Shropshire Springtail Atlas - update

Pogongnathellus sp. on paintbrush.  Photo: David Williams

It'sA sea of springtails.  Photo: Kirsty Brown been a couple of months since the launch of the Shropshire Springtail Atlas Project, so it's a good time to take stock and see where we've got to so far.

Pete Boardman has been extremely busy collecting, determining and verifying specimens and collating records, supported by various keen volunteers and the project.  Progress so far has been pretty impressive!

So, some facts and figures.

  • Number of sampling packs returned: 19 (out of c. 100 sent out - keep them coming people!)
  • Number of records generated (via sampling packs and other recorders): 1156
  • Number of different species found (correct as of 31/01/16): 79
  • Number of tetrads covered (correct as of 31/01/16): 146
  • Number of different recorders (people who collected the samples): 22, many thanks to all of them
  • Number of different determiners (people who identified the samples): 15, ditto

Springtail claw under high power magnification.A highlight for me was the Springtail Identification Weekend, held on 16th/17th January. There was no formal teaching during the weekend; rather it was a chance for local springtail enthusiasts of differing levels of experience to get together and work on their ID skills, in a supportive and friendly environment. There was lots of peer-to-peer support, with more experienced springtailers lending a hand to those newer to the fascinating (and frustrating!) world of Collembola ID.

More information on the project, including the atlas progression maps and details on how to help us with a little bit of Citizen Science, can be found here.

 A key to the springtails of the UK is published by the FSC.  Details here.


Springtail sample.  Photo: Kirsty Brown