There are around 350 species of ground beetle (Family: Carabidae) found in the UK.  The UK ground beetle fauna has significant ecological importance, with members of this beetle family being active hunters, seed feeders and vital food sources for many animals. Ground beetles are a popular family among entomologists and are often considered one of the entry-level groups of beetle when beginning with keys, largely due to being found in all manner of habitats year-round and being well covered by taxonomic literature.

This course follows on from Ground Beetle ID with Microscopes: Tribes, with our expert tutor taking participants to the next level of ID, so that you will know what characters to look for when identifying ground beetles to species.

This course provides an introduction to identifying ground beetles to species-level using the Royal Entomological Society Handbook ‘The Carabidae (ground beetles) of Britain and Ireland – Martin L. Luff. This includes a short presentation introducing the morphological features used to identify specimens to species 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 ground beetle identification.
  • How to work through the identification keys in ‘The Carabidae (ground beetles) of Britain and Ireland – Martin L. Luff‘ to determine ground beetle specimens accurately to species.
  • Practical experience observing ground beetle ID features using a microscope and specimen collection.
  • Guidance on how to take your interest further and contribute to the Ground Beetle Recording Scheme.

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

Course Fees

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

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

Tutor: Chris Foster

Chris Foster got distracted by beetles while conducting bird surveys for his MSc project and later as a surveyor for the RSPB. Beetles subsequently became the focus of his PhD, which looked at the effects of landscape heterogeneity on the distribution of flower-visiting beetles, ground beetles and dung beetles.

Chris is currently a lecturer in Animal Ecology at the University of Reading, outside of work he runs the national Ground Beetle Recording Scheme.

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 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.

What to bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch
  • If you have your own copy of 'The Carabidae (ground beetles) of Britain and Ireland - Martin L. Luff' bring it with you so that you can make notes in your own copy.
  • Any ground 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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