I.D. keys

Pooi-Leng Wong pwong at MERLIN.MAGIC.MB.CA
Thu Jun 15 14:10:00 CDT 1995

        I totally agree with Lawrence Kirdendall. It would be of tremendous
help to "general" taxonomists like myself if keys to invertebrates, in
particular, would provide line drawings with arrows pointing to the
character in question. I have encounter keys which only provide black and
white photographs without any arrows. This is very time consuming because
you have to search the entire photo to find the character in question.
        From personal experience I would like to see the "experts" in their
respective fields provide a list of the latest keys in their fields perhaps
via Taxacom. This will ensure "general" taxonomists like myself are using
the most recent information in our attempts to i.d. the many groups of
invertebrates in our work. For example, I am using a key to species of the
genus Gammarus (Crustacea) published in 1950. It is a long process to try to
dig out published keys in Abstracts especially if one is dealing with many
groups of animals. It is very time consuming and the pressure of finishing
the work in time forces me to skip many Abstracts and Journals looking for
these keys. As a result, my confidence in my identification is considerably
lower in animals which are i.d. by keys published awhile ago.

Pooi-Leng Wong
randerso at uoguelph.ca

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