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 30

2017 October 30


   Rosemary Jorna writes:  Here is another small insect from East Sooke  This little lady beetle, 3 mm, landed on my pants while we were enjoying the sun and sea at Iron Mine Bay on Friday October 27.  Charlene Wood writes:  It’s a tiny coccinellid in the genus Psyllobora, of which there are two species in our area: P. vigintimaculata and P. borealis.


Psyllobora vigintimaculata or borealis (Col.: Coccinellidae)   Rosemary Jorna

October 29 evening

2017 October 29 evening


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  I went to McIntyre reservoir this afternoon hoping to stave off the onset of S.A.D. by one more day, and I saw two Cabbage Whites there.  There have been sightings of this species from other locations in the last few days.


   Banded Woolly Bears have also been reported from several places in the last few days – McIntyre Reservoir, Swan Lake, Quick’s Bottom, Rithet’s Bog.  Yesterday I visited Panama Flats, and there were many squashed Banded Woolly Bears along the pathway.  I remarked on this last year, and I think there were far too many to have been accidentally trodden upon.  I think the automatic reaction of many people to seeing a caterpillar is to stomp on it.  Just as the automatic reaction of many people to seeing a mushroom is to kick it over. 


   There are two mentions of butterflies in today’s Times-Colonist.  On page C3 there is an article about many Monarchs still remaining in Ontario, from where they should long ago have migrated south.  The warm weather may have delayed their departure, and when winter really starts to kick in, they will be doomed.  Or perhaps the warm fall weather has resulted in an extra generation.  One biologist is quoted in the article as saying:  “It’s not an ominous sign for monarchs, but it is ominous” – an observation of great profundity.


  The second mention of butterflies is on page B3.  Kaetlyn Osmond came first in the women’s singles at Skate Canada, though her performance had one or two small glitches in it.  She had to put her hand down to prevent a fall in a triple toe loop, and she fell in a double Axel.  It’s nice to see her back after a few injuries.  She blamed her stumble on the triple toe loop to butterflies – an allegation which I strenuously deny.


  Here is another moth photograph from Jochen Moehr in Metchosin, and we are grateful to Libby Avis for identifying it for us.


Lithophane baileyi (Lep.: Noctuidae)   Jochen Moehr


   I asked Libby if she is still getting some moths in Port Alberni.  She writes:  Not too much happening here any longer – has been fairly cool at night. Still getting one or two Thera juniperata, a few Mythimna unipuncta, Autographa californica and one lonely Sunira decipiens. Not a butterfly to be seen, so you’re lucky in Victoria.

October 29 morning

2017October 29 morning


   Jeremy Gatten writes:  The outlandishly nice weather yesterday brought out the butterflies today and I encountered four species while birding with Dave Robichaud.  All species were encountered at Martindale Flats.  The first two species were encountered in close proximity to one another near McIntyre Reservoir – a West Coast Lady and a Painted Lady.  Shortly after, the first of several Cabbage Whites was encountered.  The final species was an Orange Sulphur, which looked surprisingly fresh.  The sulphur was located along Lochside Drive a little way south of the model aircraft field.

West Coast Lady Vanessa annabella (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Jeremy Gatten

Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (Lep.: Nymphalidae)   Jeremy Gatten


Jochen Moehr sends some more pictures from Metchosin.  Jeremy Tatum writes: The first, in order of decreasing probability, is Drepanulatrix monicaria, D. secundaria, D. foeminaria.   I am sufficiently sure that it is in fact the first of these that that is what I am going to label it.


Drepanulatrix monicaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Moehr

Autumnal Moth Epirrita autumnalis (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Moehr

Autographa californica (Lep.: Noctuidae – Plusiinae)  Jochen Moehr


The insects below might be called “gnats”, but they are really a sort of small crane fly.


Limonia nubeculosa (Dip.: Tipulidae – Limoniinae)  Jochen Moehr






October 26

2017 October 26


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Today at McIntyre reservoir:  One Cabbage White, one Autographa californica, and one Banded Woolly Bear.

October 25

2017 October 25


   Ron Flower writes:  In our travels yesterday we  saw four Cabbage Whites at McIntyre reservoir, two in Royal Oak and one at Albert Head lagoon. So I guess with the good weather coming this week there is a  chance of finding other varieties.