BENHS Annual Exhibition

Saturday 2nd November 2019

This was our sixth visit to the Annual Exhibition of the British Entomological and Natural History Society, held for the sixth time in Conway Hall in London. Paul Smith and Alan Wood braved the rain and took their microscopes, slides and specimens and manned the Club’s stand as part of our microscopy outreach programme, to promote the use of microscopes to a hall full of entomologists.

Entomologists in Conway HallEntomologists in Conway Hall

Several visitors came by to look at their insects under Alan’s Olympus SZ4045 stereomicroscope and try to identify them, and during the day we had some long and interesting chats with visitors, about stereomicroscopes, digital microscopes, LED illuminators and making slides of spider bits. Several people were interested in the Club, and at least one had been to Microscopium, and we hope to see some of them at meetings in the near future. Quekett members including Lisa and Nigel Ashby, Andy King, Ken Merrifield and John Tolliday dropped by for a chat.

Alan Wood brought his Olympus SZ4045 6.7× to 40× zoom stereomicroscope (with an add-on 144 LED ringlight) and a small 20× GXMSTX stereomicroscope with built-in LED top light, a set small copper butterfly and some prepared insect slides by Eric Impey, John Wells (Biosil) and Eric Marson (NBS).

StereomicroscopesSmall and full-size stereomicroscopes

Small copper butterflySmall copper butterfly

Slides of insectsSlides of insects

Paul Smith brought the same small 20× stereomicroscope but branded Nipon, a digital microscope with a small built-in screen (KKmoon Digital USB Microscope) lit by a pair of Ikea Jansjö LED USB lamps running from a power bank, some arthropods embedded in clear resin blocks, and some star sand from Okinawa.

Small microscopesSmall microscopes

Arthropods embedded in resinArthropods embedded in resin

John Tolliday and Paul SmithJohn Tolliday and Paul Smith (right)

Visitors using our stereomicroscopeVisitors using our stereomicroscope

Visitors using our stereomicroscopeVisitors using our stereomicroscope

Most of the hall was filled with boxes of insects and photographs of insects, being examined and admired by a good crowd of entomologists, and there was lots of gossip too.

Moths from West SussexMoths from West Sussex

Moths from West SussexMoths from West Sussex

Splendid brocadeSplendid brocade (Lacanobia splendens)


Leaf mines in oak leavesLeaf mines in oak leaves caused by Tischeria ekebladella

Photographs on displayPhotographs on display

Photographs on displayPhotographs on display

Entomologists with the exhibitsEntomologists with the exhibits

Entomologists with the exhibitsEntomologists with the exhibits

The Quekett was not the only organisation with a stand at the exhibition, there were some others around the sides of the hall.

Pemberley Books had a stand selling lots of new books on insects, and some second-hand books too.

Pemberley BooksPemberley Books stand

The Amateur Entomologists’ Society had a stand with some of their publications, manned by Dafydd Lewis.

Amateur Entomologists’ Society standAmateur Entomologists’ Society stand

The British Myriapod and Isopod Group had a stand with a banner and some photographs.

British Myriapod and Isopod Group standBritish Myriapod and Isopod Group stand

Butterfly Conservation had a stand where Les Evans-Hill was showing page proofs of the Atlas of Britain & Ireland’s Larger Moths, produced jointly with MothsIreland thanks to funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Distribution map of leopard mothDistribution map of leopard moth (Zeuzera pyrina)

The London Natural History Society had a stand with their publications, newsletters and programmes, manned by Catherine Schmitt.

London Natural History Society standLondon Natural History Society stand

Stephen Lings, the scientific illustrator, showed some of his artwork along with explanations and comparisons of raster editing software (such as Adobe Photoshop) and vector editing software (such as Adobe Illustrator).

Drawing of peacock butterflyDrawing of peacock butterfly (Aglais io) by Stephen Lings

Drawing of water beetleDrawing of water beetle (Hygrobia hermanni) by Stephen Lings

Atropos, the UK journal for butterfly, moth and dragonfly enthusiasts, also had a stand.


Our thanks to Rosemary Hill, Exhibition Secretary of the BENHS, for arranging a large table with an electricity supply for us. We hope to be back for the 2020 Annual Exhibition .

Report and photographs by Alan Wood

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