FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Springtail identification with microscopes (WM region)

  • Location: Preston Montford
  • Tutor: Pete Boardman
  • Date: Tuesday 15 January 2019
  • Times: 10 am - 4 pm
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Non-resident: £5

Location - FSC Preston Montford (see course brochure for details)

With around 250 species, Collembola are one of the most diverse groups in Britain but relatively little is known about the geographical ranges of all but the most common species. Although they are regarded as a difficult group and can appear daunting to study, with a little practice you can become familiar with the characteristics of the larger and more common species. This course will teach you how to identify certain springtails to species level using the FSC’s AIDGAP Key to Collembola (Hopkin 2007).

This day course is Intermediate level and is designed for people who have already embarked on their springtail identification journey! To get the most out of this course you will have some experience of using microscopes and identification keys for invertebrate ID, and/or some familiarity with springtails as a group.

We will not cover the more advanced techniques required to ID certain springtails to species level such as dissection and clearing specimens. We will instead focus on using both low and high power microscopes to identify those springtails which can be reliably identified to species level without such advanced techniques, and offer guidance on when to recognise that a species level identification cannot be reached. We will also talk about how to take your interest in springtail identification further, should you wish to further develop your expertise.

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

Pete Boardman has been involved in entomology in Shropshire and elsewhere over the last 25 years. He was a project officer at FSC from 2006 - 2015 and ran three successful projects encouraging biological recording, including the Invertebrate Challenge, the forerunner of BioLinks. He is a coordinator of the Cranefly Recording Scheme, Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, and actively records a range of entomological groups including flies and collembola.

He works for the Natural England Field Unit.

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

Further Information

Course brochure


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Non-resident : £5


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