|Identification Guide to Insect orders|
Lucid matrix key software allows you to build multi-media identification keys
and to distribute them via CD and the web. Discover Life has Web-based identification tools. Our goal here is
to demonstrate how we can integrate these technologies. We are taking an identification key to insect orders, developed
using the Lucid builder and converting it to an IDnature guide that we will make available through Discover Life.
We hope that this partnership will lead to more experts building interactive keys that we can deliver both on CD's and via the Web.
This joint effort began in August, 2003. Help us if you can, we still have millions of species to go!!!
The following orders are in the guide.
Click on them to learn more or go to Insecta on Discover Life.
About the Key to Insect Orders
Insects make up the vast bulk of species diversity on the planet. Many millions of
insect species exist and entomologists have divided them into a manageable
number of units called Orders. The members of each insect Order have arisen from
a common ancestor, share similar structural characteristics and have certain
biological attributes in common.
Not all insect Orders are equal in species number; some Orders have just a few
hundred species while others have more than 100,000 species. The range of
structural characteristics and biological features tends to be broader in the
more species-rich Orders.
Predictions about the biology, behaviour and ecology of an insect can be made
once you know its Order. But how can you know the Order to which an insect
belongs? Insects can be identified in various ways. Comparing a specimen with a
book of illustrations of identified insects is one way. Using a printed key is
another way. This computer key combines the advantages of these methods and adds
a new dimension of simplicity and power to the process of identification.
This simple key is designed to identify most common adult insects to Order. The
key has been designed for use by advanced secondary students, beginning
undergraduates and others interested in entomology. We have written the key so
that students will learn about the structure and biology of insects while
We have included three groups of arthropods in this key (Protura,
Collembola and Diplura)
that are closely related to insects.
can you tell if an insect is an adult and can be identified using this key? That
is a simple question without a simple answer. If your insect has
fully-developed, functional wings then it is an adult.
However, some adult insects have reduced, non-functional wings and others
have no wings at all. In these cases the adult forms have fully developed
genitalia at the apex of the abdomen.
The 'Key to Insect Orders' was created at The University of Queensland,
Department of Entomology. The Key has been based on the simplified keys to
insect Orders found in Collecting, Preserving and Classifying Insects by E.C.
Dahms, G.B. Monteith and S. Monteith (Queensland Museum, 1979), Worms to Wasps
by M.S. Harvey and A.L. Yen (Oxford University Press, 1989) and A Field Guide to
Insects in Australia by P. Zborowski and R. Storey (Reed Books, 1995).
How many of these can you identify to order?|
They're all in the guide. Try your skill as an entomologist.
Click on IDnature guide to start.
- Matrix -- David Yeates
- Drawings -- Yanni Martin
- Photographs -- Andrew Noskoff, Gordon Gordh, Merle Shepard, Anthony O'Toole, Michael Yare, & Densey Clyne
- Descriptions -- Tony Young, Gordon Gordh, & Sue McGrath
Demonstration Key (CD Based)
The University of Queensland.
© Copyright 2000.