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Insect Specimens at the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity, in the Natural History Museum, London By The Nature Collection for British Wildlife

Cover photo shows the Museum cases for two species of hawker dragonfly.

A selection of photos of UK insects, combining photos of insects taken in the wild, with photos of specimens in the Natural History Museum, London.

The high quality photos which show such incredible detail, were taken using the photo stacking equipment in the Visitor Centre at the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum, London. Huge thanks to the staff there, for all their time, help and endless patience.

The stacking photos were taken for use in my primary school workshops, which focused on local wildlife.

Bees, Wasps and Hornets

Common Wasp

Early stages of a wasp's nest, found in my shed
Tempted by jam!
Wild wasp's nest inside a fallen tree
Wasp's nest in a rabbit hole in Richmond Park
Wasp's nest inside the birch tree stump, shown below
Wild wasp's nest in Richmond Park

Hornet

Hornets nesting in an ancient oak tree, in Richmond Park
On guard duty! The hornets chew up wood and plaster it over an old woodpecker's hole, to reduce the size of the opening
On heather

Honey Bee

Bee hive at the Natural History Museum, Oxford
On lavender

Cuckoo Wasp

A different species of cuckoo wasp in Richmond Park, Photos Bob Black
As above

Hawker Dragonflies

Museum cases, Migrant hawker and Emperor dragonflies

Emperor Dragonfly, male

Emperor dragonflies, male and female. Male on the left
Emperor dragonfly in Richmond Park
Well-camouflaged Emperor dragonfly at Papercourt Meadow, Surrey
Shed skins of dragonfly nymphs called 'exuviae', at the Natural History Museum, Sofia

Migrant Hawker, male

Museum case, Migrant hawker dragonflies. Male on the left
Migrant hawker, male in Home Park
Male and female mating
Male, flying

Damselflies

Banded Demoiselle, male

Banded demoiselle, male
Male and female, early stage of mating
At the River Wey

Banded Demoiselle, female

Female, poised on a grass stem
On nettles

Flies

Blue Bottle

Blue Bottle, side view

Greenbottle?

Flesh Fly

In the garden
Such big eyes!

Hoverfly

A living specimen!

Beetles

Part of a wonderful display case of exotic beetles, at the Natural History Museum, Oxford

Leaf Beetles

Stag Beetle, male

Female Stag beetle in Richmond Park, seeking an underground spot to lay her eggs
Male Stag beetle in my garden!
Stag beetle display, Oxford NHM

Minotaur Beetle

Green Tiger Beetle

Museum case of Green tiger beetles
Green tiger beetle at Thursley

I am Susanna Ramsey and I have a unique collection of natural history objects relating to British wildlife. Over the last ten years, I have assembled an extensive range of skulls, skeletons, bones, skins, feathers, wings, antlers, insect specimens and taxidermy, all from animals in the UK.

During 2010-2018, I took my Nature Collection into local primary schools to display and run workshops for the children, linking the exhibition to science topics in the National Curriculum such as Adaptations, Bones, Classification, Food Webs, Habitats, Life Cycles and Local Wildlife.

In 2018-2020, I worked with the leading schools' catalogue, TTS ,to create a range of Educational Resources for primary schools, nurseries, after school clubs and families. There are Look & Learn Cards for British Birds, Mammals and Minibeasts, a Food Webs Activity Pack, Classification Packs for Natural History & British Wildlife, Animal Discovery Bags for exciting wildlife trails, Playground Signboards and Identification Wheels. To find out more, click here.

In the school workshops, children and teachers were always fascinated to discover more about the animals which live in our gardens or local parks. On these web pages, I want to continue to share my enthusiasm for our local wildlife.

Exhibits and Thanks

Almost all of the animals in my collection were either found by myself, Susanna Ramsey, or donated by friends and family to The Nature Collection, as an educational resource. Huge thanks for all the tiny, carefully-wrapped bundles of feathers and bones, to Steve and Sam Read, John Lock, Chris Matcham, Franko Maroevic, Tim Howard, Jan Wilczur, Simon Richards, Peter Veniard, Paula Redmond, Phil Davis, Bob & Sally Black, Jo & Frank Sheppard and Katie Ramsey. Many of these people are naturalists and experts in their field; I am indebted to them too, for all that they have taught me about our local wildlife.

Over the years, I have been lucky enough to be a regular visitor to the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum, London. The unimaginably-vast collection of British insect specimens, stored in row upon row, of metal, floor-to-ceiling cabinets has been a massive inspiration to me. There is something infinitely satisfying about the way every species has its own box, within a drawer, within a cabinet and that each can be found within minutes, by the care and expertise of the staff. To witness the incredible number of UK species of moth, beetle, butterfly, fly, grasshopper etc, is simply mind blowing and I feel so privileged to be able to visit and photograph some of the specimens!

I have used the photo stacking equipment at the Angela Marmont Centre to take highly-detailed photos of some of the specimens to put into slideshows for my primary school workshops. When I was young, I always wanted to be an archaeologist and it was my ambition to work in a museum; to sit in the Centre, using the equipment and handling the specimens, listening to the chatter of the experts at work, has been a dream come true. I am so grateful to the staff at the Centre for their encouragement and for always making me feel so welcome.

Thanks also to Tonja Grung of Made from the Dead Taxidermy, for sharing her incredible knowledge, patience and skill. I will never forget our amazing sessions on animal taxidermy.

The delicate skeletons were cleaned to perfection by a colony of flesh-eating, dermestid beetles, skilfully managed by Edward de Geer.

So much still to discover!

The above photo shows some of the 40 photo cards in the Classification:Natural History pack. Facts and size are shown on the back of each card. (See below.)

BRITISH WILDLIFE EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTS

If you know children who are interested in nature, are a teacher, or would like to learn more about British Wildlife yourself, explore the range of British Wildlife products recently created by The Nature Collection and the leading schools' catalogue, TTS.

The Classification: Natural History pack features 40 small photos of animal skeletons, skulls, feathers, insect specimens and much more, all from The Nature Collection!

The products are perfect for use in primary schools, nurseries, after school clubs, forest schools or at home with friends and family. Click on the links below to find out about each product.

Look & Learn Cards: British Birds, Mammals, Minibeasts

Food Webs Activity Pack

Classification: British Wildlife & Natural History

Identification Wheels: British Birds, Mammals & Minibeasts

Discovery Bags: British Birds, Mammals, Minibeasts

Playground Signboards: Birds, Mammals, Minibeasts

Created By
Susanna Ramsey
Appreciate

Credits:

Susanna Ramsey