Our aims for this section

One of the aims of the Suffolk Naturalist's Society has always been to record the natural history of Suffolk and to encourage the people of Suffolk to identify the wildlife they see and report it. To encourage people to feel more confidence in the identification of certain groups of wildlife this section will have a series of free leaflets aimed at making the process easier. Copyright to all photographs and text within the leaflets is owned by the author unless specified within the leaflet.

To read most of our leaflets you will need Adobe® Reader®. Download it from:

Hopefully the content of the downloads section will grow over time but to begin with we offer the following guides to some common creatures to be found in Suffolk freshwaters

            A Photo Key to Great Diving Beetles v3 ..... written by Adrian Chalkley     ... 7.6 mb

            This key was written for my course at Flatford Mill in June 2016. This key allows the user to identify all 6 species of Great Diving Beetles found in the UK and also describes the other two large water beetles which may be confused with them. Whilst these large beetles are not dangerous and can be held in the hand to identify, this can also be done with the beetle in a pond net or captive in a transparent container.
            Please send any Suffolkrecords to or use iRecord for records from elsewhere

            A Photo Key to Large Aquatic Bugs v3.1 ..... written by Adrian Chalkley     ... 4.84 mb

            Recently updated for my course at Flatford Mill on May 26 2015 Click for details This covers the larger aquatic bugs likely to be found in Britain, including Water Scorpions, Stick Insects, Saucer and River Bugs as well as Backswimmers. It also includes one unusual saucer bug newly arrived from the continent and one backswimmer which may do so sometime soon.. All you need to identify the large bugs is this key and a magnifying glass but thick gloves are recommended for Backswimmers as their beak like rostrum can puncture human skin easily and painfully as the author has found!
            Please send any Suffolkrecords to or use iRecord for records from elsewhere

            A Photo Guide to Crayfish in Suffolk ..... written by Adrian Chalkley     ...1.84 mb

            Sadly our native White Clawed Crayfish has all but completely been ousted from Suffolk's freshwaters by invasive alien species and the disease they carry. This key uses photographs of the main identification features to allow you to be sure which of the following 3 species you may have found:
1             The Native White Clawed Crayfish
2             Signal Crayfish
3             Turkish Crayfish

            We must point out that Native White Clawed Crayfish are a protected species and you need a licence from the Environment Agency to handle them. However, since it is very unlikely that you will find them any more in the county, this guide is provided so that you may be sure, if you accidentally capture a crayfish in a net, that it is an alien. Alien species should be destroyed and not put back into the water. Of course if you are sure you have a native species then please, please send details to or

            All photographs in this leaflet were taken by the author from preserved specimens legally & kindly provided by the Environment Agency, Ipswich.

           Tools to Manipulate Specimens Under the Stereo Microscope ..... written by Adrian Chalkley     ...1.9 mb

            Stereo microscopes are indispensible when it comes to identifying small invertebrates and indeed other subjects in natural history. However it is not always easy to hold a tiny invertebrate still and move legs, antennae, mouthparts so as to correctly display the identification characteristics or to extract genitalia as needed for many invertebrates to arrive at the correct species.
            The tools described in this leaflet are those used everyday by the author and have been developed and tested by students over several years for use on the identification courses he runs for the Field Studies Courses at Flatford Mill.




            These web pages are compiled for the SNS by Adrian Chalkley.
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