Course: Identifying and Recording Water Bugs

Field Studies Council

Malham Tarn, North Yorkshire
Friday 05 April 2019 - Sunday 07 April 2019 01729 830331

Cost: From £150

Sectors: ecology

There are lots of different kinds of water bugs, many swim below the surface of the water; some even swim upside down; and some actually walk (or even run) about on the water surface. This course is an introduction, intended for anyone who has used a pond net or been to a ‘pond dipping’ event, is intrigued by the variety and abundance of water bugs and would like to know more about them.

Many people think of water bugs as pond animals but there are several kinds that live in, or on, streams and rivers. The course aims to familiarise participants with the techniques for collecting and handling water bugs, both in the field and in the laboratory, and to introduce them to the use of identification keys and guides to enable them to put correct names to the many different species they encounter.

There are many different aquatic habitats on the Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve and the surrounding Malham Estate which will be used to provide field experience. Participants will also be able to practice identification skills on specimens provided by the tutors from other locations. Keeping records of what you find is important as well as enjoyable and participants will be shown not only how to make and keep a collection but also how to submit records. By the end of the course participants will:- be able to recognise many different kinds of water bugs in the field have confidence in using identification keys and guides have learned how to handle specimens have learned how to keep and submit records.

Sharon Flint has over 20 years’ experience in identification of adult and juvenile aquatic insects and has taught identification and ecology to university students and professionals. She has worked on aquatic invertebrate surveys for Natural England, the RSPB and the private sector and has carried out research on the ecology of stoneflies and caddisflies. She works as an independent consultant on various projects and with a range of clients and carries out AQC work on aquatic invertebrate samples for consultancies. She is the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union recorder for Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera.

Peter Flint is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and a Past President of the Yorkshire Naturalists Union. He has been involved in entomology for over 50 years, has a wide ranging knowledge of both aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, and was curator of insects at Lancaster University for over 40 years.

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