Eye on nature

This beautiful butterfly spent the day flying around my garden and sunbathing on my patio. I thought I saw two flying at once at one point. I have never seen such a butterfly in my garden.

Colett Cole, Dublin 3

It is a peacock butterfly, which hibernates as an adult and emerges at the end of March. It will fly until early June and lay eggs on nettles. These will mature in July and fly until September before going into hibernation. So keep that nettle plaster.

Centipede with Flat Back

Centipede with Flat Back

I saw this unusual looking arthropod on my kitchen floor today. At first I thought it was a woodlice, but the elongated body got me thinking again. Can you help?

John Duncan, County Clare

It is a flat-backed centipede, which has 20 segments and two pairs of legs per segment. It is a decomposer that feeds on decaying vegetation.

I want to ask you why I have a lot of ladybugs on my bedroom window in the morning. I’ve never had this problem before. Sprayed around the window with Citronella oil which only helped for a few days. Is there anything else I can use to get rid of them?

Jack Ó h-Ualachain, Cork

I’m hardly going to tell you how to get rid of ladybugs, one of the most useful insect species in the garden. Although I only have your word for it that they are ladybugs as I did not receive a photo with the question.

Honey bee

Honey bee

Wonderful to see how bees, butterflies and various other insects collect pollen from this tree, showing us how important these trees are. Is this a honey bee?

Aoife Wogan

These are willow catkins, which are pollinated by the wind and therefore do not contain nectar. Only bees collect the pollen when they feed their young with it. This is a honey bee with pollen baskets on its hind legs.

false widow spider

false widow spider

I found this spider in our conservatory. We’ve never seen one and wonder if it’s a fake widow?

John Dollard, Co Meatha

It is: Steatoda bipunctata, one of several species of false widow spiders registered here.

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