Spot the difference…at ZSL London Zoo

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Take part in UK Ladybird Survey for National Insect Week at ZSL London Zoo 21st – 27th June 2010

For National Insect Week 2010, visitors to ZSL London Zoo can help to take part in a nation-wide survey to count all of the different ladybird species, and spot the difference between native and non-native species.

As part of the UK Ladybird Survey, which aims to record all native species in the United Kingdom, visitors to ZSL London Zoo will be searching around the zoo grounds to identify any they can find – whilst keeping an eye out for unwelcome invasive varieties such as the Harlequin ladybird. With help from an insect expert, the visitors will be able to take in lots of fun facts about ladybirds as they go.

The best place to celebrate National Insect Week is in the Zoo’s B.U.G.S exhibit. Guests can admire over 25 different insect species and check out the daily Megabugs encounter. Visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with some of the world’s largest creepy-crawlies, including giant millipedes and praying mantis.

Those who want to become truly immersed in the exotic world of insects should head to Butterfly Paradise for a tropical introduction to over 250 beautiful butterflies. Walking into a giant caterpillar, Zoo visitors become engrossed in the humid world of these stunning creatures as they fly freely around the enclosure.

Although technically not an insect, keepers at ZSL London Zoo are keen to show off their amazing arachnids in the Spider Talk – visitors get the opportunity to examine a Mexican red-kneed spider at close range, where those young and old will be in awe of the legendary bird-eating spider.

ZSL London Zoo is celebrating National Insect Week from 21st to 27th June 2010. To find out more or to book tickets for a day out at the Zoo, just visit http://www.zsl.org/nationalinsectweek

Editor’s Notes

National Insect Week is organized by the Royal Entomological Society, supported by a large number of partner organizations concerned with many aspects of insect science, natural history and biodiversity. Through NIW2010 activities and events, you can explore insect diversity in its many aspects – the wide range of body shapes and colours, the incredible variety of species (over 24,000 in the UK alone), the amazingly different behaviours and ways of life of these species, and the multitude of interactions of insects with their environment and with humans.

NIW2010 is the Royal Entomological Society’s contribution to the UK’s ‘Biodiversity is life’ partnership celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity 2010, for more information please visit http://www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk

ZSL London Zoo will be celebrating National Insect Week 2010 as part of the International Year of Biodiversity in conjunction with the Royal Entomological Society.

ZSL London Zoo will be encouraging visitors to take part in the UK Ladybird Survey (a collaboration between the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University) whilst at the Zoo as well as celebrating the many other amazing insects and invertebrates on display. For more information about the UK Ladybird Survey please visit http://www.ladybird-survey.org

2010 has been declared the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) by the United Nations. Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. It is essential for sustaining the natural living systems or ecosystems that provide us with food, fuel, health, wealth, and other vital services. Humans are part of this biodiversity too and have the power to protect or destroy it. Currently, our activities are destroying biodiversity at alarming rates. These losses are irreversible, impoverish us all and damage the life support systems we rely on. But we can prevent them.

To find out more information about National Insect Week at ZSL London Zoo or to book tickets for the Zoo, visit http://www.zsl.org/nationalinsectweek

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Lynsey Ford