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
Eyes on nature: the egg collars – masses of jelly and sand that the large necklace snail lays its eggs in – that Audrey O’Flaherty saw
Eyes on nature: a Muscovy duck like the one that Deirdre Glynn saw on the Royal Canal in Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photograph: Getty
Eyes on nature: a comma butterfly like the one that Wyn Beere saw
Eyes on nature: a peacock butterfly like the one that Seán Ó Díomasaigh saw. Photograph: iStock/Getty
There were a lot of the strange objects in my photograph on Donabate beach recently.
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.
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?
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?
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 email@example.com. Please include a postal address