Eye on Nature: Squids, moths and barnacles under the magnifying glass

Your notes and queries answered by Ethna Viney

Bobtail squid.

Bobtail squid.

 

The Delahunt family, Wicklow:
We came across this tiny squid, about 4cm long, on a Wicklow beach. It was burrowing in the sand with just its eyes sticking out, changing colour and squirting ink. Could it be the Atlantic bobtail?

Ethna Viney:
Yes, it is the bobtail squid, Sepiola atlantica, a species closely related to the cuttlefish. It has a light organ in its mantle that can change its colour and outline.

swallowtail moth
swallowtail moth

Mark Simpson Donnybrook, Dublin 4:
Could you identify this moth. It was quite large, 35mm wing to wing?

Ethna Viney:
It’s the swallowtail moth, one of the largest.

garden tiger moth
garden tiger moth

Jean Byrne, Caherdaniel Co Kerry:
My son noticed this beautiful moth on Murlough beach in Co Down. More red was visible when it spread its wings.

Ethna Viney:
It’s the garden tiger moth. Several photos were sent in; this is by Jean Byrne, Caherdaniel Co Kerry.

logs with indents by ship worms
logs with indents by ship worms

Ann Keogh, Oughterard, Co Galway:
These logs on the shoreline in Inishbofin were covered with tunnels, all different sizes, that looked like they were bored by some kind of worm.

Ethna Viney:
The holes were made by ship worms, perhaps Teredo navalis or similar.

buoy-making barnacles attahed to seaweed
buoy-making barnacles attahed to seaweed

Padraic O Malley, Clare Island:
A corncrake sauntered out of a clump of tall grass about 10m from the front door of the post office here.

Ethna Viney:
There were a large number of requests for the identification of clusters of barnacles, attached often to seaweed, washed in on the shore. They were buoy-making barnacles, Lepas fascicularis, the same family as the gooseneck barnacles and not unlike them. The stalk secretes a spongy white float. This photo was sent by Sara Boyce Rosapenna, Co Donegal.

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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