Readers’ nature queries: What is this flying insect?
Ethna Viney on cinnabar moths, the garden spider, thorn moths and the common blue butterfly
The cinnabar moth
What is this flying insect? There were quite a lot of them gathered on the wall of my father’s house in Connemara. – Tom Seoighe, Moycullen, Co Galway
It is probably a hatch of cinnabar moths. There must have been nearby ragwort or groundsel, the food plants of the caterpillars that pupate on the ground.
A beautiful crowd of young spiders were in my parents’ garden in Kerry. –Myra Daly, Cherrywood, Dublin 18
I found these tiny spiders on the wall outside my door. They appeared to be travelling on a fine web up and down to the plant. – Walter Cullen, Sutton, Dublin 13
They are both the spiderlings of the garden spider, which is common in gardens and spins a large web among the foliage.
I live near the Burren National Park and we get amazing moths inside and outside the house. Can you identify this one? – Áine O’Regan, Tubber, Co Clare
It’s one of the thorn moths, probably the lunar thorn, which has been reported from the Burren.
I saw this small butterfly in our garden. What is it? – Ruth Brennan, Bray, Co Wicklow
It’s the common blue butterfly.
In west Clare over the Easter period I found this egg. To what bird did it belong? On the previous day I heard a cuckoo nearby and wondered if the egg was pushed rather than fell from its nest. – Kevin McDermott, Rathmines, Dublin 6
It looks like a blackbird’s egg, so hardly dislodged by the cuckoo, which lays in the nests of the meadow pipit, the dunnock and the reed bunting.
While looking for marsh fritillary butterflies at Bull Island I came across this small elephant hawkmoth. – Frank Smyth, Sutton, Dublin13
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.