You can read much more about the project at http://www.northpennines.org.uk/Pages/Cold-bloodedandSpineless.aspx
After the various presentations at the launch, held at the Environmental Centre at Harehope Quarry near Frosterley in Weardale, we went on a short bug hunt. Predictably, there weren't many flying insects about in mid-March, although someone did catch this male mosquito with rather magnificent antennae.
But when we started turning over stones it was a different story.
Lots of ants
A common pygmy woodlouse Trichoniscus pusillus
I think this one is a young specimen of the common shiny woodlouse Oniscus asellus
Lots of black snake millipedes Tachypodoiulus niger
More millipedes, that I've yet to identify
Two very small snails, awaiting identification
Several species of springtail. In the picture above, showing the underside, you can see the forked furca folded under the tail, that it uses like a pole-vaulter's pole to catapult itself into the air.
Click here for more about springtails
A very fine devil's coach horse, with a formidable pair of needle-sharp jaws
Click here for more about devil's coach horses
Numerous ground beetles, including ....
..... this one that played possum when it was turned onto its back, and ...
.... this one, that was carrying a hitch-hiker on its back, which ...
... looks like it might be a very small tick.
I haven't had time to ID these properly yet, but am posting them now so that those who found them can download the pictures.
It's amazing what you can find if a dozen people spend half an hour turning over stones, even if it is a cold March afternoon!
If you'd like to know more about the Cold-blooded and Spineless project, or would like to become involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org