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.

April 1

2021 April 1


    Egira crucialis/simplex  is a difficult pair of moths to identify, and it keeps us moth-ers guessing every year.  Kirsten Mills  sent a photograph of one from near Hillside Mall, March 31.  It looks very close to the moth shown on March 28 and which is known to be  crucualis.  Libby Avis and Jeremy Tatum both believe that Kirsten’s moth most likely is indeed Egira crucialis.


Egira crucialis (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Kirsten Mills


   The wasp below, photographed by Rosemary Jorna in the Kemp Lake area, March 31, also poses an identification problem, but Darren Copley and Sean McCann both suggest Vespula acadica.


Vespula acadica (Hym.: Vespidae)  Rosemary Jorna


Vespula acadica (Hym.: Vespidae)  Rosemary Jorna


   And here’s a bug from the same area:


Kleidocerys resedae (Hem.: Lygaeidae)  Rosemary Jorna


   Rosemary has been finding some very tiny creatures on the trunks of her maple trees.  I had no idea, writes Jeremy Tatum,  what the animal below is, so I was glad that Charlene Wood immediately spotted it as a springtail, of a rather different sort from the ones that have been appearing recently on this site.  A quick email followed, to springtail expert Frans Janssens in Antwerp, who zeroed in to genus:  Pogonognathellus sp.  The white area to the right in the first photograph below is a fingernail. Frans writes:  Tomocerinae are easily recognised by the distinctly long antennae, more especially the long third antennal segment.


Pogonognathellus sp.  (Coll.:  Entomobryomorpha – Tomoceridae – Tomocerinae) Rosemary Jorna



Pogonognathellus sp.  (Coll.:  Entomobryomorpha – Tomoceridae – Tomocerinae) Rosemary Jorna



   We don’t yet know what the tiny creature in the next two photographs is.   Also photographed by Rosemary near Kemp Lake. Possibly it might be a bark louse, Psocodea.


Possibly a bark louse (Psocodea)?  Rosemary Jorna


Possibly a bark louse (Psocodea)?  Rosemary Jorna


   Ian Cooper sends a photograph of a nematoceran fly, which we believe is probably of the Family Tipulidae, the Family that includes the familiar crane flies.


Probably a crane fly (Dip.: Tipulidae)  Ian Cooper

Probably “leatherjacket” larva of a crane fly Tipula paludosa (Dep.: Tipulidae)  Ian Cooper


Nonbiting midge (Dip.: Chironomidae)  Ian Cooper

Possibly Ambigolimax valentianus (Pul.: Limacidae) Ian Cooper






March 31 evening

2021 March 31 evening


   Kirsten Mills reports that she saw a Sara Orangetip today, near McRea Avenue and Richmond Road, near Mount Tolmie.


   Ian Cooper sends another interesting batch, most of which will have to wait until tomorrow’s posting, but, writes Jeremy Tatum, I can’t wait to post this spectacular close-up of a springtail from Colquitz River Park last night:


Springtail  Orchesella villosa (Coll.: Orchesellidae)

March 31 morning

2021 March 31 morning


   Jeff Gaskin writes:  On March 29 I saw a Sara Orangetip at the Mill Bay ferry terminal, and a Cabbage White was near the Duncan sewage lagoons also on March 29.


    Jeremy Tatum writes:  While I, as an astronomer, insist that Spring starts when the declination of the Sun is zero degrees, which was on March 20, there are many who regard Spring as starting when the first Orangetip of the year is seen.


    Charlene Wood sends a photograph of a small staphylinid beetle.  She writes:  The staph found on my property on March 29 was a female Philonthus cognatus. In the Camosun neighbourhood of Saanich, near the greenway on King’s Road.  This introduced species bears a characteristic first antennal segment that is bicolored, with yellow below and black above. The head, pronotum, and elytra are slightly metallic with a greenish lustre. ~10 mm long. 


Philonthus cognatus (Col.: Staphylinidae)  Charlene Wood

March 30

2021 March 30


   Val George saw his first butterfly of the year.  It was a California Tortoiseshell sunning itself on the Mount Tolmie reservoir.

California Tortoiseshell Nymphalis californica (Lep.: Nymphalidae)  Val George



   Here are more fascinating night-time photographs by Ian Cooper from the Galloping Goose Trail and Colquitz River Park.   Thanks to Charlene Wood for confirming Ian’s identification of the first two insects.

Nut Leaf Weevil Strophosoma melanogrammum (Col.: Curculionidae)  Ian Cooper


Nut Leaf Weevil Strophosoma melanogrammum (Col.: Curculionidae)  Ian Cooper

Ground beetle larva (Col.: Carabidae)  Ian Cooper


Millepede, possibly Ophyiulus pilosus (Diplopoda: Julidae) Ian Cooper


Lauria cylindracea (Pul.: Lauriidae) Ian Cooper


Possibly Prophysaon sp. (Pul.:  Anadeniidae)  Ian Cooper


Arion rufus (Pul.: Arionidae)  Ian Cooper


Female spider, Neriene sp. (Ara.: Linyphiidae) Ian Cooper


Probably Philodromus dispar (Ara.: Philodromidae)


March 29

2021 March 29


   Jeremy Tatum writes:  My first butterfly of the year today – a brief glimpse of a Cabbage White flying over Shelbourne Street.


Meanwhite Ian Cooper is continuing with his wonderful photographs of interesting animals.  First, a remarkable photograph of a moth that has just ecloded (emerged) from its pupa probably only a minute or so ago.  Its wings are just mere stubs – they will expand to their full size within the next fifteen minutes.  At this stage, without being able to see the wing pattern, or much of it, it is impossible to identify it.  Or is it?  I had a guess myself, and I asked Libby Avis to have a guess, too, at this impossible task.  Well, we both came up with the same genus – Orthosia  that’s pretty impressive, though I says it meself.  Libby’s guess was O. hibisci; mine was O.praeses. Remarkable photograph in any case.

Added later:  Libby reminded me that the first thoracic segment of praeses should be a rich orangey-brown, so it’s definitely not praeses.  I’m tempted now to label it as a definite hibisci, but I shan’t push my luck, so we’ll leave it as O. sp.


Orthosia sp. (Lep.: Noctuidae)  Ian Cooper

Probably Oniscus asellus (Isopoda:  Oniscidae)  Ian Cooper

Grey Field Slug Deroceras reticulatum (Pul.: Agriolimacidae) Ian Cooper

Pimoa altioculata (Ara: Pimoidae) Ian Cooper