What kind of spider is this? Readers’ nature queries

Eye on Nature: Ethna Viney on the king rag, solitary mining bees and pygmy shrews

 

This spider sits in the bell flower of an antirrhinum. I watched it waiting for a bee to land, which it then grabbed and ate. – Jerome Neenan, Carlow
It is the crab flower spider.

While gardening I came across this spider carrying a sac, which, I presume, contains the next generation. – Marilynn Hearne, Tramore, Co Waterford
It is the nursery web spider with cocoon of eggs. When the eggs are about to hatch she attaches the cocoon to vegetation, spins a silken tent over it, and stands guard until the spiderlings disperse.

Can you identify this lovely moth? Also, I have a bee that has burrowed into sandy soil in the garden and has several holes. Is it a solitary mining bee? – Elaine O’Malley, Castleconnell, Co Limerick
The moth is the gold spot, which is widespread on the Moths Ireland map. You have in fact several solitary mining bees – one to each hole.

My five-year-old came across this on Sutton Strand recently. – Len Cawley, Sutton, Dublin
It is a polychaete marine worm, the king rag, which burrows in the sand on the lower shore and into the shallow water. It is prized as bait by sea anglers.

I spotted this sad sight about two miles off Renvyle, Co Galway. I thought it was a buoy that entangled the creature, but up close it appears to be part of it – a swim bladder or part of the gut. – Páid Ó Donnchú, Na Forbacha, Co na Gaillimhe

What is this rodent? I have two feral cats and they bring me these three times a week. – John McCarthy, Corbally, Co Limerick
It is a pygmy shrew.

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

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