Home

Keys for the identification of British Coleoptera

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 firs
t hurdle of identification. 
 
My first 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.  You will also find a growing number of keys that I have translated and adapted from French and German works including those by Arved Lompe who has given me permission to translate and publish here.

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 mikesinsectkeysATgmail.com.  If you find that a key is missing please let me know and I'll see what I can do to forward you something 

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.  One function of the blog is that it informs of any new keys published here and also amendments that have been made to existing keys.  
 
Links to the keys to Coleoptera species pages
 
AderidaeApionidaeAnthicidae AnthribidaeAttelabidae   
BiphyllidaeBostrichidaeBothrideridaeBuprestidae Byrrhidae Byturidae  
Cantharidae CarabidaeCerambycidaeCerylonidaeChrysomelidae  Ciidae ClambidaeCleridae  
CoccinellidaeColydiidaeCryptophagidae    CucujidaeCurculionidae   
DasytidaeDermestidaeDryophthoridaeDryopidae    Dytiscidae   
ElateridaeElmidaeEndomychidaeErotylidae    
GeotrupidaeGyrinidae      
HaliplidaeHelophoridaeHeteroceridaeHisteridaeHydrochidae Hydrophilidae  
Kateretidae       
Laemophloeidae  LampyridaeLatridiidaeLeiodidaeLucanidaeLycidaeLymexylidae 
MalachiidaeMegalopodidae   MelandryidaeMeloidaeMonotomidaeMordellidae  Mycetophagidae   
NanophyidaeNitidulidaeNoteridae     
OedemeridaeOrsodacnidae      
PtiliidaePtinidaePyrochroidaePhalacridae    
Rhynchitidae       
SalpingidaeScarabaeidaeScirtidaeScraptiidaeSilphidaeSilvanidaeSphindidaeStaphylinidae
TenebrionidaeTetratomidaeThroscidaeTrogidaeTrogossitidae   
                                                                         
Recent edits and additions

30th December 2016 - update and revision of the key to Buprestidae to include Agrilus olivicolor

1st January 2017 - revision of one couplet in the Staphylinidae: Scydmaeninae key to take into account the note from A. Duff clarifying the status of Stenichnus poweri and S, barnevillei.

3rd January 2017 - new key to the species of Amara and Curtonotus translated from the German to include Amara majuscula found in 2014-2015 in Worcestershire and Norfolk

11th January 2017 - new keys to the species of Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini, thus completing the British Chrysomelidae.

14th April 2017 - corrections made to the key to Clambidae with the addition of aedeagus diagrams

14th April 2017 - key to the species of family Staphylinidae, subfamily Micropeplinae published

10th June 2017 - update to the key to Scarabaeidae to correct the species of Amphimallon as pointed out by Darren Mann

24th June 2017 - new keys to families Hydrochidae and Helophoridae published

25th June 2017 - new key to family Elmidae published

2nd July 2017 - new keys in subfamily Aleocharinae, family Staphylinidae published

9th July 2017 - new key to genus Atomaria in family Cryptophagidae published

14th November 2017 - revised key to the genera and most species of Nitidulidae published

16th November 2017 - key to Staphylinidae, subfamily Aleocharinae, tribe Athetini published


For keys to Diptera - please go to https://sites.google.com/site/mikesinsectkeys2


For keys to Hymenoptera and other insect orders - please go to https://sites.google.com/site/mikesinsectkeyshymenoptera/



Comments