Look what they found

Bugman Jones

The How to be a Curious Entomologist workshops were set up to teach people how to make an insect collection — simply, with easy, cheap, often home-made equipment. But why, in this day and age of electronic wizardly, high-spec digital cameras, email and internet should you need a collection? Because only about 5% of UK insect species can be definitively identified from a photo. Large moths, butterflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers and a few others are unmistakable. But that leaves 95% which can only be firmly named by looking at obscure characters under a microscope — often individual bristles on individual legs.

I recently undertook a reconnaissance survey visit to a small local nature reserve. It was late in the season, but I was told there were quite a few invertebrate records on file, collected over several years of casual observation. These would, no doubt, be useful. What I got was a…

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