What’s this creature that arrived in from the clothesline? Readers’ nature queries
Ethna Viney on hawkmoths, crayfish, dogfish, goat moth caterpillars and hermit crabs
This fellow came in on a towel from the clothesline. He was about 6cms long with beautiful markings and big dark eyes. – Jonathan White, Killiney, Co Dublin
It’s the convolvulus hawkmoth, a late summer visitor from Mediterranean regions.
This wonderful underwater photo of a crayfish among dead man’s fingers was taken by club member Kieran McGlynn off the Donegal coast. – Dearn McClintock, Sheephaven Sub Aqua Club, Co Donegal
I was scuba diving recently off Hook Head, Co Wexford and saw 21 dogfish all crammed into a small crevice in the rock, staying still. I returned hours later and they were still there. Could this be a mating event? – Orlaith O’Connor, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny.
Female dogfish crowd together in refuges to avoid predators and unwelcome mates, especially during the day.
We spotted this caterpillar-like creature on our walk along the Grand Canal at Edenderry. – Gavin Duffy (11), Edenderry, Co Offaly
The caterpillar of the goat moth is so called because it smells like a male goat. It has emerged from the trunk of a tree where it has been growing for the past three or four years. It will pupate on the ground and the moth will emerge next June.
We were delighted to see hundreds of hermit crabs at Omey Island in Connemara. Some were the largest we have ever seen. The shells ranged from 1cm to three times the size of those in the photo. – Barbara Browne, Knockmore, Co Mayo
Hermit crabs have a soft tail which they protect by occupying the empty shells of other species. They move from small to larger shells as they grow.
The badger and hedgehog, as well as a fox, are nightly visitors outside my window. – David Rice, Killaloe, Co Clare
Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28 F978, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a postal address.