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Posts tagged with 'entomology'

No rainbows but plenty of rain!

25 August 2015 by Paula

Clouds loomed and it started to rain

Clouds loomed and it started to rain

Tony Hunter, assistant Curator of Entomology updates us on the search for the Rainbow Leaf Beetle on Snowdon:

“We left Liverpool on a lovely sunny morning and despite the weather forecast we were hopeful of a fine day, but as we approached Snowdon along the A5 dark clouds loomed and it started to rain. Read more…

Chasing Rainbows – Searching for the Rainbow Leaf Beetle on top of Snowdon

18 August 2015 by Paula

The Rainbow Leaf Beetle Chrysolina cerealis is one of Britain’s rarest insects

The Rainbow Leaf Beetle Chrysolina cerealis is one of Britain’s rarest insects. © Christoph Benisch – www.kerbtier.de

Tony Hunter, assistant Curator of Entomology tells us about a survey being carried out in conjunction with Natural Resources Wales:

“The Rainbow Leaf Beetle Chrysolina cerealis is one of our rarest insects and is protected in Britain by the Wildlife and Countryside Act. It is against the law to collect, disturb or even photograph it. Read more…

Book sale bargains

3 January 2013 by Karen

A brightly coloured teaset

A divine Clarice Cliff ‘tea for two’ set from Age of Jazz.

As January is synonymous with sales and spring cleaning we thought we’d kill two birds with one stone and have a bit of a clear out in our book warehouse. So if you fancy bagging yourself a bargain then check out the offers on our online shop.

It’s an eclectic selection and there are some great books, my personal favourites being ‘When Time Began to Rant and Rage…’ which is a fab book of Irish figurative work and totally worth a fiver, Age of Jazz: British Arts Deco Ceramics as I’m a sucker for a deco teaset, and British Watercolours and Drawings from the Lady Lever’s collection.

If you’ve still not got a John Moores catalogue then now is the time to buy one as they’re reduced to £7.50. And if you buy it from the Walker shop you get the John Moores China version for free. Read more…

Beastly Goings-On

11 March 2011 by Eleanor

Have you ever wondered what could be eating our museum collections?
Although this might seem like a strange question, all kinds of organic materials such as leather, paper, wood and even textiles provide a feast for a variety of troublesome insects!  At the National Conservation Centre we have a range of high-powered microscopes which allow us to look up close at many of these beastly bugs. 
Insects such as the clothes moth, seen in the image below, lay their eggs on natural fibres such as wool.  When the clothes moth’s eggs hatch into larvae, they feed upon the wool fibres and can cause tremendous damage.  Many other insects would also happily munch or bore their way through all kinds of museum objects if left to their own devices!
Why not come down to the Clore Natural History Centre in World Museum next Tuesday 15th March, 2.15pm-4.15pm to find out more.  Two of National Museums Liverpool’s conservators will be presenting a series of microscope images and specimens of the curious creepy crawlies that munch on museum objects. Will you be able to guess which bugs do the damage? Read more…

Happy Anniversary to the World Museum!

31 December 2009 by Lisa

Black and white photo of old museum interior.

The museum before it was bombed in the Second World War.

I know I’m a day early, but 2010 will mean a pretty important anniversary for us here at National Museums Liverpool. It will be the 150th Anniversary of William Brown handing over the keys for what was then the Liverpool museum, which we now all know and love as the World Museum.

To mark this anniversary we’re going to be featuring a year-long series of World Museum-related stories on this blog. There’ll be a story a week, with a mix of historical and contemporary pieces. We want to let you know all about the museum’s history but also give you a few behind the scenes peeks at the people, stories and events that make (and have made) this such a special museum. Read more…

Bughouse welcomes bizarre newcomer!

20 July 2009 by Lisa

Bug House Demonstrator, Rebekah Beresford, tells us about the latest addition to the Bug House…

Well, this is my first post to the blog and through my future blog posts I hope to highlight some of the exciting things we do in the Bug House. My name is Rebekah, although I seem to have adopted the title ‘Beckie Bughouse’ somehow, and I’m the Bug House Demonstrator. I’ve been working for National Museums Liverpool for almost a year now and basically I love and wholly respect invertebrates of every kind.
Wandering Violin Mantis

The weird and wonderful Wandering Violin Mantis

So, may I present to you the Wandering Violin Mantis or Gongylus gonglodes. This awesome looking insect is our newest addition to the Bug House. We have eight of these funky little creatures and they’re one of the most bizarre looking out of all the mantids.

