Eye on Nature: Giant, five-year-old grubs and huge jellyfish strandings

Ethna Viney responds to your queries, observations and photographs

I came across this grub (above) while working in Killorglin, Co Kerry. It was about 10cm long.

Paul Gordon, Inland Fisheries

It is the caterpillar of the goat moth, so called because it smells of goat. The moth lays its eggs in the bark of trees and the larvae bore into the wood and remain there for up to five years.

I spotted this little guy recently. He looks like an anaemic robin/finch hybrid. What do you think?


Emer O’Shea, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal

It is a bullfinch.

I found this beauty at the top of Cappanawalla Mountain in the Burren, Co Clare.

Frank Folan, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare

It is the caterpillar of the fox moth, one of the eggar group.

We saw these highly speckled birds at Fethard-on-Sea, Co Wexford. They were larger than sparrows.

Pádraig McCarthy, Sandyford, Dublin

They are adult starlings, remarkably sharply marked.

My sons found this spider on a huge web in the garden and remarked that it looked like a crab.

Claire Connolly, Ballinasloe, Co Galway

It is the garden spider.

For several weeks Eye on Nature has received photographs of huge strandings of Pelagia noctiluca on coasts from Donegal to Kerry. The mauve stinger is a jellyfish of warm and temperate waters that lives offshore and is not common near the coast. But when numbers are high, prevailing winds drive them ashore. This happened in 2007 and 2013, when they caused havoc in salmon farms.

This photo, taken by Damien Ryan, Quilty, Co Clare, is one of the many received.

Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28F978, or by email at : viney@anu.ie.

Please include a postal address