Is this species of butterfly getting rarer? Readers’ nature queries

Eye on Nature: Ethna Viney on bee houses, beetles, spiders, ducks and a rare fungus

Marsh fritillary

Marsh fritillary

 

I was reading lately that this species is on the decline. I think it is the marsh fritillary. – Denis Quinn, Killata, Co Mayo

Yes, the marsh fritillary is widespread but its marshy habitat is under pressure and is included in annex II of the European habitats directive. The habitat must be managed in accordance with the needs of the species.

For the first time, the three bee houses on our garden shed have been occupied. – Don Comiskey, Delgany, Co Wicklow

They are likely to be either mason or leaf-cutter bees.

We found this insect on Slieve Bloom at the end of May. – Rosalie Prendergast, Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny

It is the two-banded longhorn beetle. It is usually seen on flowers but breeds on dead trees.

We saw this plant or mushroom when walking on the Paps on the Cork/Kerry border. – Nora Hayes, Dunmanway, Co Cork

The mycologist Dr Kieran Connolly identified it as heath navel, Lichenomphalia umbellifera. It is rare.

The Pholcus phalangioides spiders in my shed spin themselves in defence if their webs are touched. I watched one make 260 fast revolutions. – Susan Flynn, Ballybrack, Co Dublin

The long-bodied cellar spider is noted for its gyrations.

I saw this duck at Johnstown Castle in Co Wexford. Mallards and a few mandarins were the only other ducks present. – Stephen Butler, Palmerstown, Dublin

It is the female mandarin duck.

I photographed this beautiful little beetle sipping my husband’s gin and tonic. – Philomena Grant, Derry

It is the red-headed cardinal beetle. Rosalie Prendergast also sent a photo of one which she feared was feeding on her wisteria. Cardinal beetles sun themselves on plants but breed in the bark of trees and are carnivorous.

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

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.