Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney
Common flower bug, crustose lichen, cardinal beetles and a convolvulus hawkmoth
The common flower bug, Anthocoris nemorum
I wonder, what is this small bug a few millimetres long? A few times this summer I’ve felt a small, sharp bite on my arm when working in the garden, to find that one of these is the culprit.
Kevin Healion, Templemore, Co Tipperary
It’s the common flower bug, Anthocoris nemorum, which will bite humans. It feeds on aphids and red spider mites and is used as a biological control in the garden.
I saw this unusual lichen on Tully Mountain, Co Galway. What is it called?
Brian Graham, Dublin 13
It’s the crustose lichen, Fuscidea cyathoides. There doesn’t seem to be a common name, although it is widespread in Ireland.
I’ve found a number of these 4-spotted insects in the garden.
Brendan Dollard, Ashbourne, Co Meath
It is one of the cardinal beetles, Endomychus coccineus, called the false ladybird because of its resemblance. It is a fungus eater.
This monster landed on my arm while I was cutting the grass and gave me the fright of my life. It was 60mm from wingtip to wingtip.
Jake Reilly, Sandymount, Dublin 4
The convolvulus hawkmoth is a migrant from Africa. It is one of the largest hawkmoths.
We found this skull on the “hole in the wall” (burrow) beach in Sutton, but don’t know what animal it came from.
Ciarán Culhane, Cabra, Dublin 7
It’s not a skull but looks much more like the pelvis of a bird.
I spotted this caterpillar on a pavement near the Merrion Centre in Dublin. The chances of him being squashed were high so we put him in the hedgerow.
Isabelle Wheatley, Rathmines, Dublin 6
This was the first report of a hummingbird hawkmoth caterpillar to Eye on Nature. Alas, it will probably not survive our cold winter.
Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28F978, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a postal address.