Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

Irish damselfly, mourning cloak butterfly, six-spot burnet and white-toothed shrews

The Irish damselfly also known as the Irish bluet

The Irish damselfly also known as the Irish bluet

 

This beautiful creature flew into our house recently.

Orla Martin, New Ross, Co Wexford

It’s the Irish damselfly, also called the Irish bluet, first recorded here in 1981.

Wasps have built a nest enclosing a bird nesting box in my garden. The main entry to the nest is through the bird entry hole under the “paper” at the front.

Mary T Brennan, Ruthstown, Co Kilkenny

The Camberwell beauty butterfly, Nymphalis antiopa
The Camberwell beauty butterfly, Nymphalis antiopa

I photographed this butterfly on my colleague’s car. A quick search on Google suggests it’s a mourning cloak butterfly, more common in North America and continental Europe.

Gill Brennan, North Brunswick St, Dublin 7

The Camberwell beauty butterfly, Nymphalis antiopa, is a rare migrant from the continent to these islands. It is known as the mourning cloak butterfly in North America.

I heard what sounded like a swarm of bees in a bay willow tree and found hundreds of bumble and solitary bees feeding on a honeydew produced by aphids.

Paddy Demery, Kilcoole, Co Wicklow

Can you identify this creature, which I saw feasting on a young poplar tree?

Jimmy Carney, Kiltimagh, Co Mayo

It’s the caterpillar of the pebble prominent moth, which feeds voraciously on poplar, willow, birch and oak.

Six-spot burnet
Six-spot burnet

We spotted this colourful insect in the dunes at Curracloe, Co Wexford.

Rory McGuinn, Moycullen, Co Galway

We hope this 6-spot burnet moth (Zygaena filipendulae) survived the fire.

The cats brought in five greater white-toothed shrews in one night. They bring them in regularly hunting around the farmyard.

Paddy, Jack and Richard Sleeman, Ballywalter, Co Cork

These alien shrews seem to be spreading around the country.

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

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