Saturday, January 22, 2011

Water Beetles in Ireland

Donacia cinerea
Copyright National Biodiversity Data Centre
Last week saw the start of the undergraduate course ZO3083 Freshwater Biology, so my mind has made its seasonal switch from wastewater and water treatment to all things freshwater.  I have been very intrigued by a relatively new website hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre Water Beetles of Ireland.  This comprehensive website makes a strong case for a greater use of water beetles in routine surveillance, especially for wetlands.  There are some 340 species of water beetle found in Ireland and the site gives excellent coverage of the ecology, distribution (especially impressive) and conservation of the group.  It is a fascinating site and well worth a visit.  However, I am not too sure that we should be encouraging everyone to rush down to their local river or lake to collect specimens.   So, can I recommend you enjoy the images on this excellent site and the next time you are involved in water sampling take a longer look at those larval and adult beetles. Link

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