Anneliese Emmans Dean eco-edutainment info@theBigBuzz.biz
You can make an important contribution to science by recording the bugs you see! Scientists up and down the UK rely on us to tell them what bugs we see, so they can build up a nationwide picture of what bugs are where. Click below to see how you can record the bugs you see. Who knows, you might even make a world-first scientific discovery!
Don’t forget Nature’s Calendar too, where you can record your Springwatch and Autumnwatch sightings of animals and plants. Younger recorders and schools should check out Nature Detectives.
Seen something you don’t recognise? Send a photo of it to Wild About Britain or i-Spot, where experts will help you identify it! Or try to identify it yourself using the guides at Buglife.
Please note: I try to keep the links on this page up to date, but they do sometimes chop and change without my knowing. If you come across any links here that no longer work, do email me and I’ll try to put them right as soon as possible. Thanks!
If you see a bumblebee, particularly if it’s an unusual one, take a photo and send it to BeeWatch. BeeWatch wants to build up a map of what bumblebees are where in Britain. The online BeeWatch tools will help you identify your bumblebee, and your ID will be confirmed by BeeWatch experts.
You can also record your sightings with The Great British Bee Count.
If you see a Tree Bumblebee, you can record your sighting with OPAL as part of their Bugs Count Species Quest.
If you get really keen on bumblebees, you might want to take part in BeeWalk. This involves you walking a fixed-route of 1-2km every month, and recording what bumblebees you see.
By the way, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust wrote the Foreword to my Buzzing! book, and are fans of my Buzzing! CD:
‘Your Buzzing! CD is wonderful.
We put it on in the office when someone needs cheering up.’
If you spot a Rosemary Beetle, the Royal Horticultural Society would like to know about it!
Stag beetles are some of the largest beetles in the UK. They can grow to be larger than a matchbox. The Great Stag Hunt was launched in 1998, to record sightings of stag beetles in the UK, where they are a protected species. Have you seen a stag beetle where you are?
Ladybirds - see below
Butterfly Conservation runs a series of different butterfly recording schemes. One of the best to take part in is The Big Butterfly Count. It only takes 15 minutes once a year, and is vital to help scientists understand which of our butterfly species are threatened and which are thriving.
Painted Lady butterfly
The Painted Lady butterfly flies here all the way from Africa. Let the Butterfly Conservation Trust know if you see any!
Small Tortoiseshell butterfly
OPAL is recording sightings of the Small Tortoiseshell butterfly as part of its Bugs Count Species Quest.
There are lots of different ladybirds you might come across in the UK. Visit the UK Ladybird survey to find out how to record ladybirds you see in your garden, or whilst out and about. And see below for how to record the latest threat, the Harlequin Ladybird.
The Harlequin is an invader ladybird from abroad, with the potential to harm our native ladybird species. The Harlequin arrived in Britain in 2004. Has it reached where you are? I first saw them in York in Autumn 2007 (read all about it). Take a photo if you think you see one. The people at the Harlequin Ladybird Survey will tell you if it’s a Harlequin or not.
What moths can you see in your garden? There are several moth recording schemes. One of the easiest to take part in is run once a year on Moth Night.
With climate change, more and more Hummingbird Hawkmoths are expected here. I’ve seen them - fleetingly - in my garden in York. Have you seen them where you are?
Do you live in Wales? The editor of The Sawfly Study Group Newsletter, Guy Knight, Zoology Curator (entomology) at the National Museums Liverpool, is actively looking for sightings of any species of sawfly spotted in Wales. If you see any there, email your sightings to Guy.Knight@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk
I was the first person to record Berberis sawflies in York (read all about it)! Will you be the first person to record them where you are? If you see them, the Royal Horticultural Society would like to know about it!
Worms are vital! And OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) wants our help to find out more about them. Their ‘Soil and Earthworm’ survey started in March 2009.