Category Archives for "Irish Wildilfe"

Mar 31

Species of the week: Wych Elm

Wych Elm Ulmus glabra Leamhán sléibhe The Wych elm is the only native elm in Ireland. It is a wide ranging Elm tree, it can be found from Ireland to Russia and as far north as the Arctic Circle. They are typically mountainous species preferring moist soils and higher humidity’s, its name in Irish means […]

Continue reading
Mar 31

Species of the week: Brown Hawker Dragonfly

Brown Hawker Dragonfly Aeshna grandis Seabhcaí Ómrach The brown hawker is large common dragonfly found in Ireland, it is distinctive because of its chocolate brown colouring. They grow to 7.3cm long and have a wingspan of 10.2cm. Both males and females are similar looking but can be distinguished as males have blue dots on their […]

Continue reading
Mar 26

Species of the week: Marsh fritillary

Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia  Fritileán Réisc The Marsh Fritillary Butterfly is one of Ireland’s few legally protected Butterflies. It is protected under Annex II of the European Union Habitats and Species Directive. They have an orange and cream square pattern on their wings and can be identified by their distinctive cream bands on their underwing. […]

Continue reading
Mar 26

Species of the Week: Nettle

Nettle Urtica dioica Neantóg The Common or Stinging Nettle is a highly successful plant found all over the temperate areas of the world. It spreads by means of seeds and underground rhizomes that creep around just under the surface of the soil. The jagged leaves held in pairs along the square stems are easily recognisable […]

Continue reading
Mar 19

Species of the week: Small spotted catshark / lesser-spotted dogfish

Small spotted catshark/ lesser-spotted dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula Catsúileach ballach/ Fiogach Beag Commonly known as dogfish, the small spotted catshark is one of 71 cartilaginous sharks found in Irish waters. From a recent report published by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) (Clarke, et al., 2016) on the status of sharks in Irish Waters they […]

Continue reading
Mar 10

Species of the week: Enchanter’s nightshade

Enchanter’s nightshade Circaea lutetiana Fuinseagach Enchanter’s nightshade is a small plant with long stems and broad leaves, it can grow to 20-50cm or taller and it has small white flowers at the head of each stem. The flowers which are very distinctive as they only have two petals that are deeply cleft, making it look […]

Continue reading
Mar 03

Species of the Week: Scots pine

Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris Péine Albanach   The Scots pine is one of Ireland’s three native coniferous trees. It is found across Eurasia from Ireland to Siberia, it was believed that it had died out in Ireland around 2000 years ago but has since been reintroduced for plantations in the 17th century. Tree stumps have […]

Continue reading
Dec 11

Species of the week: Long-eared Owl

Long-eared Owl Asio otus Ceann cait The Long-eared Owl is distributed all across Ireland often found in coniferous woodlands with open grasslands nearby in order to hunt their prey. While they can be found distributed over most if the country except for the west, their range is somewhat scattered due to the low levels of […]

Continue reading
Nov 13

Species of the week: White Fronted Goose

White Fronted Goose Anser albifrons The White Fronted Goose is named because of the characteristic white blaze across their foreheads, but this is absent in the juveniles. The birds breed in Greenland and Siberia typically on lowland tundra, often by lakes and rivers. They migrate to Ireland in October to April to enjoy our comparatively […]

Continue reading
Nov 13

Species of the week: Brown Long-eared Bat

Brown Long-eared Bat Plecotus auritus Ialtog fhad-chluasach The Brown long-eared bat is a medium sized Irish bat species, their extremely large ears in relation to body size makes them an easy species to identify. The ears are up to three quarters the size of the total head and body length measuring 2.5cm. Each ear has […]

Continue reading
Oct 24

Species of the week – Chanterelle

Chanterelle Cantharellus cibarius Chanterelle is probably one of the most desirable edible mushrooms found in Europe. It is orange or yellow, meaty and funnel-shaped and can be found in woodlands, growing from the ground or decaying wood. They will reappear in the same place every year, so if you find a good spot, you should […]

