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 Please in­clude a postal ad­dress

I planted a mon­key puz­zle tree in my gar­den in 1968 and, as it grew taller than the house, I de­cided to have it re­moved. I counted the rings at the base (right) and to my amaze­ment could find only 40. Bob Bren­nan, New­bridge, Co Kil­dare

Miss­ing tree rings is a known phe­nom­e­non. Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, un­der some ad­verse con­di­tions rings are not formed, but when the grow­ing en­vi­ron­ment im­proves or changes, growth is re­sumed.

When I ex­am­ined this se­ries of silken tun­nels (right) in the gar­den shed, a yel­low 20mm larva emerged. Are th­ese wax worm co­coons? John Mullins, Cork

They are the co­coons of the greater wax moth, which you opened be­fore the cater­pil­lar (wax worm) had de­vel­oped into a pupa.

Could you iden­tify this in­sect (right) found on the car wind­screen in July? Jack Casey, Mal­low, Co Cork

It’s a male dam­sel bug, Loric­ula el­e­gan­tula, which has been re­ported a few times to the Bi­o­log­i­cal Data Records from dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try but not from Cork. It’s usu­ally seen in July.

This (above) is Bar­ney Brush, our con­vivial diner in Maynooth. He at­tends the cof­fee shop in the Square for his break­fast and din­ers at­tend to him. At night he has sup­per at the pizza joint on Main Street. Photo from Peter Neli­gan.

Damien Maguire, Maynooth, Co Kil­dare I spot­ted up to 30 curlews (bot­tom left) at a time dur­ing Oc­to­ber in St Mary’s foot­ball grounds in Gal­way city.

Ted Camp­bell, Gal­way

They are the first ar­rivals of curlews from Scot­land, north of Eng­land and Scan­di­navia to win­ter here.

On Oc­to­ber 20th I counted eight swal­lows fly­ing over my gar­den. Is it not a lit­tle late for them to take a win­ter break in the sunny south­east?

Ken Meyler, Ross­lare, Co Wex­ford

Late broods of swal­lows can con­tinue to leave up to the end of Oc­to­ber.

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