Monday, 20 February 2012

Visit to the Natural History Museum

Last week, during my half-term, I took a trip down to London. Among other things I visited the NHM with my parents. I had organised the visit so we were able to go 'backstage' and see the collection - which isn't on public display.
Biggest moth in the world!
It was an excellent experience and I learnt loads about how the whole collection works and the scale of it! It's split into two parts: British and International, where they are ordered taxonomically. The moths come from a huge range of sources, from ancient personal collections to specimens from recent expedition trips. This is why, especially in the British collection, there are vast numbers of individuals for each species.
It was amazing to see some species, although dead, that I would never see in the wild - certainly not in mid-Wales anyway!
Another exciting aspect was seeing some of the international collection, including some absolutely beautiful moths with amazing patterns and colours. It was useful to learn about some of the species present in France and Brazil - places I'll be doing some mothing later this year.
It was also fascinating to learn about the work being done in the museum. For example the weekly changes in taxonomic order and the discovery of new species, previously thought to be conspecific to another.
A thoroughly interesting day out!

Spot the butterfly(s)! - HINT: there are none!


  1. It looks as though you had a great day out at the NHM and some excellent photos as well - a day to remember, I think!


  2. Wow, lucky you Douglas. Am very jealous.

  3. Looks like a great day out Douglas. Cant believe some of those would actually fit in our traps! And well done on yet another county first last night.

  4. Thanks all, it was a great day out.

    And yes, I'm sure a lot of them would struggle to get in our traps!

    Alan, yes, Acrolepia autumnitella is beautiful - such patterns and colours. I'll post something about it soon probably.