A marine snail’s egg collars, and other readers’ nature queries

Ethna Viney on large necklace snails, woodpeckers, Muscovy ducks, and comma and peacock butterflies

 

There were a lot of the strange objects in my photograph on Donabate beach recently.
Audrey O’Flaherty
Kilsallaghan, Co Dublin

Prof Guiry of NUI Galway tells me that they are the egg collars of a marine snail aptly named the large necklace snail, ‘Euspira catena’. It lives on the sandy floor of the ocean all along the east coast.

In January I heard the unmistakable drumming of a woodpecker in trees near my home. Now the greater spotted woodpecker comes to feed at my bird table.
Dorothy Pendry
Kesh, Co Fermanagh

Greater spotted woodpeckers have been reported in several locations in Co Fermanagh.

I saw the duck in my photograph on the bank of the Royal Canal in Maynooth. Could it be an escaped domestic Muscovy duck?
Deirdre Glynn
Maynooth, Co Kildare

Yes. Muscovy ducks escaped into the wild many years ago and are found on waterways in Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare.

I saw the comma butterfly in my photograph in Co Wicklow. Is this rare, as I have never seen one before in Ireland?
Wyn Beere
Kilternan, Dublin

There are hundreds of sightings of comma butterflies in the biodiversity database, almost all east of a line from Dublin to Cork. They appear to be now successfully overwintering.

Any idea what the insect in my photograph is called? I found it in a pile of wood.
Seán Ó Díomasaigh
Dunsany, Co Meath

You disturbed a hibernating peacock butterfly.

Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28 F978, or by email at viney@anu.ie. Please include a postal address

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.