Each year of the project we are holding a series of invertebrate workshops on identification, recording, curation of reference collections and field craft to help boost the skills of beginners and experienced entomologists alike. We are also organising invertebrate recording days across the region to bring together the invertebrate recording community and facilitate improvements to baseline data coverage at selected important sites. Results will be published on this website. Other events include drop-in sessions to facilitate networking and mentoring.
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An Introduction to Mite Identification
1st September | 10:30 am - 4:30 pm
Mites (Acari) are one of the most diverse and abundant groups of invertebrates on earth and have an important role in ecosystem functions. Despite this, they are often ignored by biological recorders and conservationists. However, all UK species of soil mites can be now be identified to family using a new draft key, and can be identified to species using additional literatures. However, there’s much to discover; even with its great tradition in taxonomy and biological recording, there is no up to date national checklist and new species to the UK are frequently found.
This course is aimed at introducing keen beginner and improver alike, providing an introduction to the techniques of identifying British mites under the microscope. The day will begin with a very brief introduction to the diversity, biology and ecology of this fascinating group of animals, but we will quickly get into the practical work of identification and the emphasis will be on giving you first-hand experience under the supervision of your tutor. It is an entirely lab-based day and you will be working with specimens provided by your tutor, though anyone that wants to bring dead specimens that they have collected and preserved themselves is welcome to.
Our Tutor, Dr Matthew Shepherd, co-ordinates the Acari Recording Scheme and is a Senior Environmental Specialist in Soil Biodiversity with Natural England, providing advice and training on soils, soil biology and biodiversity to support Natural England’s work.
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided but please bring a packed lunch or use our Café.
Image: Chris Fifield Smith (Flickr Creative Commons)