My twins went on a bug hunt and found lots of little creatures. They were taking part in activities for kids in the woods at Wakehurst Place, the Royal Botanic Garden of Kew’s country estate in Sussex. My son was rather excited about a spider he caught among the leaves on the woodland floor. That’s when I discovered the perfect guide book for identifying insects, snails, butterflies and more.
The expert organising the bug hunt grabbed her book – Small Woodland Creatures by Lars-Henrik Olsen, Jakob Sunesen, Bente Vita Pedersen – and in a flash we knew the name and type of spider.
It’s a rather clever guide book on small invertebrates. The best thing about this book it’s easy to use whether you are an expert or amateur, adult or child.
Inside the front cover are shape silhouettes of all the little creatures you’d find on a walk in the woods or a bug hunt. They are also shown in natural size including butterflies, moths, wasps, bees, flies, spiders, worms, snails and bees. Next to the silhouette is the page number where you’ll find that group of critters.
When my son caught a spider, all we had to do was find the same shape on the front cover double page and then turn to the page numbered. It was a Pardosa lugubris, also known as a wolf spider. A brief but informative text on the spider included the following detail: “Female carries egg sac around under her abdomen and babies on her back.” The wolf spider he had captured had an egg sac too!
For adults and kids wanting to spot and identify insects and other woodland small invertebrates, the book also shows where you might find them. For example, there are sections on galls and what sort of bugs or larvae you’d find on leaves.
As my kids love bug hunts and spotter sheet adventures, I had to order Small Woodland Creatures straightaway. I could now help them identify all those creepy crawlies they bravely found and then released again in their natural wood habitats.
It’s already been used to name butterflies, bees and damselflies that have visited our garden. So if you want an easy peasy way to identify bugs and little creatures you find in the woods or even your back garden, keep Small Woodland Creatures as a handy guide.