Butterflies and moths: demonstration of an interactive key

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M. J. Dallwitz, T. A. Paine, and E. J. Zurcher


This package was developed for hands-on demonstrations of the interactive identification and information retrieval program Intkey, at the open days of CSIRO Entomology. It works only for the particular set of 32 butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) used in the demonstrations, and can’t be used for general identification of butterflies or moths. It can be used by children aged 5 and older, but the youngest children, especially those who can’t read, will need help to get started.

Running the key

The Intkey program (app) is available at delta-intkey.com/www/programs.htm. There are versions for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.

After installing Intkey, you can run the key directly from the Web, or download the complete key (1.8MB) and run it from your local disk. If you have a low-speed connection, we recommend downloading the complete key, which also includes a version of this introduction.

Obtaining ‘specimens’ to identify

The illustrations supplied with the data can be used as the ‘specimens’ to be identified. They are included when you download the complete key. If you are going to run the key directly from the Web, you can also view the illustrations directly from the Web, at full size or at half size (both 1.2MB – they use the same image files).

The length of the forewing is given at the bottom of each image.

Arrange the Intkey window and the browser window containing the images so that you can always see the ‘specimen’, like this:

Intkey window and browser window

Alternatively, you can print the images. The half-sized version takes 4 pages, and the one-third-sized version takes 2 pages.

How to use the key

Select a character. In the new window that is displayed, select a character state. Repeat until only one taxon remains. To check your result, press the Information about taxa button (Information about taxa).

More detailed instructions for using the key are available.

Cite this publication as: ‘Dallwitz, M.J., Paine, T.A. and Zurcher, E.J. 1997 onwards. Butterflies and moths: demonstration of an interactive key. Version: 17th January 2012. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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