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Earthworm ID with Microscopes

Fully booked

18th March 2023 | 10:00 – 16:00

Earthworm ID with Microscopes
A table showing the details of the Earthworm ID with Microscopes event
Venue:Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre
Address:Fir Tree Lane, Rotherwas HR2 6LA
Tutor:Keiron Brown

Contact:Tim Kaye

There are 29 species of earthworm living freely in soils in the UK. They are vital to the economic health of our country, as they are crucial for soil health, food production, waste decomposition and even flood mitigation.
Despite their importance, relatively few people are skilled in identifying earthworms to species level. Identification of earthworms involves inspecting specimens under a microscope to observe key morphological features that are often too small to see with the naked eye. However, with only 5 features used to distinguish between the 29 species, earthworms are a great group for novices. Learn the difference between a tanylobic and epilobic head type, how to record the position of the clitellum and how to determine if the setae on an earthworm are closely or widely paired.
This course provides an introduction to identifying earthworms using the FSC AIDGAP Key to the Earthworms of the UK & Ireland. This includes a short presentation introducing the morphological features used to identify specimens to species level and support from an earthworm specialist tutor throughout the practical sessions.
This course is endorsed by the Earthworm Society of Britain.
Please note that this course will involve using specimens that have been killed and preserved.
What will be covered during this course?
• The external (morphological) features used in earthworm identification.
• How to work through the Key to the Earthworms of the UK & Ireland to determine earthworm specimens accurately to species level.
• Practical experience observing earthworm ID features using a microscope and specimen collection.
• No microscope experience is necessary – our tutors will set up and show you how to use a microscope.
The tutor will bring along copies of the FSC AIDGAP Key to the Earthworms of the UK & Ireland will be available to purchase on the day at the price of £10 per book (cash payments only).
Tutor: Keiron Brown
Keiron Derek Brown first became interested in invertebrates during a field-based entomology module at university and went on to volunteer on soil biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates to order level and sampling invertebrates across the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo.
Keiron is the National Recorder for earthworms (running the National Earthworm Recording Scheme on behalf of the Earthworm Society of Britain).

You can bring along your own microscope if you wish.

This event is now fully booked, however we do occasionally have cancellations, if you would like to join the waiting list please complete the form below.