A guide to finding mini-beasts

Hand search

The easiest and often most effective technique is searching the environment by hand. It is useful to have a variety of small plastic containers (e.g. tupperware) and magnifying pots to examine the invertebrates in. Pooters (see below) are especially useful.

Mini-beasts are small! So you need to get close to the ground to find them. Where present, look underneath logs, in leaf litter, or in any artificially created habitats (remembering to return everything to how you found it afterwards). On grassland, stay still for a few moments and you will be better able to spot anything crawling around you.


Pooters are small plastic containers with two flexible tubes, which are used to suck a mini-beast into the container.

Pooters are fantastic for getting a closer look at those really small mini-beasts, which are too delicate to handle. They can only be used on creatures smaller than the width of the tube and not on ‘moist’ creatures such as worms or snails. 

Remember to suck on the tube with the filter on so you don't get a mouthful of mini-beast!