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.
Can you identify this insect attached to my back door in mid-April? It looks just like a little twig.
Paul Higgins, Longford
It’s the caterpillar of the early thorn moth. It resembles a twig as camouflage during the day and it feeds at night.
This is a video clip of brook lampreys spawning in a local stream.
Tommy Carey, Headford, Co Galway
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.
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
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.
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.
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 email@example.com. Include a postal address, please.