About us

Tanyptera atrata
By Nigel Jones 
Licence: by-nc-nd-2.0

North West Invertebrates is the website of ‘The Tanyptera Project’, a five year initiative (2017-2022) funded by the Tanyptera Trust to promote the study and conservation of insects and other invertebrates in the Lancashire and Cheshire region of NW England. The trust funds a full-time post employed by National Museums Liverpool, supported with an annual budget to enable delivery of a variety of project activities. At the end of March 2017, Gary Hedges (gary.hedges@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk) was recruited to take up the post as the ‘Tanyptera Regional Entomologist’ based in the Entomology section of World Museum, Liverpool. Since the end of April 2019, the Tanyptera Trust has funded an additional fulltime post as ‘Assistant Regional Entomologist’. Since October 2019, this post has been held by Leanna Dixon (leanna.dixon@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk). The purpose of this website is to act as a regional hub for invertebrate studies in the region and encourage further involvement and study, especially targeting the voluntary biological recording sector, thus contributing towards our project aims:

Aims of the Tanyptera Project:

  • Inform and inspire future entomology and wildlife conservation in the region
  • Raise the profile of invertebrates with the wider public
  • Improve understanding of the status and distribution of the region’s rare and threatened invertebrate species and assemblages, and to inform conservation management for these
  • Improve the quality of invertebrate recording
  • Improve the skills of invertebrate recorders
  • Improve access to data about invertebrates, their distribution, ecology and conservation
  • Identify regionally important species and assemblages


In case you’re wondering, ‘Tanyptera’ comes from a genus of deadwood specialist craneflies, of which we have two representative species in the UK, T. atrata (image above) and T. nigricornis. Neither species are common in our region or the UK as a whole, although T. atrata appears to be more widespread and frequent. Many of the T. nigricornis records are centred around Lancashire and Yorkshire and it is included as a priority species in our Small Grant Scheme to encourage recorders to improve our understanding of it’s NW distribution.

The Tanyptera Trust is a member of: