Entomology: The Larger Insects of Wales

Entomology: The Larger Insects of Wales


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Learn how to observe and identify the larger insects of Wales.

The larger insects of Wales: what are they? What are their key features? Which species do they belong to? This course aims to answer these questions and more through a range of workshops, field-work and practical hands on experience.

This course is run at CAT by Aberystwyth University. Please book the course through Aberystwyth University online or by calling 01970 621 580 before booking accommodation at CAT.

Key information

  • Duration: three days
  • Upcoming date: Fri 19th – Sun 21th June 2020
  • Start and finish times: starts at 10am and finishes 4pm on the last day
  • Fees: £120; concessions £100 (paid via Aberystwyth University). Optional full board accommodation at CAT £130 (shared) or £170 (single)
  • Includes: tuition, all materials
  • What to bring: waterproof clothing is recommended

What you will learn

By observing insects in their natural habitat you will gain practical hands on experience in identifying key features and using keys to identify insect groups and species.

The mainly field-based sessions will focus on observing and identifying large insects such as butterflies, dragonflies, moths and beetles. These insects are large enough to have plenty of features that can be easily seen with the naked eye and their behaviour can be readily observed.

You will gain confidence with methods of capturing and handling specimens, including using pit-fall traps for those that crawl, beating and sweep-nets and hopefully light trapping for night fliers.

Through workshops and classroom study you will examine the importance of insects in a healthy food web, and the state of these insect populations as an early indicator of environmental change.

The background knowledge and skills you will gain are essential for attempting insect surveys and monitoring programmes which underpin management of wildlife habitats. On completion of this module you will be able to describe and record key features, then use these to identify individual species, keep a field notebook with additional data and associate various species with specific habitats.

Topics covered include:

  • Insect morphology and structure for field biologists.
  • Introduction to terminology and the use of a glossary – familiarisation with some of the common terminology in entomology.
  • Using identification guides – the range of publications available and which is most appropriate to use in different circumstances.
  • Key features of specific families.
  • Insects as indicator species.
  • Identification of insects in context – a series of field trips to identify insects in a range of local habitats.
  • Keeping a field notebook and recording observations.

This course is run at CAT by Aberystwyth University and can be taken as part of a Higher Education Certificate in Field Ecology. Please book the course through Aberystwyth University online or by calling 01970 621 580 before booking accommodation at CAT.

Meet your tutors

This course is run at CAT by Aberystwyth University and can be taken as part of a Higher Education Certificate in Field Ecology. Phil Ward is the tutor for this course. Please book the course through Aberystwyth University online or by calling 01970 621 580 before booking accommodation at CAT.

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