Do you know what bugs are living near you? Are some spiders more common in cities or in the countryside?
Help us find out by joining in the new nationwide Bugs Count survey launched today, 8 June, by the Museum and OPAL partnership. The scientists asking for our help want to know what bugs are out there and the differences between what we find in the cities or rural areas.
Hunt for bugs in soil, short or long grass. Search on paving and outsides of buildings and on plants and shrubs.
On your bugs hunt, keep a special eye out for six specific minibeasts, including the small tortoiseshell butterfly (right), which is in decline. Use the Species Quest bugs sheet to help in your identification.
Find out how to join in the OPAL Bugs Count and what resources you'll need
You'll be surprised at what buggy creatures you can find in towns and the countryside.
On the recent Big Nature Count of our Wildlife Garden, we found over 60 species of bugs in a morning and the final count hasn't been done yet. As well as the unusual drab wood soldier fly, Solva marginata, discovered, there was a new Coleophora glaucicolella moth found, not recorded in the garden before. And just the other day, a Museum volunteer out on a field trip in Surrey's Bookham Common, found a population of scarlet malachite beetles, left, one of the UK's rarest insects.
Come along to the Museum's Attenborough Studio this Saturday, 11 June, to hear two Big City Big Hunt talks at 12.30 and 14.30 with our scientists. Afterwards, you can take part in various bug-hunting activities and pick up a Bugs Count pack in the Wildlife Garden.
What's a bug?
The term ‘bug’ is a widely used name for insects. In our Bugs Count we are including non-insect groups such as spiders, centipedes, millipedes and woodlice. These are all collectively part of the group called arthropods and are invertebrates.
True bugs are a specific group of insects that include shield bugs, water bugs, aphids, scale insects and others.
More bug information