Welcome to my selection of illustrated identification aids for insects. The amazing diversity of insects illustrates and celebrates the creativity and imagination of God and my hope is that you will not only find these keys useful and attractive but also that they would lead you to worship.
These dichotomous keys are designed for use on screen. I would like to envisage them being used on a PC at home or in a lab, or used in the field, for example on a smart phone or tablet. They are not designed to be printed. The layout with one couplet for each page is deliberate and moving through the keys should be possible using the hyperlinks, or if using a tablet, by swiping through the document.
It is my conviction that good quality keys should be available online for all users freely so that advances in natural history knowledge are not hampered at the first hurdle of identification.
My first coleoptera keys were updated and illustrated versions of the keys to British coleoptera published by Joy in 1932. Since some of the out of print Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects have now been published on the web under a Creative Commons License I have started to write illustrated keys with updated nomenclature based on these as well. There are also a few keys translated from French and German works. The diptera keys include adaptations of the keys in Collin (1960).
The ephemeroptera key was prepared for me to use in Africa.
If you find the keys helpful please let me know. I am very keen to improve them so if you find anything that needs changing, is unclear, or requires clarification please contact me on mikesinsectkeysATgooglemail.com.
I am also a keen botanist and am trying to write illustrated keys for the plants of North Hampshire in southern England. Follow the blog at http://mikehackston.blogspot.co.uk
Trichopsocus brinki - a relatively recent arrival