Watch out for the lion’s mane jellyfish on our coasts this summer

Eye on Nature: Ethna Viney replies to your queries and observations

Lion’s mane jellyfish. Photograph: Adam Lilburn of Limerick.

Jellyfish alert: 

There have been many reports of lion's mane jellyfish on beaches all down the west coast. These jellyfish should not be touched as they can deliver a severe sting even when dead.

Birch bark moth

This beautiful birch bark moth, also known as a bufftip, looked rather exposed on the wall when there was a perfectly good birch tree in the garden.

Esther Hoad, Dromod, Co Leitrim

Clouded magpie moth

Q. I spotted this insect in the Devil's Glen, Wicklow. Could you identify it?


Eoin O’Brien, Templeogue, Dublin 6W

A. It is the clouded magpie moth.

We found this moth dead on a path and put it on a sugared plate. After 20 minutes it perked up and looked for shade.

Michael, Aidan and Alphie Walsh, Barnatra, Co Mayo

It is the garden tiger moth which flies June to August.

Q. My wife spotted this creature at Warren Strand, Rosscarbery. What species is it?

Ray Treacy, Rush, Co Dublin

Caterpillar of the cinnabar moth

A. It is the caterpillar of the cinnabar moth feeding on ragwort.

Attached is a photo of a cabbage caterpillar being consumed by the larva of a parasitic wasp. I don’t spray my garden, but instead remove leaves when I find caterpillar eggs on my kale. I was delighted to see the remaining caterpillars taken care of by natural predators.

Emma Timoney, Cliffoney, Co Sligo

Cabbage caterpillar

The tiny ichneumon fly, Apanteles glomeratus, lays its eggs in the caterpillar of the large white butterfly and other white butterflies. The eggs hatch and consume the caterpillar.

Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28F978, or by email at Please include a postal address.