How to use the key
Lucid3 is software for creating and using interactive identification keys. Lucid is developed by Identic
in Brisbane, Australia. Visit the Lucidcentral website
for more information on Lucid and Lucid3.
Any modern web browser can be used, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.
An interactive matrix-key is quite
different from a traditional dichotomous key. The user is recommended to
consult the Best Practices on occasion to pick up new tips
and tricks for using the interactive key.
Note that web pages such as fact sheets
attached to entities in Lucid3 keys may be considered pop-ups by certain
browsers (such as Internet Explorer) when clicked on by users. If your
browser blocks these pop-ups, you should allow pop-ups for this Lucid tool
in your browser's Internet settings.
A Lucid key has four panels.
Most of the characters used in this key involve color, shape and details of punctation of the head,
pronotum and elytra and number and shape of the sclerites of the internal sac of the median lobe
of the aedeagus (called aedeagus in the key). Many feature states are
illustrated to assist with using them as intended. The following considerations should be made while
using the key:
- Color of of various beetle body parts is used widely in the key, however it varies greatly
in specimens of the same species based on specimen condition, time and method of collection,
and conditions of specimen preservation. Some specimens collected more than 50 or 100 years
ago lost their color almost entirely.
- The easiest character to use involving color is Basic color for both head and elytra.
We advise to begin identification with this character.
- In an attempt to standardize color use in the key, color of various beetle parts was matched
to color standards established by Ridgway (1912). Appropiriate color samples were scanned and
added as illustrations of the character states.
- Elytral color pattern was used in the past for species identification; however, it varies in
some species and some exhibit various stages of pattern reduction. We tried to illustrate as
many patterns for these species as possible.
- Shape of the sutural angle of elytra varies significantly within many species.
- Internal sac of the aedeagus provides the ultimate characters for species identification.
For proper observations, the internal sac of the aedeagus needs to be completely everted from
the aedeagus. It is more important to pay attention to the number and shape of the internal sac
sclerites and less to their relative position, as they are attached to each other by membranes,
and their position can shift slightly.
Navigating the keys
Feature and entity trees can be expanded by clicking the "+" next
to the grouping feature or entity. Feature states are selected by clicking
once in the checkbox next to the state name or image thumbnail. Checking a second
time deselects the state. As feature states are selected, the entities
that do not have those features will be moved into the Entities
All entities and many feature states are illustrated with photographs
and/or drawings. Clicking on the image thumbnail (or image icon if
thumbnails are not displayed) brings up a larger size image and gives the
user access to the full image gallery for the feature state or entity, if
available. All entities are also linked to
fact sheets for the taxon. Clicking the small grey page icon next to the
entity thumbnail will open the fact sheet in a new browser
In the key itself, many common language terms are used to help support use of the key by inexperienced individuals.
However, in order to maximize their value and validity, some specialized
terminology appears in the fact sheets. A glossary with links
from the fact sheets is provided to assist the user in understanding such
terms. An illustrated guide to chrysomelid anatomy and terminology is also
included in the glossary.
If unsure of the correct state of a given feature, it is often
better to try a different feature before selecting a state you are unsure
about. However, the key has been coded to accommodate common mistakes and
features with states that may vary. For more hints on navigating the key,
see the Best Practices page.