This pretty butterfly spent the day flying around my garden and lounging on my patio. I thought I saw two of them flying together at one point. I have never seen a butterfly like this in my garden.
Colett Cole, Dublin 3
It is a peacock butterfly, which overwinters as an adult and emerges at the end of March. It will fly until early June and lay its eggs on nettles. These will become adults in July and fly until September before going into hibernation. So save that nettle patch.
I spotted this unusual looking arthropod on my kitchen floor today. I thought at first sight it was a woodlouse, but the elongated body made me think again. Can you help ?
John Duncan, Co Clare
It is a flat-backed centipede, which has 20 segments and two pairs of legs per segment. It is a decomposer, feeding on decaying vegetation.
I would like to ask you why I have a lot of ladybugs at my bedroom window in the morning. I 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 it?
Jack Óh-Uallachain, Liège
I’m just about 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 that it is ladybugs, because I did not receive any photos with the request.
Nice to see bees, butterflies and various other insects collecting pollen from this tree, showing us how important these trees are. Is it a bee?
They are willow catkins, which are pollinated by the wind and therefore do not contain nectar. Only bees collect pollen when they feed it to their young. It’s a bee with baskets of pollen on its hind legs.
I found this spider on our porch. We’ve never seen one before and wonder if it’s a fake widow?
John Dollard, County Meath
They are: Steatoda bipunctata, one of many species of false widow spiders that have been recorded here.
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