Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries

Diving beetles, a dead swift, and bug eggs

 

We spotted five or six shrimp-like creatures, about 5cm long, in one of our ponds, which has no tadpoles. The other pond has tadpoles but no creatures.
Shane Waring
Wexford

They were the voracious larvae of the great diving beetle. They would have eaten any tadpoles in the pond.

We found a dead swift in our garden. It looked in perfect condition except for a tiny hole at the top of its head, which had tiny tick-like insects crawling out of it. Was this a parasite that killed it?
Rachel Heffernan
Sallynoggin, Co Dublin

That is likely. It would have picked up the tick where it was nesting, as swifts live in the air and land only to breed.

I spotted a group of tiny green eggs on the wall of my porch and wondered what insect laid them.
Mary Roche
Glanmire, Co Cork

From looking at your photograph, they were the eggs of the green shield bug, which usually lays on the underside of a leaf but occasionally does so on walls.

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

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