There are approximately 60 species of dung beetle across 39 genera found in the UK. There are a number of species that require microscopic examination in order to reliably identify them to family, genus and species. This course will provide you with the skills you need to be able to start identifying dung beetles to genus using a microscope.

This course provides an introduction to identifying dung beetles to genus. This includes a short presentation introducing the morphological features used to identify specimens to genus, followed by practical sessions guided by our expert tutor. During the lab sessions, you’ll explore a wide variety of different dung beetle species, including ones that can be trickier to identify in the field.

Through a combination of taught classroom content and lab-based practical sessions, learners will gain confidence in using the identification key and preserved specimens to identify dung beetles to genus level.

  • 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 dung beetle identification.
  • How to work through a key to determine dung beetle specimens accurately to genus level.
  • Practical experience observing dung beetle ID features using a microscope.
  • No microscope experience is necessary – our tutors will set up and show you how to use a microscope.

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

Course Fees

Regular Price: £75   For professionals and residents outside of the UK.  Select ‘Attendee: In Person’ Sold Out

Subsidised Price: £10   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’

Tutor: Mary-Emma Hermand

Mary-Emma Hermand is a consultant entomologist with a fondness for dung beetles, particularly their taxonomy and morphology. Founded during an industrial placement year at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History under the guidance of Darren Mann, the National Recording Scheme Organiser for Scarabaeoidea (dung beetles, chafers and their allies), her interest in dung beetles lead her to complete a MSc in Entomology by Research where she studied the morphology and ecology of two cryptic dung beetle species in depth. When not behind a microscope or rummaging through museum insect collections, Mary-Emma enjoys engaging the general public with wildlife from volunteering as an environmental educator with her local Wildlife Trust to leading ID workshops with the FSC.

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
  • 6 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
  • Any 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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