Are these painted ladies mating and what’s this fish? Readers’ nature queries

Eithne Viney on insects crawling the wall and strange fleshy pine cones

Greater pipefish

Greater pipefish

 

I found this 25cm-long fish washed in at Whiting Bay, Co Waterford. What species is it? Cathy O’Rourke, Carrigaline, Co Cork
It’s the greater pipefish, found all around the island on mud or sandy bottoms in shallow water.

Snake centipede
Snake centipede

I have collected hundreds of these insects crawling on the walls of my house in Co Clare. What are they? John McMahon, Askeaton, Co Limerick
The white-legged snake centipede.

Painted ladies mating
Painted ladies mating

These two butterflies were busily circling my garden before landing one on top of the other with wings closed. They were there motionless for several hours. Liz McCabe, Cork city
They were painted ladies mating. You could only see the underwing.

Peacock butterfly caterpillars
Peacock butterfly caterpillars

At the end of June I saw these caterpillars in my local woods of Ballyhighland. Aisling Noone, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford
They were peacock butterfly caterpillars feeding on nettles.

Fleshy pinecones
Fleshy pinecones

I saw these colourful and interesting fleshy pine cones in Kindlestown Wood in Delgany. Most were open and partly eaten or broken. The trees were extremely straight and tall with leaves only at the very top. Catherine McCarthy, Bray, Co Wicklow
The tree is the European silver pine and this is the flower which will turn into a cone.

Blue-billed duck
Blue-billed duck

I’ve seen this bird in St Enda’s Park, what is it? I was also delighted to see a kingfisher. Stephanie McCarthy, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14
The blue-billed duck is the greater scaup, normally a winter visitor from Iceland and Scandinavia.

The peppered moth
The peppered moth

I encountered this moth near the river Mourne, Co Tyrone, what is it? Mervyn Kinloch, Moira, Co Down
It’s the peppered moth, which also has a dark form that developed in the industrial areas of Britain in the 19th century.

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

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