On a global scale invertebrates perform many key ecosystem services and with the exception of the bees are often overlooked, this is unfortunate as the diversity of invertebrates is staggering, even here in the UK there are over 4000 species of beetles alone! The rationale of this one day course is to present an overview of the taxonomy and key ecological requirements from a selection of UK invertebrate fauna.
The course will be delivered using talks and a practical identification workshop. This course is ideal starter for people with a keen interest in the natural history of UK invertebrate fauna, and would also suit students who wish to progress their skills in entomology as will be developing key skills in identification and taxonomy. The course is designed to expand your knowledge of UK invertebrates including key families, associated habitats and distribution. Participants will begin to learn standard scientific notation associated with describing a selection of unknown samples. No previous knowledge is required, but participants need to be relatively fit as much of the day will require you to walk over fairly rough ground.
Your day at Slapton
After a brief introduction to the teaching team and the field centre we will start the day with a 50-minute lecture on basic invertebrate anatomy and taxonomy, which are the two key elements in invertebrate identification. Following a short coffee break we will precede with a practical session on sorting a small selection of invertebrate samples into their respective groups, in this case to the order level of taxon in most cases but maybe to the family level taxon with some samples. The practical session will involve completing annotated biological line drawings of the examples, which will form part of your course portfolio. The practical session will be followed by a 20-minute debrief that will take us through to lunch.
After lunch we will walk to Slapton Woods (an ancient woodland) via a green lane, and farmland fields. Slapton Woods is not open to the public, so you will have a unique opportunity to visit a relatively undisturbed woodland habitat. Here we will find a highly diverse range of woodland habitats and invertebrates that we will study and make field recordings of. A novel part of the day will draw student’s attention to the diverse range of invertebrates that reside in forest canopies and we will get the opportunity to collect samples from previously positioned canopy traps. We will then take the sample back to the field centre where you will have an opportunity to identify and draw samples of the canopy invertebrates we have collected and finish your portfolio.
Participants should have sturdy footwear, and suitable clothing for a full day out and about – wet weather gear is advisable – just in case! Bring a packed lunch and plenty to drink. A camera is well worth bringing, though not required to complete your day with us. You will be provided with a booklet to complete on the way round as well as writing materials.
Health and Safety
Before the visit you will be provided with a brief medical checklist that you will need to send to us prior to the visit. A risk assessment has been prepared and will be discussed in the trip briefing. A copy will also be included in your course booklet.
PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU WISH TO ATTEND BOTH THIS AND THE FRESHWATER INVERTEBRATE COURSES, A DISCOUNTED PRICE IS AVAILABLE
Please Contact us if you wish to sign up for this course
Invertebrate course 13th May 2017 - Field and classroom activity
Jane showing a participant a wood ants nest
Participants learning from Steve how to remove and collect live samples from 'bark bubble wrap traps'