Taking specimens for ID

In the last couple of years , it has been noticed that wildlife ID recording has fallen by the way side , due to cutbacks and lack of paid jobs go out and record our wildlife but this is now trying to be reversed . For this to happen sadly samples have to be taken , its different for larger animals we see elephants disappearing and we act but with the smaller things we just have no idea what we have , what we are loosing or what we are gaining. It’s time with climate change and the over use farm chemical  to start recording what we have now so we can protect them for the future .. Some people say “I would prefer not to know than to kill something” again sadly this wont help bees wasps and everything else we have and are loosing and wont protect them for future generations.

“Entomologists are uncomfortable killing insects, and we don’t take it lightly. If we did, we
wouldn’t be very good at our jobs. Most entomologists are deeply concerned about
environmental issues, and have thought long and hard about why we’re doing what we’re
doing.”
This quote from Joe Ballenger and Nancy Miorelli, from the “Ask an Entomologist” web site,
nicely sums up the way most entomologists feel about the vexed subject of collecting and
killing insects. It seems paradoxical that at a time when great concern is being expressed about
the state of our wild insect populations, entomologists who often are leading the cause for
better insect conservation are at the same time taking and killing bees and other insects in
order to study what is happening to insect populations. So, why is the collection of voucher
specimens necessary?
Here in Great Britain we have are around 225 native species of bee. Whilst some of these
(probably around 40-50 species) can, with considerable practice, be identified in the field, the
vast majority require examination of microscopic features to be able to distinguish individual
species. These features are impossible to see on a live, active insect, so in order to be able to
accurately identify the insect a specimen is required. These voucher specimens can then
checked with the aid of identification keys. Some of the characters used are very subtle, so
comparison with previously collected specimens may be needed to confirm the correct
identity.

The diagnostic feature of a Nomada ruficormis the bifid tips of the mandibles that can not bee seen any other way as they are usually hidden.

Advertisements