Bug forum launches at Museum

27 June 2008

Ever wondered what that strange looking bug in your house or garden is? Wonder no more.

This week the Natural History Museum launches its Bug forum where the public can ask insect questions and get expert answers online.

Coinciding with National Insect Week , the Bug forum is the Museum's first online forum and it will help the Museum's Insect Identification Service to answer some of the thousands of enquires it gets each year.

Using the bug forum

Visitors can try to identify bugs they've found by looking in the insect gallery. If they don't find what they are looking for, they can post a photo and question in the forum and wait for one of the Museum's scientists to answer it.

The forum will become more and more useful as the public continue to add photos and questions. It can also be used to discuss insect issues such as, are insects threatened by global warming and how can you attract more bugs to your garden.

Insects and spiders

Insects, as a scientific group, do not include spiders. This Bug forum, however, includes all kinds of insects and non-insects including spiders, centipedes, millipedes and woodlice.

More than 20,000 insect species in the UK

80% of the world's species are insects and the UK has about 23,500 different types. 2,000 of these could pop up in a typical UK garden and this includes an incredible 400 species of moths.

Vital role of insects

Insects play a vital role in nature maintaining the delicate balance of the eco-system. They carry out crucial jobs like pollinating plants and recycling animal dung and a huge number of other animals depend on them for food.

Museum insect collection

28 million insect specimens are looked after in the Museum's world-class entomology collection. They are studied by scientists and researchers from all over the world.

Further information

External links