FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Looking at Invertebrates with Microscopes (SE region)

  • Location: FSC London: Bushy Park
  • Tutor: Keiron Brown
  • Date: Wednesday 19 September 2018
  • Times: 10 am - 4 pm
  • Level: Open for Everyone
  • Non-resident: £5

This course is fully booked on this date but you can join the waiting list (by scrollling to the bottom of the page) in case space becomes available or it is run on another date.

Location - FSC London: Bushy Park (see course brochure for more details)

Invertebrates are the unsung heroes of the animal world and considerably outnumber the mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles that most people are much more familiar with.  Bees and flies are incredibly important for pollination and the food crops that humans rely on. Earthworms improve soil fertility and invertebrate predators such as wasps and spiders help control pest species. And many mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles rely on invertebrates as food.

However, most invertebrate groups are hugely under-recorded and many people know little about these fascinating groups, let alone how to differentiate between them. The sheer number of different invertebrate groups can be intimidating to the beginner, so it’s unsurprising that people are put off learning about the individual species that we share our island with.

This course is an introductory course aimed at those interested in learning more about ‘what makes a beetle a beetle?’ and will give a very basic overview of some of the features needed to identify which group a ‘creepy crawlie’ belongs to.

We will look at how to use microscopes and an identification key to classify invertebrates into their respective groups with preserved specimens. By the end of the day you will know how to determine if something is a bug or a beetle and will have learned that looking at invertebrate features is not as difficult as you may imagine.

Please note that this course is an introductory course and absolutely no experience of identifying invertebrates, using microscopes or following an identification key is needed to enjoy this course – just a passion for nature and learning more about wildlife that is often overlooked.

Please note that this course will involve the use of specimens that have been killed and preserved.

Keiron Brown first became interested in invertebrates during a field-based entomology module at university and went on to volunteer on soil biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates to order level and sampling invertebrates across the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo.

Keiron now manages the FSC BioLinks project, with the aim of inspiring amateur naturalists to take up the identification and recording of invertebrate groups that are often forgotten and rarely recorded. In his spare time he is an active member, and trustee, of the London Natural History Society and is the national recorder for earthworms (running the National Earthworm Recording Scheme on behalf of the Earthworm Society of Britain).

This course is heavily subsidised by the FSC BioLinks Project (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund).

Further Information

Course brochure


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This course is currently fully booked. You can request to join the waiting list.

Non-resident : £5


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