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Plants for Bugs

RHS research project monitoring insects in native and non-native garden border plants.

Sarah shares her skills

Posted by Helen Bostock Plantsforbugs on 05 Oct 2012 at 08:33 AM

Sarah shows John how to separate out insects from detritus under the microscope

While we still have Sarah (whose time with the Plants for Bugs entomology team comes to an end next summer), we need to make sure she passes on all her expertise on sorting and identifying invertebrates.

Prepared to step up to the plate (or should that be microscope?!) is John, one of our volunteers. John works the rest of the week in the Wisley Plant Centre but is qualified in biology and keen to keep his skills up.


An ant (top) and mite (bottom) enlarged under the microscope

John discovered a light touch was needed - otherwise one squeeze from the tweezers and a bug was cut in two! Still, he is a fast learner. By the end of the session he was picking out the smallest of invertebrates, springtails, and sorting them into order.

Examples of bugs collected by pitfall trap sampling in the last two weeks; all correctly sorted and labelled


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