What’s this insect on my windowsill called? Readers’ nature queries

Ethna Viney on the oak eggar moth, barrel jellyfish, horntail wasp, magpie moth and peacock butterfly

 

This insect was on a windowsill in my home. I’ve never see one like it before. – Glenna Woods, Garristown, Co Dublin
It’s the male oak eggar moth, which flies during the day. The female, which is a lighter colour, flies and lays its eggs at night.

Barrel jellyfish
Barrel jellyfish

I spotted this object on Laytown beach. It was quite large. What is it? – Catherine McGauran, Laytown, Co Dublin
It’s the barrel jellyfish, Rhizostoma pulmo, which can reach up to 90cm.

Magpie moth
Magpie moth

This insect was in my mobile home in Wexford. What is it? – Eithne Mackell, Blackrock, Co Dublin
It’s the magpie moth. Its larvae feed on blackthorn, gooseberry, currants and other shrubs.

Horntail wasp
Horntail wasp

My Dad found this bug in our garden on a noble fir. At first glance it looked similar to a wasp. – Nicola Conron, Donard, Co Wicklow
It’s a sawfly called the horntail or wood wasp, which uses her ovipositor to bore into pine trees to lay her eggs. They remain in the tree for 2-3 years, after which they emerge as fully grown insects.

Peacock butterfly
Peacock butterfly

I saw this beautiful butterfly with dozens of others in Ardgillan, near Skerries. – Mary Dunne , Gormanston, Co Meath
It’s good to hear that there are plenty of peacock butterflies around.

Herons nest in our huge pine tree but they have all departed for this year. At the beginning of August two pairs of egrets arrived to the tree and stayed around. Are they likely to nest this late in the year? – Michael Latchford, Clahane, Co Kerry
It’s too late to breed, but they roost together.

The slug Arion ater rufus, which is the red form of the black slug A ater
The slug Arion ater rufus, which is the red form of the black slug A ater

Two correspondents, Con Hurley of Ballinlough, Co Cork, and Rónait Ní Chonghaile of Inis Mór, Co Galway, sent in photos of the slug Arion ater rufus, which is the red form of the black slug A ater. It is found all around Ireland.

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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