: Saturniidae)   Jeremy Tatum



   Banded Woolly Bears are showing up now.   Here is one photographed by Sonia Voicescu this afternoon on the Lochside Trail next to Michell’s Farm.

Banded Woolly Bear Pyrrharctia isabella (Lep.: Erebidae – Arctiinae)  Sonia Voicescu


   Libby Avis writes from Port Alberni:  Things are starting to wind down here. So far this week, a couple of Ceranemota, Tetracis jubararia, Ennomos magnaria, Philedia punctomacularia, Sunira decipiens, Agrotis ipsilon, Pleromelloida cinerea and Lithophane innominata. Autographa californica still around in the garden. Definitely well into the fall species!

   Gordon Hart writes:  Yesterday at Swan Lake, while I was watching Yellow-rumped Warblers eating Red Osier Dogwood berries, a fresh Red Admiral flew by landing on some brambles.

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Gordon Hart


October 10

2018 October 10


    Jeremy Tatum writes:   Yesterday there were three Tetracis (formerly Synaxis) jubararia  at the Swan Lake nature house.   Alas!   I didn’t have my camera with me – so I drove all the way home to fetch the camera.  The moths were still there when I got back.  Alas!   No card in my camera!   So I hastened back to the car park to drive back home again – but then to my rescue appeared Aziza!  She had her camera with her, and she even had a card in it, so she photographed two of them.  The third one had by then lost patience and it had flown away.


Tetracis jubararia (Lep.: Geometridae)  Aziza Cooper


Tetracis jubararia (Lep.: Geometridae)  Aziza Cooper



   Aziza writes:  Yesterday, Monday October 8 in Centennial Park I observed two banana slugs six or seven feet up a big cedar on the dry bark. Any idea why? Have you or has anyone seen this behaviour before?  


Banana Slugs Ariolimax columbianus (Pul.: Arionidae)   Aziza Cooper


   Rosemary Jorna writes:  This small insect was on our picnic table (Kemp Lake area) yesterday afternoon, October 9.



 Larva of lacewing (Neu.: Chrysopidae)   Rosemary Jorna


October 9

2018 October 9


      Val George writes:   This caterpillar was at Panama Flats on Saturday, October 6.


Acronicta dactylina (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Val George


    Mark Wynja writes:  On Saturday October 6  I was birding from the logging roads in the High Country between Mount Arrowsmith and Mount Moriarty. In the morning when we first arrived, there was frost with a thin layer of ice on the ponds and puddles well below 1,000 metres elevation. In the early afternoon Guy Monty, David Baird and I saw two butterflies at an elevation of around 1,000 metres. The first flew past and appeared to be a Comma (species?). Later we encountered a Hydaspe Fritillary nectaring on Pearly Everlasting. 


Hydaspe Fritillary Speyeria hydaspe (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Mark Wynja



Hydaspe Fritillary Speyeria hydaspe (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Mark Wynja


   Bryan Gates writes:  This landed on me in the White Spot parking lot in Courtenay, Oct. 4. 2018.  Thanks to Libby Avis for the identification to genus.


Caddisfly Limnephilus sp. (Tri.: Limnephilidae)  Martin Gates



   Bryan Gates sends a photograph of Triphosa haesitata from Oak Bay, October 6.


Triphosa haesitata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Bryan Gates


   Nathan Fisk writes from Fort Rodd Hill:  Fly-by of medium sized, dominantly orange coloured butterfly this morning.  Jeremy Tatum writes:  Anyone like to guess?  California Tortoiseshell perhaps?   Keep looking!