These insects are part of the order Mantodea and are characterized by their slender limbs and stocky upper body. As suggested by the name, this mantis looks somewhat like a violin with leaf like appendages protruding from the legs to aid camouflage and a leaf like head. They’re from Southern India and Sri Lanka and come in a variety of different shades of brown.

The wandering violin mantis is more of a ‘sit and wait’ species rather than a hunter but that’s not to say that they’re picky. These mantids are confident, ravenous feeders and will snatch a variety of flies and moths from the air, if the dare to fly close enough. Most mantids are solitary and have to be kept individually but these are unusually social. Given plenty of space they can be housed together in small groups of 8-10 and pose no threat to each other.  Read more…

Bugs behind the scenes

8 April 2009 by Lisa

Man holding a case full of bees

Guy Knight shows us some bees

This week I got to look around the entomology lab at World Museum Liverpool, at one of the creepy crawly tours that are available to visitors during school holidays. Zoology curator, Guy Knight, took us around the lab so we could see some of the thousands of mounted specimens housed in the back of the museum.

He showed us a case full of crickets that were found in Liverpool after they hitch-hiked here on some bananas. Then there were questions from some of the eager smaller visitors on the tour – my favourite being; ‘What happens if they come back to life after you’ve killed them?’ Maybe they had been to the Ancient Egypt gallery beforehand and had learned about the afterlife! Bees were next on the agenda – we have around 10,000 bees in our collections apparently. We learned that there are 250 different kinds of bees, but wild bumblebees are getting rarer due to the countryside changing and there being less wild areas for bees to live in. Read more…

Sorting the small things that matter

2 November 2007 by Karen

Many moons ago, when there was still the promise of a summer featuring the sun, Guy Knight in Entomology told us about the fieldwork the team was undertaking in Smardale, Cumbria. Well, the ‘field’ bit of the work has concluded and now they’re spending the winter grubbing through their finds. More from Guy.

a brown butterfly

The Northern Brown Argus

Fieldwork finished for the year at Smardale Gill NNR in October. Despite the poor summer, the monthly visits we made to the site were productive and the winter will be spent sorting through samples back at the museum, identifying specimens and preparing information on conserving insect diversity at the site for our report to the Cumbria Wildlife Trust. Several more pictures from the survey have been added to our Flickr page.

It was good to see large numbers of Scotch Argus and Northern Brown Argus butterfly during the summer. They are the only insects which have been studied in detail at Smardale in the past, where they occur towards the southern limit of their British distribution. Several other significant species have been recorded during the survey so far and we were especially pleased to find the Wall Mason Bee Osmia parietina, a Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species which is restricted in Britain to a handful of sites in north-west England and North Wales. Read more…

Fieldwork update

5 July 2007 by Lisa

Hello, I’d like to introduce myself! I’m Lisa Jones and I’m filling in for Dawn Carroll as E-PR Officer for National Museums Liverpool, while she is away on leave. This is my first blog post and I am bringing you an update about the entomology fieldwork at Smardale Gill, from Curator of Entomology, Guy Knight. There are lots of great photos of the team at work on Flickr and you can read on to find out more about his team’s latest findings…

Tom Mawdsley in the field

The team at work in Smardale Gill

Because of the awful weather during the past month, the visit to Smardale Gill NNR we had scheduled for June threatened to be a fairly miserable affair. Luckily the rain did hold off for most of the time and we even got a few sunny spells! This time we were accompanied by Tom Mawdsley, retired Curator of Diptera (flies) at National Museums Liverpool and Dr Jennifer Newton the county spider recorder for Cumbria. Much of the day was spent servicing and repairing traps which had been damaged by the weather and livestock but it was also a good opportunity to see some of the rare plants and butterflies already known from the reserve. Meanwhile, some specimens from the samples are being prepared for our collections, allowing us to make accurate identifications and providing a lasting record of the presence of these insects at the site for future researchers.
Read more…

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