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 16

2018 August 16


[There was no Invert Alert for August 15.]


From Gordon Hart:


Hello Butterfly Counters,

The August count runs nine days from the third Saturday, August 18, to the fourth Sunday, August 26. You can submit a count anytime over this period, and you can do more than one count, just use a separate form for each count. In the case of repeat counts, or more than one person counting an area, I will take the highest count for each species.

Please use the form at on the Victoria Natural History Society website. If you have a zero count, or just one or two butterflies, you can email me directly.

The count area is the same as the Christmas Bird Count circle (attached). For butterfly identification, the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT) has a useful chart of butterflies of southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands:


If you would like a suggestion for an area to count, please send me an email.

In addition to the counts, a monthly butterfly walk is held on the first Sunday of each month – the next walk will be on September 2. We start at the summit of Mount Tolmie at 1pm, and decide where to go from there. I will send out another reminder near the month-end.

Thank-you for submitting your sightings and happy counting! 


Gordon Hart

Butterfly Count Coordinator

Victoria Natural History Society


Count circle map link:




Jochen Möhr did well last night with his moth trap in Metchosin:


10 Tolype distincta

2 Perizoma curvilinea

2 Neoalcis californiaria

1 Drepanulatrix monicaria

1 Eulithis xylina

1 Nemoria darwiniata


Here are three of the pictures that he obtained.  The first two are Neoalcis californiaria and make an interesting contrast to Thomas Barbin’s dark specimen shown on August 14.  The first of these shown below is fairly typical in this area.  The second is a rather pale or perhaps faded example.  The third photograph, identified by Libby Avis as Caradrina montana, is a new one for this site.


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Caradrina montana (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


   Kurtis Herperger sends a photograph of a beetle that came to his moth trap in the Highlands last night.   Thanks to Scott Gilmore for help with the identification as  Trichocnemis spiculatus.


Trichocnemis spiculatus (Col.: Cerambycidae)  Kurtis Herperger


   Rosemary Jorna sends a picture of a female Common Whitetail (which isn’t nearly as common as some of our other dragonflies !), which was cruising in her yard yesterday Aug 15  2018 in the Kemp Lake area.


Common Whitetail Plathemis lydia (Odo.: Libellulidae)  Rosemary Jorna






August 14

2018 August 14


   Thomas Barbin sends a photograph of a rather dark example of a male Neoalcis californiaria from Goldstream campground, August 6.


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Thomas Barbin



   Jochen Möhr sends some photographs of moths from his Metchosin home last night.  In addition to these he had no fewer than 12 (!) Tolype distincta there.


Lacinipolia strigicollis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Drepanulatrix monicaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Panthea virginarius (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr

August 13

2018 August 13


    Last month Jochen Möhr subnitted some pictures of a spider from his home in Metchosin.  Dr Robb Bennett writes:  These are nice images. It would be nice if there were some indication of the size of the spiders.   However I’m pretty sure they are Parasteatoda tepidariorum. A cosmopolitan house spider – I usually see them under window sills or eaves where they have their retreats. Their prey capture webs are long sticky silk strands that extend down to the ground. They are quite efficient – I have seen lots of giant house spiders and big beetles in their webs and have heard reports of them even capturing European Wall Lizards.  


   Jeremy Tatum adds:  According to Web entries they can also inflict a fairly severe bite.  One site says severe pain for 16 hours.   I don’t know if this happens very often, but I thought I should mention it so that viewers can be suitably circumspect if they come across this spider.



American House Spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Ara.: Theridiidae)  Jochen Möhr




American House Spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Ara.: Theridiidae)  Jochen Möhr


   Bryan Gates sends a photograph of Amblyptilia pica from Oak Bay, August 13.


Amblyptilia pica (Lep.: Pterophoridae)  Bryan Gates

August 12 morning

2018 August 12 morning


   No one saw any invertebrates yesterday.


   But last night, Jochen Möhr saw the following nice moths at his home in Metchosin.   Thanks to Libby Avis for help with the identifications.


Enypia venata (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Lacinipolia pensilis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Neoalcis californiaria (Lep.: Geometridae)  Jochen Möhr


Oligia divesta (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jochen Möhr


Reminder:  Perseid meteor shower tonight.

August 10

2018 August 10


  Mike Yip writes from Nanoose Bay:  Scores of Woodland Skippers in the garden with the occasional Pine White and Cabbage White.   A few Common Woodnymphs flying by but no nectaring or basking.

Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae) Mike Yip

Male Woodland Skipper Ochlodes sylvanoides (Lep.: Hesperiidae) Mike Yip


   A rare full upperside view, showing that the Branded Skipper is by no means the only skipper whose male is conspicuously “branded” with androconial scales, which release male hormones to advertise his presence.

Pine White Neophasia menapia (Lep.: Pieridae)  Mike Yip


   Jeremy Tatum shows a White-lined Hawk Moth, which came from the caterpillar shown on July 15 and the pupa shown on July 25.  The caterpillar was found at McIntyre reservoir, which is where I released the moth today.  Larval foodplant – Epilobium.


White-lined Hawk Moth Hyles lineata (Lep.:  Sphingidae)  Jeremy Tatum