How to be a curious entomologist - Saturday 10th

Richard Jones – a.k.a. Bugman Jones

will be in Dacres Wood this Saturday from 10.00 to 4.30, showing how to be a “curious entomologist”. As he explains:

Insects are everywhere. They are so many, and so varied — fascinating, beautiful, mysterious, bizarre. Through their mind-boggling biodiversity they offer us a window into the ecological complexity of life on Earth, and give us a powerful insight of the workings of the natural world. But their small size means they can easily be overlooked or ignored. However it doesn’t take much specialist equipment to have a closer look. Using simple methods and materials provided, this 1-day workshop will look at techniques to find and observe a wide variety of different insects, then how to preserve sample specimens for examination under the microscope.

In the morning, we’ll tour the reserve, finding and discussing the many different insect groups — looking at their structure, behaviour, life histories, and some easy identification pointers. In the afternoon, during the laboratory session, there will be the opportunity to look at some in more detail, and consider how studying insects can contribute to our understanding of nature, and the contribution it can make through citizen science.

Curious? Why curious? Entomologists might, at first, seem a bit eccentric, but they pursue their study of the natural world with a passion fuelled by curiosity.

Richard Jones is an acclaimed expert entomologist, a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and a former President of the British Entomological and Natural History Society. He writes regularly for BBC Wildlife, Countryfile, Gardeners’ World and Sunday Times. He has written several books on insects, including Extreme Insects, The Little Book of Nits, House Guests — House Pests, and Call of Nature — The Secret Life of Dung.

The cost is £35, and to book a place, call LB Lewisham Ecology officer Nick Pond on 020 8314 2007, where he will be able to take a card payment . Alternatively, email him on or use the form on this link

to send him your phone number and a time he can call you.

1 Like

Richard Jones just blogged about this

Dacres Wood — first of the new batch of curious entomologists

with a picture including me peering down a microscope

It maybe this I was looking at, which I’m thinking of using as an avatar.

Also - I’m interested to know what people think about the fact of having to kill bugs in order to view them and identify them. Robust or queasy? Not something to do in front of the children?

Yes I must admit when I saw the flyer it hadn’t occurred to me that you would have to kill the bugs to study them!
My son is very interested in insects and has recently acquired some New Guinea Stick Insects, and is often to be found picking up bugs in the garden. I always tell him not to kill creatures (with the exception of mosquitoes, which I have no time for!) so this would be an interesting one to explain!