Tanyptera Project: Stoneflies Workshop

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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.

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 larvae 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.

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. This will be followed with an identification session using preserved specimens.

The course takes place from 10.30am - 4pm

Our tutor: Craig Macadam, is national recorder for the Plecoptera Recording Scheme, and has been studying and recording freshwater invertebrates for over 30 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.