I was invited to give three workshops for science week in local Libraries in county Meath.
These were attended by national school pupils, from Duleek Boys National school, St. Fiach’s National School Ballinacree and St. Seachnall’s National school. My thanks to Ms Callaghan, Ms McKenna and Ms O’Neill and the staff of Duleek, Oldcastle and Dunshaughlin Libraries.
I always try to have a lot more than just pictures to show children when I visit schools so this requires gathering up equipment , preserved specimens and some living specimens and loading up the car.
The pupils from Ballinacree national school, before they got to handle some equipment themselves
I baited a long-worth trap for several days before I set it ,and was able to bring alive wood mouse to the workshop.
.I brought along lots of seed heads of rushes to show the pupils the cases of Coleophora spp. moths
Looking at UK moths.org suppose they are probably Coleophora alticolella
In the warmth of the library some of the caterpillars decided to become mobile and started to wiggle and some wandered off bringing their cases with them
Moving Coleophora spp. caterpillar video taken in November
I have noticed in fields (such as that pictured below) that have had less rush management,seed heads would have more cases.
On the other hand ,in fields that have had more rush management and field improvement, (such as that below) the rush seed heads would have fewer cases per seed head.
So I asked the pupils to collect some data for me
The results are displayed as a bar chart below.
However, I should admit at this point that my collection of the samples could well have influenced the results, since I did want the pupils to see some cases. Despite that, this species seems to be quite handy for field work and investigations and worth more work.