This week Inis ecologists have been surveying suitable habitat in Co. Tipperary for Marsh Fritillary (Eurodryas aurinia) larval webs. We successfully recorded their presence at three sites, two of which held larvae in 2016.
A wasp-like specimen, possibly of the Cotesia genus that parasitizes the larvae of Marsh Fritillary was photographed adjacent to one larval web. This wasp is thought to be an important factor, along with weather and availability of the larval food plant Devil’s-Bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis) in the population dynamics of the butterfly which is listed on Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive.
A range of additional Lepidoptera was recorded in the wet grassland habitats including fox moth (Macrothylacia rubi) larvae, Pink-barred Sallow (Xanthia togata) and Silver Y moth (Autographa gamma).