An Introduction to Stoneflies Weekend

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Stoneflies are often overlooked inhabitants of freshwater, however they are a fascinating group of insects. Whilst some species are more at home in ditches, ponds and marshes, they are predominately found in clean, cold, fast flowing streams, which makes them excellent indicators of pollution and climate change.

The aquatic nymphs of some species can take over 3 years to develop and the adults range in size from around 5mm to over 30mm. Despite being largely inconspicuous, they are easy to study and with only 35 species in the UK they are a manageable group to learn.

This course is aimed at those with little or no experience of stonefly identification, although some knowledge of identifying other insects, such as using keys and microscopes, would be useful.

Identification will be based on the Freshwater Biological Association key to stoneflies and the FSC fold out chart to stonefly families. The course will begin with an introduction to stoneflies, their life histories, and a description of the seven families found in the UK. There will be an indoor identification session and an outdoor session to show participants where to find stoneflies, and how to identify them in the field.

Our Tutor
Craig Macadam, is national recorder for the Plecoptera Recording Scheme, and has been studying and recording freshwater invertebrates for over 25 years. His particular interest is in stoneflies and mayflies, and he frequently gives talks and training on these groups. Craig is particularly interested in the species found in upland areas of the UK and the impact that climate change is having upon them.  

Locations
7 May 2022 - World Museum
8 May 2022 - Yarrow Valley Country Park, Chorley