A monarch butterfly. The species is most commonly seen in southerly coastal areas of Ireland in September and October.

Butterfly populations in Ireland showed healthy growth in 2020 with some species boosted by good weather in late spring and early summer. The multi-s(...)

Speckled wood butterflies in flying contest. Illustration: Michael Viney

Butterflies have always known the acre’s hottest spot in spring: a metre or two of garden path, sheltered by hedges and tilted south to warm up nicely(...)

The Asian hornet is a predator of honeybees, wasps, other pollinators such as bumblebees, hoverflies and spiders. Photograph: Aidan O’Hanlon, National Museum of Ireland

A single specimen of an Asian hornet, an invasive alien species, has been found in Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has confirm(...)

A bumblebee buzzes around in the warmth of the polytunnel, concentrating on a bed of overwintered broad beans.

At the first chill breaths from the Arctic, a solitary bumblebee was buzzing around in the warmth of the polytunnel, disdaining all escape through the(...)

Wild plants sustain all other biodiversity, as well as providing carbon sequestration and flood mitigation services, not to mention the joy (and health benefits) of wild flower and native woodland landscapes. Photograph: Fran Veale

The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, just five years old, has been remarkably successful, especially given notorious failures, north and south of the Bord(...)

Cocksfoot grass: their hint of purple strong against the light in a sunny meadow

Weeks of cold, raw, early rain, then droughty weeks of a misplaced summer; weeks of showery rain again, some of it teasingly warm: such are the mood s(...)

The large and admirable Lumbricus terrestris earthworm, key architect of the structure and fertility of soil.

To learn that mice, cats and frogs find foreign flatworms too distasteful to eat confirms a general disparagement of the creatures. One shrew, in a la(...)

They will be celebrating World Bee Day on May 20th, with activities based on the wonderful world of bees.

National Biodiversity Week 2020 is offering a large number of opportunities to get up close to nature – even if Covid-19 has forced a switch to online(...)

Golden kelp. Illustration: Michael Viney

After the gales, the season’s shearing of kelp has left many beaches in western coves knee-deep in a dark and pungent harvest. Torn from their grip on(...)

Hair ice forms on moist, rotting wood from broadleaf trees

I came across this hoar frost in Glenisken Wood. What causes the ice or frost to grow like hairs? Donagh Kilworth, Co Cork While walking near th(...)

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