Latest Laois News: Rare find at Portarlington’s Solas Eco Garden Centre
Rare, endangered caterpillar found at Organic Garden Centre in Portarlington
A rare and endangered species of Caterpillar has been discovered at a Co. Laois Garden Centre.
The Mulleun Moths, at least 30mm in length, were spotted by Horticulturist ,Veronica Smyth at SOLAS Eco Garden Centre in Portarlington.
Co-owner of the centre , John Carey said “It was quite the moment when our eagle eyed Horticulturist Veronica spotted not one, but two rare caterpillars on a plant in our greenhouse. She noticed them on a Verbascum plant and was drawn to them as they really stood out with their amazing speckled patterned bodies of yellow and black. She quickly did some research and contacted Ireland’s Insects and invertebrates group to help identify their provenance”.
“She quickly confirmed that they are a rare and endangered species, rarely seen in Ireland. In fact this is the only such find in Ireland since the 1950s. In 2016 they had been declared extinct until 5 were found in North Dublin. This species has been listed in the Marco-Moth Red list, published by the wildlife service.”
John says “ Fionnuala Parnell, a member of the insects/invertebrate of Ireland made the trip to Portarlington to retrieve ,collect and save the caterpillars , bringing them back to Dublin to join their existing caterpillar population there”.
This latest find at SOLAS serves to further its reputation as one of the best destinations in the country. Totally and utterly unique concept in Ireland. Garden centre is built from forty 40ft disused steel shipping containers. Ireland’s first environmentally friendly garden centre.