Is this a tick, and could it be carrying Lyme disease? Readers’ nature queries
Ethna Viney on ticks, foxes, long-eared owls, mason wasps and silver Y moths
Eyes on nature: the tick that landed on the wild garlic Emer O’Shea was photographing on Lough Erne
On an island on Lough Erne I was trying to do a soft-focus shot of wild garlic when this wee creature landed in front of my lens. Is it one of the ticks that can cause Lyme disease?
Ballyshannon, Co Donegal
It is a tick. Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of a tick infected with the bacterium ‘Borrelia burgdorferi’. But not all ticks carry the bacterium; they get it by biting infected animals like deer or sheep.
I saw the fox in my photograph with a rat in its mouth in Rochestown. Foxes are not so bad if they keep down the rats.
Rochestown, Co Cork
The owl in my photograph came into the bedroom of my brother and his wife at 4am. They collected it in a towel and, after a photocall, guided it out of the window. We can hear the young call at night.
Jenkinstown, Co Kilkenny
It was a young long-eared owl.
I’m sending you a photo of a bee attacking a caterpillar that we saw in Co Roscommon recently. I have never seen this behaviour before.
It was a solitary mason wasp, which lines its nest with caterpillars to feed its young. It looks like ‘Ancistrocerus nigricornis’, which has been reported only once in Ireland but is local in Britain.
A small green caterpillar has been eating my lettuce plants. I’ve never come across this before. Is there a butterfly that lays its eggs on lettuce?
Boyle, Co Roscommon
A small, brown-patterned moth, the silver Y, lays small green caterpillars on lettuce and cabbage.
Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28 F978, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a postal address