Continue reading
Oct 16

Species of the week: Portuguese Man O’War

Portuguese Man O’War Physalia physalis Smugairle an tseoil An exotic visitor, these unusual creatures occasionally appear in Irish waters during summertime bouts of good weather. While they are often mistaken for a jellyfish they are in fact a siphonophore – a colony of small animals working together as one whole in order to survive. Well […]

Continue reading
Oct 09

Species of the week: Common puffball

Common puffball Lycoperdon perlatum The fruit body ranges in shape from pear-like with a flattened top, to nearly spherical, and reaches dimensions of 1.5 to 6 cm wide by 3 to 7 cm tall. It has a stem-like base. The outer surface of the fruit body (the exoperidium) is covered in short cone-shaped spines that […]

Continue reading
Oct 09

Species of the week: Black Slug

Black Slug, also known as Black Arion Arion ater Seilide Dubh The black slug, also known as black arion, is a species of large land slug, a terrestrial slug in the family Arionidae, the roundback slugs. The size of the slug varies from 10 to 15 cm. Maturity is reached at about 2.5 cm The […]

Continue reading
Sep 26

Species of the week: Yellow brain fungus

Yellow Brain Fungus Tremella mesenterica Tremella mesenterica is usually golden yellow and gelatinous but tough when damp, turning orange and shrivelling to a tiny fraction of its former size during very dry weather. Initially disc-like, the fruitbody soon develops irregular contortions only very vaguely resembling the structure of a brain. Individual fruitbodies grow to between […]

Continue reading
Sep 18

Species of the week: Marmalade Hoverfly

Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus E. balteatus is a relatively small hoverfly (9–12 mm) of the Syrphidae family. The upper side of the abdomen is patterned with orange and black bands. Two further identification characters are the presence of secondary black bands on the third and fourth dorsal plates and faint greyish longitudinal stripes on the […]

Continue reading
Sep 11

Species of the week: Oak Moss

Oak Moss Evernia prunastri Evernia prunastri is a species of lichen, it has no official English name but is known as Oak Moss. Lichens that are attached only at the base are called fruticose and E. prunastri is the commonest in this group. It has a strap-shaped body, with fork-like branches hanging down from the […]

Continue reading
Sep 04

Species of the week: Spindle

Spindle tree Euonymus europaeus Feoras Spindle is found throughout Ireland in woodland, scrub and hedgerows on limestone. It is often planted in gardens and parks. A deciduous shrub or small tree which grows 3–6 m tall, rarely 10 m, with a stem up to 20 cm in diameter. The leaves are opposite, lanceolate to elliptical, […]

Continue reading
Aug 28

Species of the week: Raft Spider

Raft Spider Dolomedes fimbriatus   Ireland’s largest spider, the Raft Spider, lives within our bogs and fens. The female (remember female spiders are larger than male spiders) spider’s body measures up to 22 millimetres long and leg span up to about 70 millimetres. We associate spiders with dry land but the Raft spider is semi-aquatic. […]

Continue reading
Aug 21

Species of the week: Pedunculate Oak

Pedunculate Oak Quercus robur Dair ghallda Pedunculate Oak is the less common of the two native Irish oak species. You can distinguish it from Sessile oak by looking at its acorns – pedunculate oak produces acorns on stalks. The oak is one of our largest and longest lived trees – specimens typically live for up […]

Continue reading
Aug 14

Species of the week: Common Green Grasshopper

Common Green Grasshopper Omocestus viridulus Dreoilín teaspaigh The common green grasshopper is a grasshopper of the Acrididae family. It is found in moderately wet regions of Europe and is distributed widely across Britain. Its range extends as far as Siberia and Mongolia. In Ireland it tends to be found in areas with long grass, such […]

Continue reading
Aug 07

Species of the week: Fairy Flax

Fairy Flax Linum catharticum Lus na mban sí Fairy Flax is an annual or biennial herb found in seashore meadows, dry fields, or rocky outcrops or limestone pavement. The 5 petals of the plant are small (4mm), white with light veins and a yellow centre. It flowers from May to September. The flowers droop noticeably […]

Continue reading