Course: Field Identification of Spiders (Online)

FSC BioLinks

Thursday 9th June - Thursday 14th July 2022

Cost: £20 - £60

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

There are over 650 spider species in the British Isles and despite being an invertebrate that is commonly found in our homes and gardens, relatively few people know how to identify the different species. Join our tutor in the field to search for, find and discuss the identification features of a variety of UK spider species that can be identified in the field.

Learn about the different groups of spiders and how to tell them apart, including Jumping Spiders (Salticidae), Comb-footed Spiders (Theridiidae), Crab Spiders (Thomisidae) Orbweb Spiders (Araneidae), Wolf Spiders (Lycosidae), and Long-jawed Orbweb Spiders (Tetragnathidae), among others.

This course will give you an introduction to the identification of distinctive spider groups and species.

During this course, you will be introduced to more advanced morphological features which will aid with the accurate identification of 8 of the UK’s spider families, 8 distinctive genera and 10 distinctive species of spiders found in Britain.

This course discusses the use of the FSC fold-out Guide to House and Garden Spiders by Bee and Lewington, and Britain’s Spiders: A Field Guide by Bee, Oxford and Smith (Second edition) although neither are necessary to complete the course.

  • 4-week online course for adults, with a weekly time commitment of 3-5 hours per week.
  • Access to study content, activities and tutor-graded assignments through the FSC virtual learning platform.
  • Access to weekly live virtual classroom sessions at the end of each week with the course tutor through Zoom (recorded for those that are unable to attend the live sessions).
  • E-certificate upon course completion.
  • Learners will benefit from having access to a 10X hand lens and a sweep net or beating sheet/tray to get the most out of this course.
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

This course is aimed at adults only and course attendees must be at least 18 years old in order to attend.

What topics are covered in this course?

  • BWA 205 Spider Field ID Features: The first week begins with an introduction to spider eye orientation and general morphological features that will aid with Identification. We also introduce the main families of spiders commonly encountered by beginners and the features they possess.
  • BWA206 Distinctive Spider Groups: The second week introduces field identification features used for telling distinctive spider genera apart. We also look at UK species which are the only representatives of their family in the UK.
  • BWA207 Identifying Species in the field: Building on the features and families discussed in week one, learners will look at the identification of 10 species commonly encountered in the UK and the features used to separate them reliably within the field. This week also looks at some of the spider publications available for further self-study and the efficient use of each resource.
  • BWA208 Recording Spiders: This topic covers why recording spiders is important, what kind of information should be included in species records and where records can be submitted and a final field assignment for learners to complete.

Please refer to our website for further information and to book.

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