What kind of fungus can push up through 5cms of tarmac? Readers’ nature queries

Ethna Viney on thorn moth, primroses, crested grebes and emperor moths

This is the common inkcap, which is known for its tarmac-breaking capacity.

This is the common inkcap, which is known for its tarmac-breaking capacity.

 

Can you identify this insect attached to my back door in mid-April? It looks just like a little twig.

Paul Higgins, Longford

This twig-like creature is the caterpillar of the early thorn moth. It resembles a twig as camouflage during the day and it feeds at night.
This twig-like creature is the caterpillar of the early thorn moth. It resembles a twig as camouflage during the day and it feeds at night.

It’s the caterpillar of the early thorn moth. It resembles a twig as camouflage during the day and it feeds at night.

Brook lampreys spawning in a local stream.
Brook lampreys spawning in a local stream.

This is a video clip of brook lampreys spawning in a local stream.

Tommy Carey, Headford, Co Galway

These are crested grebes and are natives mainly found in the lakeland area of Donegal, Fermanagh and along the Shannon.
These are crested grebes and are natives mainly found in the lakeland area of Donegal, Fermanagh and along the Shannon.

This wee duck couple were working so hard to perfect their nest in the middle of a tidal lake at Mullaghmore, Co Sligo. Are they native to Ireland?

Emer O’Shea, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal

They are great crested grebes and are natives mainly found in the lakeland area of Donegal, Fermanagh and along the Shannon. They build large floating nests among the reeds.

This is the common inkcap, which is known for its tarmac-breaking capacity.
This is the common inkcap, which is known for its tarmac-breaking capacity.

What kind of fungus can push up through 5cms of tarmac?

Mycologist Kieran Connolly tells me that it is the common inkcap, which is known for its tarmac-breaking capacity.

The first corncrake called on Inishbofin on April 18th. We were concerned that they wouldn’t get here because of the tornado in South Africa.

Billy Mundow, Inishbofin, Co Galway

Members of the primula family cross-breed frequently.
Members of the primula family cross-breed frequently.

I saw these tall primroses in local woodlands. Is it possible that they are a hybrid? There were cowslips growing nearby.

Edel McMahon, Kilkishen, Co Clare

Yes, members of the primula family cross-breed frequently.

This the empty cocoon of the emperor moth, which emerges at this time of year.
This the empty cocoon of the emperor moth, which emerges at this time of year.

We found this unusual item on scrub land here in Connemara. Is it perhaps a nest for a solitary bee?

Chris, Kirsten, Olivia and Patrick Hogg, Dublin 8

It’s the empty cocoon of the emperor moth, which emerges at this time of year.

An emperor moth which can be seen fromt his times of year.
An emperor moth which can be seen fromt his times of year.

Noirin Mee, Killarney and photographer Sue Morrison of Donegal saw these newly emerged, female emperor moths.

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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