Is this pink grasshopper native to Ireland? Readers’ nature queries

Ethna Viney on oyster shells, bush crickets, moths, swans and turtle doves

Pink grasshoppers are very rare as the colour is caused by a genetic anomaly

Pink grasshoppers are very rare as the colour is caused by a genetic anomaly

 

I photographed this fellow on our wooden deck in Wexford. Is it a grasshopper and is it native? –Sara Whelan, New Ross, Co Wexford
Pink grasshoppers are very rare as the colour is caused by a genetic anomaly. A few have been seen in Britain. There was one from Greystones, Co Wicklow, in Eye on Nature last year.

Roesel’s bush cricket
Roesel’s bush cricket

I noticed this insect on nettles at Carrickbrack, Howth. I thought it might be a bush cricket but I couldn’t find it in the books. – Frank Smyth, Sutton, Dublin13
It’s Roesel’s bush cricket, with a local distribution in Ireland.

Oyster shell showing many holes
Oyster shell showing many holes

I picked up this oyster shell, one among many, on a beach near Brittas. It has many holes, sometimes through to the other side. What caused the holes? – Ruth Murphy, Kilcock, Co Kildare
There are a few organisms that cause holes in shells. These ones were probably caused by the boring sponge Cliona chelata.

Garden carpet moth
Garden carpet moth

This moth was camped out on my front door for several days. Is it likely to overwinter? – Paul Kenny, Kimmage, Dublin 12
It’s the garden carpet moth and it overwinters as a pupa.

Turtle dove spotted in Allihies, Co Cork
Turtle dove spotted in Allihies, Co Cork

I took this image of a turtle dove on our driveway. It was my first time seeing one. Is that unusual? – Barbara Kenneally, Allihies, Co Cork
It is a rare sighting. Turtle doves are passage migrants in Ireland, usually seen on coastal headlands on the south and east coasts in spring and autumn.

Whooper swans at Bunduff lake, Mullaghmore, Co Sligo
Whooper swans at Bunduff lake, Mullaghmore, Co Sligo

These whooper swans had just arrived at Bunduff lake, Mullaghmore, on October 7th. – Michael McCormick, Cliffoney, Co Sligo

Canary-shouldered thorn moth
Canary-shouldered thorn moth

I found this little yellow moth outside our door. Can you tell me what it is? – Rob Smyth, Foxrock, Dublin 18
It’s the canary-shouldered thorn moth.

Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28 F978, or by email at viney@anu.ie. Please include a postal address.

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