What is this large insect that landed in our garden? Readers’ nature queries

Ethna Viney on moths, starfish, dragonflies and ringed plovers

The ringed plover always lays her eggs in a depression in the sand.

The ringed plover always lays her eggs in a depression in the sand.

 

We came across these eggs among the sand and stones of Begenish Island. We didn’t disturb them and wondered if they were abandoned.

Kilian Keyes & family, Waterfall, Co Cork

The ringed plover always lays her eggs in a depression in the sand. They are not abandoned; she stays away so as not to attract attention to them.

I saw this beautiful moth resting on our back door and thought it might be a leopard moth because of its spots. - Jeremy Hutchinson, Louisburgh, Co Mayo
It’s the garden tiger moth.

Garden tiger moth
Garden tiger moth

I found this dead hornet in Portumna. -Richard Hollinshead, Celbridge, Co Kildare
It’s the lunar hornet moth, which doesn’t look a bit like a moth.

Lunar hornet moth
Lunar hornet moth

I saw this caterpillar near Crookhaven. It was about 5cm in length. - Jenny Hickey, Ballydehob, Co Cork
It is the caterpillar of the emperor moth.

Elephant hawkmoth caterpillar
Elephant hawkmoth caterpillar

I saw this little one on a bramble beside a beach in Casthetownshend, Co Cork, what is it? - Neil Long, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin
It’s the six-spot burnet moth.

Six-spot burnet moth
Six-spot burnet moth

On a night dive recently I spotted this curiosity – a seven-arm starfish with eight arms. - Vinny Hyland, Derrynane, Co Kerry
Unusual. Starfish often lose an arm to predators, and can grow a new one.

Starfish often lose an arm to predators, and can grow a new one
Starfish often lose an arm to predators, and can grow a new one

What is this large insect that landed in our garden? Its total wingspan was about 8cm? - Gavin Byrne, Dalkey Co Dublin
It’s the four-spotted chaser dragonfly.

Four-spotted chaser dragonfly
Four-spotted chaser dragonfly

I found this blue-grey moth on the outside wall of our house. - Bobby Carty, Belmullet, Co Mayo
It’s the grass emerald moth, found usually on moorland and damp scrubby grassland.

The grass emerald moth is found usually on moorland and damp scrubby grassland.
The grass emerald moth is found usually on moorland and damp scrubby grassland.

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

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