Identify nature

Have you found a strange bug or a new plant in your garden, or stumbled across an intriguing animal bone or fossil while out on a country walk? Let us help you find out more about it.

Commercial enquiries

If your business requires advice or an identification of an object from the natural world (such as an insect, tooth, pest ID or CITES identification etc.) please contact our commercial service.

Getting help from our experts

The Museum's Identification and Advisory Service can answer your queries about insects, fossils, plants and other wildlife and natural history specimens found in the UK.

Online help

Email your images and detailed descriptions to: 

  • For life sciences, such as bugs, bones, and plants:
  • For earth sciences, such as meteorites, minerals, rocks and fossils:

Or visit the service's Facebook page.

Please include as much detail as possible about the specimen, including:

  • A detailed description
  • Where and when you saw it
  • Its approximate size (including a common object, such as a coin, in any photo is helpful)

Getting help in person, by phone or by post

For other ways to contact the ID team, please visit the Centre for UK Nature's page.

ID help via Facebook

Found something interesting?

The Museum's Identification service has a Facebook group to help answer your queries on plants, animals, fossils, rocks and minerals found in the British Isles.

Common UK plants, animals and rocks - downloadable ID guides


Plants  and algae


Find out about some of the seaweeds around the British coast, both native and non-native.

Download the Big Seaweed Search guide PDF (3.4MB)

Visit the Big Seaweed Search webpage to help us record how seaweeds may be being affected by climate change.

Rocks and bones

Centre for UK Nature

Develop your natural history skills and interests with the help of our staff, facilities and resources.

Volunteer monitoring projects

Contribute to our scientific research. Take part in a wildlife survey, collect samples and data, or help us from home with a digital project.

Getting started with wildlife monitoring

Find out what schemes you can take part in, whatever habitat you are interested in.