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stuart dunlop
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Ness Woods, Derry
The day was organised by Butterfly Conservation (NI) and moth traps had been set the previous night. I went along to lend a hand and see what I could find. We had hoped to see Purple Hairstreak, which is associated with old Oak woodland, and it is known to ...

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More parasitoid behaviour
I have written many times about parasitoid wasps and their lifestyle. In summary, the female wasp finds her target host - usually a caterpillar or larva of a sawfly - and deposits an egg inside it. The egg remains dormant until the host larva has grown suff...

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Cryptic Wood White survey in Craigavon
It has recently been discovered that Ireland has two species of Wood White butterfly: Leptidea sinapis , which is restricted to the Burren and nearby areas (and is the same species as that found in Great Britain) and the Cryptic Wood White -  Leptidea juver...

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Benburb bioblitz
This bioblitz was based around Benburb castle, but also included the grounds of what is now known as Benburb Priory. The 17th century castle is being restored and the priory was formerly a manor house built in the 1880's. The underlying geology is limestone...

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Sawflies (Symphyta) are a very understudied group of insects. They belong to the Hymenoptera, which includes Wasps, Bees and Ants, but the female has a saw instead of a sting, hence the common name. The saw is used to cut slots in leaves, and she then lays ...

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Leaf-miner recording scheme for Ireland
Last week the National Biodiversity Data Centre in Waterford launched a national recording scheme for leaf miners. I have been working on a national checklist for miners for several months and the scheme allows recorders to enter records of leafminers and u...

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10 years for an id
Back in December 2005 , I encountered a hair-like ice formation on grounded twigs in Steeple wood. I thought it might be related to some kind of fungus, since the twigs were clearly rotted to some extent, but I couldn't get an id. In July 2015, Swiss scient...

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Sunflower (part two)
The Sunflower continues to attract butterflies. This Red Admiral is the third species I have seen nectaring after the Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock last week. A passing Speckled Wood didn't seem so interested. I have seen  this butterfly on the flower for...

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Our summer has been one long stream of anticyclones coming in over the Atlantic, bringing high winds and rain for almost four months. As a result, flying insects have been far less frequent than usual, with hedgerows and verges almost deserted for much of t...
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