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.

2021 September 20

2021 September 21

    Jeremy Tatum sends a photograph of a creature found in his bathroom this morning.  It belongs to the Order Thysanura (Zygentoma of some authors), Three-pronged Bristletails.  Taxonomists don’t seem to have settled whether or not they belong in the Class Insecta. The three species most commonly encountered  indoors are the Firebrat Thermobia domestica, the Silverfish Lepisma saccharina  and the one below, Ctenolepisma longicaudata,  whose English name varies from  author to author.  Some authors spell the specific names of some or all of them  –um rather than –a.  I find that the Firebrat is by far the commonest, followed by C. longicaudata I have yet to see Lepisma saccharina in Victoria.  T.domestica and C. longicaudata  like warm places;  L. saccharina prefers cool places.   I keep my apartment fairly warm, which may be why I have yet to see L. saccharina.


Ctenolepisma longicaudata (Thy.: Lepismatidae)   Jeremy Tatum

   Rob Gowan sends a photograph of a Goldenrod Crab Spider with a hover fly victim, in his Fairfield garden, September 19.


Misumena vatia (Ara.: Thomisidae)  with hover fly (Dip.: Syrphidae) victim       Rob Gowan

   Rob also sends a photograph of a Variegated Meadowhawk seen at the East Sooke Park hawk watch, September 20.

Variegated Meadowhawk Sympetrum corruptum (Odo.: Libellulidae)   Rob Gowan

2021 September 20

2021 September 20

   Black Witch!    Today the local bird hotline  reports a Black Witch  discovered and photographed on September 19 by Klaus Emmaneel  behind the Cedar Hill ballbark.  I hope the bird hotline and the observer will not mind my taking the photograph from that site and re-posting it here.  This gigantic tropical noctuoid moth is a rarity anywhere in Canada.   In 2018 there were two records from Vancouver Island reported on this site.  A recently dead specimen was found right next to the Royal British Columbia Museum on 2018 August 28, and a living specimen was found in Port Alberni  on 2018 September 9.  See the Invert Alerts for 2018 September 10 and 13.

Black Witch Ascalapha odorata (Lep.: Erebidae – Erebinae)  Klaus Emmaneel

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  Today I saw a female Purplish Copper  at the McIntyre Reservoir in Central Saanich.  There were still several Cabbage Whites in the surrounding fields.

2021 September 19

2021 September 19

    Jeff Gaskin writes that Kirsten Mills found a late Lorquin’s Admiral in Uplands Park near Dorset Avenue on September 18, or the area where a Magnolia Warbler was seen earlier in the day.

  Jeremy Tatum asks:   What is that “stuff” at the top of a dead grass stem found in Uplands Park today?



  Well, let’s have a closer look:

Probably Noctua pronuba (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Jeremy Tatum

2021 September 17

2021 September 17

    September Butterfly Count

   Message from Gordon Hart

 Hello, Butterfly Enthusiasts ,

The September count period starts Saturday, September 18 until Sunday, September 26. This is an informal census of butterfly numbers and species in Greater Victoria. The area is defined by the Christmas Bird Count circle, extending from Victoria to Brentwood Bay and Island View Road in Central Saanich, and west to Happy Valley and Triangle Mountain, and Langford Lake and Goldstream areas. 

You can submit a count any time over the count period, just use a separate form for each count and location. In the case of repeat or duplicate counts, I will use the higher numbers. To submit counts, please use the form on the VNHS website at:

If you have difficulty with the form, please send me an email with the information.

There are not many butterflies around now, but there is a chance of some interesting sightings. This past week American Lady and Grey Hairstreak have been reported.

Thank-you for submitting your sightings and good luck with your count.

 Gordon Hart,

Butterfly Count Coordinator,

Victoria Natural History Society



    Jeremy Tatum writes:   Today is a rainy day, and as of 3:40 pm no reports or photos of invertebrates have been received.   If you have any to submit later today, send them in as usual – though they probably won’t be posted until tomorrow.

2021 September 16

2021 September 16

    Aziza Cooper writes:  On September 14, this moth was on my garage, in Salsbury Way.


Coryphista meadii (Lep.: Geometridae)   Aziza Cooper

   Val George writes:  Yesterday, September 15, I checked for moths on the walls around the lights at the nature centre in Goldstream Park.  Results:

2 Neoalcis californiaria, 1 Noctua pronuba, 2 Plemyria georgii

Plemyria georgii (Lep.: Geometridae)   Val George

   Gordon Hart sends a photograph of a bee fly, probably Villa sp. from the Highlands.

Villa sp. (Dip.: Bombyliidae)  Gordon Hart

   Aziza Cooper reports that on September 15 she saw one Pine White at Aylard Farm in East Sooke Park.

   Jeremy Tatum writes:  This morning (September 16) I was looking at the flowers in the garden department of Canadian Tire at Hillside Shopping Mall on Hillside Avenue.  Among all the other plants was a small pot with a decorative cabbage in it, and a Cabbage White was ovipositing on it. I was tempted to buy the plant, but I had someone with me so I moved on.