5th April


Showers between rainy periods, today. I went to the West coast to do some surveys in preparation for butterfly spotting.

NOTE: Today's butterfly and caterpillar photos were staged with captive samples. These are not to be taken as records, but are for assistance with identifications.

The Holly Blue is present in Donegal, but is very selective in terms of location. It prefers large stands of Holly trees in woodland.


I've been looking everywhere locally for the Whitlow Grass, with no success. On my trip today I travelled 40 miles and stepped out of the car onto a lane that was covered in it.


This is the caterpillar of the Marsh Fritillary - an endangered species. The caterpillars feed individually, but live in communal webs to conserve heat. The sample shown is about 15 mm long. This specimen originated in the west coast of Co. Sligo.

The lane containing the Whitlow-Grass also had this rather attractive pink crustose lichen. Sample about 15 cm across.

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