There are around 50 different species of millipede occurring naturally outdoors in the British Isles and despite being an invertebrate that is commonly found in our gardens, relatively few people know how to identify the different species. Join us to take your millipede identification skills to the next level.

This course provides an introduction to identifying millipedes using the ‘Provisional Key to British Millipedes- Paul Lee’. This includes a short presentation introducing the morphological features used to identify specimens to species level and support from an expert tutor throughout the practical sessions.  During the lab sessions, you’ll explore a wide variety of different millipede species, including both common species and rare ones that can be trickier to find in the wild.

A wide variety of specimens will be used to ensure that learners have gained experience in locating and classifying key characters and identified a diverse range of species. For example, learners will be taught how to count the body rings of millipedes, starting with the collum (behind the head) through to the back end. With male specimens, we’ll look at the gonopods (modified legs that are used in mating) and learn how the shape of these is unique to each species.

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 millipedes to species 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.

What will be covered during this course?

  • The external (morphological) features used in millipede identification
  • How to work through the ‘Provisional Key to British Millipedes’ by Paul Lee to determine millipede specimens accurately to species level
  • Practical experience observing millipede 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: Steve Gregory

Steve Gregory is a member of the British Myriapod and Isopod Group, one of the editors of the group’s annual Bulletin and organiser of the national Woodlouse Recording Scheme.

Steve is also author of Woodlice and Waterlice in Britain and Ireland (2009), an updated account of the distribution and habitat preferences of the British and Irish fauna. He has had an interest in woodlice, millipedes and centipedes for many years and has published a number of scientific papers on all three groups. His particular interests include the ecology and distribution (biogeography) of the British fauna and current projects include woodlice, millipedes and centipedes of heated ‘tropical’ glasshouses and those occurring in the south Wales valleys.

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 Bishops Wood

FSC Bishops Wood, Crossway Green, Stourport-on-Severn DY13 9SE

  • From Kidderminister: (M5, A38, A449 southbound) On the M5 heading southbound coming off at junction 5, taking the third exit on the round about to get onto the A38. at the first roundabout take the third exit onto Kidderminster Road going straight over the next roundabout sticking too Kidderminster Road. At the second left turn to follow Doverdale Lane. Once you have come to a sign turning right onto the A449 take it until you get to the Mitre Oak pub on your left. Take the first exit on the roundabout onto Bishops Wood Lane, finally taking the first left on you will arrive at Bishops Wood Field Centre.
  • From Worcester: (M5, A449 northbound) On the M5 heading northbound, take Junction 6 to Worcester/ Kidderminster taking the second exit heading for the A449 northbound, continuing for 9 miles. At the roundabout with the Mitre Oak pub take the first exit onto Stourport Road. Take the first left onto Bishops Wood Lane, finally taking the first left on you will arrive at Bishops Wood Field Centre.

What to bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch
  • Any millipede 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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