The Great List of Everything

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 1 August 2010 17:38

I have finally done it. I have come up with my first attempt at my all taxa-list and the current total stands at 2748 species. This is the total number of species of plants and animals I have seen in the wild in the UK and have been able to identify. I was inspired by Mark Telfer's website that has a section on listing. This is a really great site with lots of up to date keys for beetles, tips on how to study beetles as well as Mark's blog. You can see just how many more species some people have seen in Britain too, it's quite astonishing. I reckon I can get my list up a lot higher but really it's going to be entomology that does it, unless I dedicate a huge amount of time to learning lichens as well! Beetles are are a huge group with over 4000 species in the UK, I have only seen 155 species, possibly a little higher, so there is plenty of scope to increase there. Mosses and molluscs will keep me going this winter I think.

This has been a really useful exercise, it  might seem simply like collecting points but it is far from it. The brain's ability to store so much information requires some order and listing helps this. Remembering what you have and have not seen is also very important for a naturalist but when you dabble in many taxanomic groups, like I do, this becomes even more important. I am thinking that I will update my all-taxa list on this blog each time I see new species, I can then look back and see how things have changed and it will add an extra dimension to the usual wildlife reports.

Anyway, a break down of my list is as follows:

Vascular plants 1033
Moths 732
Birds 328
Beetles 155
Mosses 77
Fungi 69
Butterflies 50
Mammals 37
Fish 36
Molluscs 33
Hoverflies 30
Dragonflies 29
Spiders 26
Bugs 20
Aculeates 16
Crickets and grasshoppers 15
Crustaceans 13
Liverworts 12
Craneflies 7
Soldierflies 7
Amphibians 6
Reptiles 5
Seaweeds 5
Lichens 2
Caddisflies 2
Cockroaches 2
Earwigs 1

This took me all day to pull together so I feel like I have really achieved something! Now, where's that takeaway got to?...

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