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.
An Introduction to the Identification of British Slugs
14th September | 10:30 am - 15th September | 4:00 pm£15
Unloved and under-recorded, the 45 species range from uncommon habitat specialists to widespread generalists. They can be found in almost any habitat and, unlike many insects, birds or mammals, do not run away rapidly from the observer. Many of their distributions are changing very rapidly though direct and indirect human activity. Gardens – which now form a major (though diverse habitat in Britain) are relatively even more under-recorded yet they are the places where changes in distributions can first be found. Happily, most individuals of most species can be identified with no more than a 10x hand lens. Just a few individuals of some species require further investigation – dissection or DNA analysis.
This course is aimed at those with little or no experience of slug identification. It is important that participants collect some specimens of their own to bring to the course (preferably from gardens, allotments etc.). (Advice on collection and keeping will be provided before the event.) These specimens will not only provide material for identification but also valuable species records which will be submitted to the national recording scheme. There will be no prize for the ‘best’ specimen but it is most unlikely that the day does not bring some new 10km records and a new vice-county record is quite possible.
Identification will be based on the FSC ‘Slugs of Britain and Ireland’, Rowson et al. ISBN 978 1 908819 13 0. Other guides (including the the much earlier FSC Guide) are out of date and, in many cases, incorrect. The course will begin with an introduction to slugs in general and a description of the four major groups and this will be followed by identification of specimens.
Our tutor, Chris du Feu, is a retired mathematics teacher, has been recording slugs for 40 years and frequently gives talks about, or leads workshops on slugs. He did feature, with his beloved Tree Slugs, on BBC Springwatch 2018.
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided but participants should bring a packed lunch or use the venue cafes.
Venues: Sudley House (Day 1) and World Museum (Day 2)
Access: There are lifts between each of the floors in World Museum and Sudley House, and assistance dogs are permitted. The grounds of Sudley house are grassy and would be accessible to wheelchairs following dry conditions.
The cost of this course is heavily subsidised by Tanyptera Trust. We are not seeking to recover the full running costs.