Eye on Nature: Ethna Viney answers your queries

A wasp attack, Turkish hazel, ground beetles and a pale tussock caterpillar

Path to safety: Olive Bates’s Greystones caterpillar

Path to safety: Olive Bates’s Greystones caterpillar


As we were leaving the park with the kids, Harry heard a buzzing in the grass. We discovered a wasp attacking a hoverfly, much larger than itself, and eventually killing it.
Albert Nolan
Rear Cross, Co Tipperary

October was very late to find a wasp killing another insect, which it does to feed the larvae in its nest. This time of year the nest is empty, and wasps are looking for sugar, not protein.

I found rubbery spiked green fruit clusters that held nuts like hazelnuts under a tree on Nutley Lane in Dublin. I think they were from a Turkish hazel (‘Corylus colurna’).
Tony Madden
Rathfarnham, Dublin

I checked and found that Turkish hazel is a common street tree in Dublin city.

I found a striking iridescent green beetle near our house.
Judy Burke
Rosscarbery, Co Cork

It was a male ground beetle, Carabus nemoralis.

I came across the caterpillar in my photograph on a path to the south beach in Greystones. It was making its way to safety.
Olive Bates
Delgany, Co Wicklow

It was the caterpillar of the pale tussock moth, which was probably on its way to pupate. The off-white, patterned moth will appear next May.

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