Where do oyster drills come from, and why are they in Kerry? Readers’ nature queries

Eye on Nature: Ethna Viney replies to your questions and observations

Slime mould, perhaps Mucilago crustacea

Slime mould, perhaps Mucilago crustacea

 

This white mushroom was growing from a slit in the black plastic wrapped around silage.
Albert Nolan, Newport, Co Tipperary
It is more likely to be a slime mould, perhaps Mucilago crustacea in one of its many stages of growth. It grows in damp grass.

Hepiopelmus variegatorius, a parasite
Hepiopelmus variegatorius, a parasite

I saw this parasitoid, Hepiopelmus variegatorius, in the Raven Forest, Wexford, a couple of weeks ago. It parasitises the caterpillars of buff and ermine moths, and is the second record for Ireland.
John Holden, Rosslare Harbour, Co Wexford
Ichneumon flies lay their eggs in the larvae of other insects. When they hatch they feed on the host larvae and kill them.

On the rock where I fish there were bairneach (limpet) shells with holes and the contents not fully eaten. I found out that the holes were made by the oyster drill. How long have these molluscs been living in Kerry?
Fin Broderick, Listowel, Co Kerry
The oyster drill is an alien, invasive species that came in to oyster beds with imported Pacific oysters, and is found all around the shallow parts of the bays of southwest Kerry.

Common plume moth
Common plume moth

The moth in this photo has been on my kitchen wall for the past week.
Zandra Ball, Clontarf, Dublin
It is the common plume moth, Emmeline monodactyl.

A caterpillar of the white, miller moth
A caterpillar of the white, miller moth

I saw the caterpillar in this photograph crawling across the lawn. What is it?
Emily O’Regan Mills (10), Glenageary, Co Dublin
It is the very hairy caterpillar of the white, miller moth. It feeds on the leaves of trees.

  • Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28F978, or by email at : viney@anu.ie. Please include a postal address.
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