[Taxacom] favourite online key?

Mike Dallwitz m.j.dallwitz at netspeed.com.au
Thu Sep 18 19:32:00 CDT 2008

> I am looking for suggestions for favourite online or other computer-based 
> identification keys. This is for a new project with the Royal BC Museum 
> (Canada) to create online keys which are primarily aimed at the general 
> public (or that part of the general public which is interested in 
> species-level identification of their local fauna).

There are many interactive keys at http://delta-intkey.com. Reliable keys 
require character definitions which can be understood by users, and 
appropriate features in the software, such as error tolerance (see 

In particular, I suggest you look at the keys marked with images on the 
index page http://delta-intkey.com/www/data.htm. These are:

* Butterflies and moths - demonstration key made for open days at CSIRO 
Entomology. The characters do not require special knowledge, and the 
illustrations can be used as ‘specimens’ to be identified. It can be used 
successfully by children 5 years and older.

* British ferns - keys using Intkey and Navikey, constructed from the same data.

* Fruit fly pests of the world - keys using Intkey and Lucid, constructed 
from the same data.

All the interactive key programs that I'm aware of are listed at 
http://delta-intkey.com/www/idprogs.htm. There are links to the Web sites 
for the programs, and most of these sites contain examples of keys, which 
presumably show the programs to the best advantage.

Mike Dallwitz
Contact information: http://delta-intkey.com/contact/dallwitz.htm
DELTA home page: http://delta-intkey.com

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