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Archive for the ‘Reptiles and Amphibians’ Category

Team of volunteers

Team of volunteers

The Wildscreen office will be pretty quiet today, with half the team swapping the confines of the office to help out with BioBlitz as volunteers. Exchanging computers for cameras and clipboards, the Wildscreen team are ready and raring to get involved!

Being biologists themselves, the Wildscreen team couldn’t wait to get stuck in and start digging around for species to add to the tally. With a gap in the schools schedule mid-afternoon, half of the team made their way to the wettest, dirtiest place they could find – the pond!

Putting her field work skills to good use, guide Becky delved straight in and impressed us all with her knowledge of freshwater invertebrates…..Lymnaea stagnalis, the azure damselfly and the palmate newt were all quickly identified with expert conviction.

Becky identifying freshwater invertebrates

Becky identifying freshwater invertebrates

Bonnie, Becky and Lauren identifying damselfly larvae

Bonnie, Becky and Lauren identifying damselfly larvae

Male Azure damselfly, Lymnaea stagnalis

Male Azure damselfly, Lymnaea stagnalis

While the Wildscreen guides continued their foraging for new and exciting species, Laura bullied some of Wildscreen’s media team contingent into divulging their most exciting finds of the day. We’ll have a video of their thoughts on the day so far for you soon!

Laura interviewing Wildscreen volunteers Becky, Ben and George

Laura interviewing Wildscreen volunteers Becky, Ben and George

We at the Wildscreen team have been having great fun down at BioBlitz so far – we’re looking forward to hearing the latest tally and getting back out there later this afternoon. Come down and join us and the other volunteers and get involved!

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Liz

Liz, with her camera

We have some excellent photos from Liz Shaw, one of the volunteer guides here at the BioBlitz. Liz comes from Wildscreen’s ARKive project (www.arkive.org), where she works as a Text Author, writing profiles for endangered species around the globe. Despite being more of a bird-fancier, Liz has given us quite a few inverts here!

Mating weevils

Mating weevils

From mating weevils to baby newts (we suspect this is a smooth newt), these are some of the best finds so far…

Baby newt

Baby newt (possibly a smooth newt)

Beetle larvae

Beetle larvae

Female damselfly

Female damselfly

…and lastly, one of our insect experts informs us that this fly is a highly exciting find. However, the media team doesn’t quite know what it is beyond being a species of soldier fly. We’ll try to come back later with an update!

Exciting fly

Soldier fly, an excellent find

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If your aim in life is to collect little insects, how can you get to grips with your subjects without mangling them? It’s a problem every entomologist faces, and the solution is a simple elegant device called a “pooter”, which involves rubber and human breath. How does it work? David Scott Langley will explain all…

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Earlier today we  heard the fantastic news about all three British newt species turning up in one pond! Watch the video below for a close-up look at these little beauties.

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