Tips for using the scarab key

This Lucid identification key is flexible and multi-tiered. It simplifies and expedites identification, allowing you to select diagnostic characters and generate a list of species that possess those features. Consult 'Help' from the Lucid interactive key menu at any time.

How do I choose characters and states? Select the characters (or "features") that are most obvious or the most simple to interpret. Although characters are listed in a certain manner, you may choose characters in the order you wish. It’s OK to skip the character if your specimen is broken or does not show a character–it’s better than guessing! The same is true if you do not understand a character or its various states. The glossary and illustrations may help you interpret characters. But if not, then just skip it! Lucid allows you to choose multiple states of a character. For example, if some specimens are blue-green and others are half blue and half green, then you would select both green and blue states.

What about numeric characters? Some characters are numeric and require that you to enter a number. Measurements are in millimeters and inches.

How do I use Lucid's “Best” tool? After you have selected several character states and you have a shorter list of taxa, you can use the Lucid’s “Best” tool to assess which of the remaining characters and states will assist you in identification. This will help you determine the most efficient next step. You will need to have the Features Available window selected and all features expanded in order to use the "Best" tool.

How do I determine whether I've found the correct identification? After choosing characters and states, you may or may not end up with a single result under Entities remaining. In either case, you can compare the entity images with your specimen, or you can compare the descriptions from the fact sheets. Additional references in the fact sheet will allow you to retrieve more information about the species. However, all identifications should be confirmed by a scarab expert.

How can I learn scarab species? Browsing fact sheets and the gallery is a good way to familiarize yourself with scarab species. You can browse fact sheets alphabetically (use the “previous” or “next” buttons), or you can use the search function to browse a subset of species (e.g., “dung beetle” or “Cetoniinae”).

Hawaiian scarab Lucid key