There are around 4072 species in 103 families of beetle (Order: Coleoptera) found in the UK.  The abundance of the UK beetle fauna has significant ecological importance, with members of this order being active hunters, seed feeders, pollinators, plant pests, decomposers, and vital food sources for many animals. Beetles are a popular order among entomologists and have captured the imagination of many generations of insect enthusiasts, largely due to having an abundance of forms and being found in all manner of habitats year-round.

If you are thinking of delving into the identification of beetles through the use of keys or simply want an introduction to the key families of beetle in the UK this is the ideal course. Guided by our experienced tutor this course aims to familiarise participants with the family divisions within the order.

This course provides an introduction to identifying ground beetles to family level which includes a short presentation introducing the morphological features used to identify specimens to family and support from a beetle specialist throughout the practical sessions.

    • Certificate upon course completion.
    • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.
    • Please note that this course will involve using specimens that have been killed and preserved.

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

What will be covered during this course?

  • The external (morphological) features used in beetle identification.
  • How to work through the identification keys to determine beetle specimens accurately to family.
  • Practical experience observing beetle ID features using a microscope and specimen collection.
  • Guidance on how to take your interest further and contribute to various beetle recording schemes.

See the ‘Example Timetable’, ‘What’s Included’ and ‘Before You Attend’ sections below for more information about this course.

Course Fees

Subsidised Price: £20   Subsidised by the FSC BioLinks project for non-professionals eg. volunteers, biological recorders, wildlife gardeners, amateur naturalists and students.Available to UK residents only.   Select ‘Attendee Subsidised: In Person

Regular Price: £150   For professionals and residents outside of England.  Select ‘Attendee: In Person. Sold Out

Tutor: Dan Asaw

Dan is a keen educator and Coleopterist. He has experience working within education as a teaching assistant and loves the opportunity to share his experiences and knowledge with a range of audiences. Dan's interest in invertebrates started at a young age and as a teenager he was already rearing praying mantids in his bedroom. From there, he began rearing exotic invertebrate disease vectors for scientific research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

In his spare time, he has volunteered integrating UK beetles into the Natural History Museum Collection. He is often found digging through wood piles and utilising a variety of trapping methods to find and identify beetles. He is an active member of the Herts Invertebrate project and Hertfordshire Natural History Society, and has helped generate some significant county records in this capacity.

Covid Measures

In order to keep our customers and staff safe we ask that anyone attending our centres:

  • wears a face covering when in shared indoor space (unless exempt).
  • maintains social distancing.
  • cleans their hands regularly.
  • takes a Covid-19 test before they arrive.

Example Timetable

  • Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00 am.
  • Refreshments will be available from 9.45 am.
  • The course will end at 4:00 pm.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • 12 hours of tuition.
  • Certificate of attendance.
  • Access to a microscope, identification resources and specimens.

Bursaries and Subsidies

FSC BioLinks

FSC BioLinks is an exciting project for FSC in the South East and West Midlands, bringing together existing volunteers with skills in biological recording and identification, and new volunteers.

This project provides subsidised training courses, learning opportunities and digital tools focussed on invertebrate identification for anyone involved or interested in biological recording, to build and strengthen the community.

Invertebrates provide us with many useful ecosystem services, like pollination and decomposition, which we cannot survive without but their numbers are declining. Few people know how to identify or record invertebrates meaning there is a lack of data.

We are delighted to have been awarded a grant of £1.23 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for this project.

Before You Attend

Getting to FSC London: Bushy Park

Information on getting to the site can be found here.

When you arrive at The Stockyard gate you may need to call the centre to open the gate. You can reach the staff on site on 020 8941 4398.

Due to the outside nature of part of this course, participants are advised to bring suitable clothing and footwear in order to access the Bushy Park site in various weather conditions.

What to bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch
  • Suitable clothing and footwear for any outdoor activity
  • Any beetle specimens that you'd like verified (tutor availability during the course permitting)

Please note that this course will involve using specimens that have been killed and preserved.

There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. If you have special medical requirements please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.

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