AES Annual Exhibition

Saturday 30th September 2017

As part of the Club’s outreach programme, Dennis Fullwood, Paul Smith and Alan Wood manned a stand at the Annual Exhibition and Trade Fair organised by the Amateur Entomologists’ Society at Kempton Park Racecourse in Middlesex, promoting microscopes and microscopy to young and old entomologists. As usual, there were hundreds of visitors, but the event often clashes with our own Annual Exhibition, so we don’t usually get the chance to exhibit here. There were well over 100 stands spread over 2 floors.

We had lots of visitors to our stand and we hope to see some of them again at the Annual Exhibition of Microscopy (Saturday 7th October, Natural History Museum) and at Microscopium (Saturday 21st October, St Albans). Visiting Quekett members included Sam Christofi, Steve Durr, Martin Hinchcliffe and Robert Ratford, and visiting NHM staff included Jan Beccaloni (who gave the M. C. Cooke Lecture in 2011) and Erica McAlister (who is giving a lecture in 2018).

Visitors to the Quekett standVisitors to the Quekett stand [By Robert Ratford]

We had 5 microscopes to allow visitors to view our specimens.

Quekett standMicroscopes on the Quekett stand

Dennis Fullwood brought his Nikon Labophot compound microscope with slides of whole insects and parts of insects, including a blowfly’s tongue. He also showed insects in Baltic amber using his Olympus SZ4045 stereomicroscope and a Chinese inspection camera with images displayed via an HDMI cable on an Iiyama monitor. The camera attracted a lot of attention from people interested in outreach.

Dennis Fullwood setting up his exhibitDennis Fullwood setting up his exhibit

Insects in amber, under an inspection cameraInsects in amber, under an inspection camera

Paul Smith brought his trinocular stereomicroscope with a Canon EOS M3 camera connected to a television to show a grub of the European hornet (Vespa crabro L.) in part of a nest recently collected in Wimbledon.

Paul Smith with a visitorPaul Smith with a visitor

Paul Smith’s exhibit (hornet nest)Paul Smith’s exhibit (hornet nest)

Alan Wood used his Olympus SZ4045 stereomicroscope to demonstrate a simple system for shadowless illumination using an LED ring-light shining up into an inverted kitchen bowl with its base removed. This setup provides clear images of insects and also worked very well with an insect in amber.

Alan Wood’s exhibit (shadowless illumination)Alan Wood’s exhibit (shadowless illumination)

Bluebottle (Calliphora vomitoria) using shadowless illuminationBluebottle (Calliphora vomitoria (L.)) using shadowless illumination

Construction of shadowless illuminator from LED ring-lightShadowless illuminator, showing (top left) specimen pinned into a Plastazote disc, (top right) ring of white paper, (bottom left) inverted bowl with base removed, and (bottom right) the complete illuminator with a baffle of white foam-board

Sadly, we won’t be able to exhibit at this event in 2018 because the date, Saturday 6th October, clashes with our own Annual Exhibition of Microscopy.

Annual Exhibition

There were lots of interesting displays by members of the AES.

Silkworms & silkmothsSilkworms & silkmoths – spinning a yarn (Sue Shaw)

How fungi and insects interactHow fungi and insects interact (Aidan Scott)

Butterflies from the Costa del SolA few butterflies found around the Costa del Sol (Richard Mandziejewicz)

In the footsteps of Alfred Russel WallaceFollowing in the footsteps of Alfred Russel Wallace in Sarawak, Borneo (Layla Shaw)

The AES Bug Club had their own stand, and some other societies were represented.

Bug ClubBug Club

British Arachnological SocietyBritish Arachnological Society

Trade Fair

There were all sorts of things for sale, including new and used books, lots of set butterflies and moths, live stick insects, spiders, woodlice, millipedes and snails, equipment for catching, rearing, setting and storing specimens, drawings, mugs and ornaments.

Pemberley BooksPemberley Books


Wyseby House BooksWyseby House Books

Watkins & DoncasterWatkins & Doncaster

Wants and exchangesWants and exchanges

GT VisionGT Vision

Butterflies and moths for saleButterflies and moths for sale

Blue butterflies for saleBlue butterflies for sale

Large insects for saleLarge insects for sale

Purchased insectsSome of the insects purchased by one young visitor

Live spiders for saleLive spiders for sale

Live millipedes for saleLive millipedes for sale

Report and photographs by Alan Wood

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