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Beneficial Garden Insects and How to Attract Them to Your Garden


Beneficial insects are essential in keeping our gardens and farms healthy. Some pollinate plants that produce our food. Others eat pests that would otherwise destroy our food crops. They also help break down dead organic material and recycle nutrients back into the soil. We rely on these tiny insects more….

Book Review: Insects of Ireland

Insects of Ireland -- inside the book

I’ve always had a fascination with minibeasts. As a child I used to lie in the long grass for what seemed hours at a time, watching the drama of the miniature ecosystem unfold in front of me. What I was seeing, quite literally under my nose, was every bit as dynamic,….

Book Review: Britain’s Day Flying Moths

Moths are brilliant. Here in Ireland we have only 34 butterfly species — including residents and frequently encountered migrants. We have, to date, more than 1,330 recorded moth species on the island. They come in all sorts of shapes colour and sizes and are a fascinating group of oft-overlooked insects that play a crucial….

Lost bumblebee rediscovered in Dublin after 88 years

Southern cuckoo bumblebee found in Dublin Park

A gardener at a Dublin park has rediscovered a bumblebee species last recorded in Ireland in 1926. Eddie Hill, who is an avid bee recorder, and regularly submits bee sightings to the National Bumblebee Monitoring scheme, noticed some odd looking bees feeding on flowers at St. Enda’s Park in Rathfarnam. After studying photographs and two….

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….

West Cork Butterfly Field Trip: Saturday 08 June 2013

Marsh Fritillary

Butterfly enthusiasts Abigail Brewer, Damaris Lysaght and Ciaran Cronin are leading a guided butterfly field trip in West Cork on Saturday 08 June. The day is open to everyone of all knowledge and experience levels, and offers a great opportunity to get out in the field with experts to search….

Red Admirals Everywhere

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

The last few sunny days has seen a veritable irruption of freshly emerged Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta) in the garden. Some of them still had “crinkly” edges to their wings, where they hadn’t pumped up / dried out properly yet. This particularly fine specimen posed for photos. Absolutely stunning butterflies. a photographic guide to Ireland’s Moths is a really useful starting point if you’ve seen an Irish moth and are looking for a quick ID. The family thumbnails let you quickly “narrow the field”, while the detailed species pages let you pinpoint with relative certainty exactly which species you’re looking for. While there really is….

Poplar Hawk Moth… a different view

Seeing the fantastic insect photographs being posted to the Ireland’s Wildlife Facebook Page this month prompted me to browse my photo archives, and I thought I’d share this with you on the blog. The poplar hawk moth (Laothoe populiis) an incredibly striking insect… based on a 1981 distribution map it….