Eye on Na­ture

Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

The Irish Times - Weekend Review - - OUTDOORS - 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

I saw this in­sect (main pic) on the sun room wall at the end of Septem­ber. Cather­ine Nash, Ballinteer, Dublin 16 This ex­otic look­ing in­sect at­tached it­self to the inside of my sun room wall. James Bren­nan, Clon­tarf, Dublin 3

Both are the beau­ti­ful plume moth, Am­blyp­tilia

acan­thadactyl. Un­like the com­mon white plume moth, Em­me­line

mon­odactyl, the beau­ti­ful plume has two gen­er­a­tions, one in July and an­other in Septem­ber. The lat­ter hi­ber­nates, emerg­ing in May. They are at­tracted to light. I was driv­ing along the Mall in Din­gle when an ot­ter crossed the road di­rectly in front of the car and dis­ap­peared through the gate of the Garda sta­tion. Pa­tri­cia Coady, Din­gle, Co Kerry On pa­role? We found this ob­ject (left) at Ber­tra Beach when the tide was out. It looks like the hatched eggs of some­thing. Sarah Har­vey, West­port, Co Mayo

They are the egg or em­bryo cap­sules of the dog whelk. The em­bryos hatch out inside the egg cases and emerge when they are ready for in­de­pen­dent life. I saw this dead fish (right) on a beach in Co Cork washed up af­ter Storm Ophe­lia. Jane Har­vey, Abbeyleix, Co Laois

It is a trig­ger fish. The dor­sal fins are not vis­i­ble in the photo, but it has a very strong first dor­sal fin which can be raised and locked like a trig­ger. It is used to wedge the fish in crevices to escape preda­tors. This red ad­mi­ral but­ter­fly (left) at Roger­stown Es­tu­ary, Dublin, sur­vived the storms. Liam Kane, Blan­chard­stown, Dublin 15

Above: the beau­ti­ful plume moth, Am­blyp­tilia acan­thadactyl; right: a trig­ger fish; far right: the red ad­mi­ral but­ter­fly; left: the egg or em­bryo cap­sules of the dog whelk

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