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Emperor Moth (Saturnia pavonia)

Emperor Moth (Saturnia pavonia)

The adult emperor moth is a truly spectacular insect. On the wing in April and May, the male of this large, day-flying moth species is a particularly striking sight, and can easily be mistaken for a butterfly due to its bright colours. It is a fairly widespread species, one that….

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

With a flash of black and red wings the red admiral adds a splash of welcome colour to our gardens and woodland from late-spring to mid-autumn. This striking butterfly is a migratory species that makes its way up from the Mediterranean, moving north as the weather warms. Resident populations in….


Bombus terrestris

The slow, lazy buzz of the bumblebee is a fundamental part of the Irish summer. These fat, furry, ponderous bees trundle from flower to flower, collecting pollen and nectar to support their growing colony. They liven up the summer garden, and provide an invaluable pollination service to the plants they….

Brimstone Butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni)

The stunning Brimstone butterfly

The butter-yellow wings of the male brimstone are a true herald of spring, and are credited by some as the inspiration behind the word “butterfly”. These pretty yellow butterflies are quite common, especially around open woodland, and are often the first butterflies to be seen in spring. Brimstones emerge from….

Common Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus)

Field Grasshopper (Brian Eversham, National Biodiversity Data Centre)

The chirping of grasshoppers is a familiar sound from Irish meadows and roadside verges during the summer months. Undoubtedly contributing its song to this chorus is the Common Field Grasshopper, which is one of our most common and widespread grasshopper species. It is found throughout Ireland, although it does becomes….

Common Earwig (Forficula auricularia)

Earwigs really don’t deserve their bad reputation. The name earwig is derived from the old English ‘earwicga’ which means ‘ear beetle’. These harmless little insects are plagued by the perpetuation of an age-old superstition that earwigs crawl into the human ears at night and burrow into the brain to lay….

Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris)

There are few animals in Ireland that provoke as much negative sentiment in people as the common wasp. It’s right up there with the brown rat as one of the nation’s least favourite animals. In truth though wasps are only really a nuisance between late August and the end of….

Common Frog Hopper (Philaenus spumarius)

Have you ever wondered what makes those little balls of froth, popularly known as “cuckoo spit”, that you find on plant stems during the summer? Blow gently on the froth and you’ll find your answer. Inside the frothy mass you’ll find one or more yellow-green insect nymphs – the young….

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)

The holly blue is a tiny blue butterfly that has a scattered distribution around Ireland. It is largely confined to the relatively scarce patches of native woodland that still support both holly and ivy. It is also found in urban and suburban gardens or parkland where these plants feature prominently…..