Hints on using the key
The interactive key uses the program Intkey, which runs under MS Windows. To install the latest version of Intkey, run http://delta-intkey.com/win32/intk32.exe. With a broadband connection, installation takes about 1 minute. The size of the download is about 2MB, and the size of the installed program is also about 2MB.
The program is initially in ‘Normal Mode’, which is suitable for most purposes. To extend the range of options, select ‘Advanced Mode’ from the ‘File’ menu, and read the ‘help’ for the additional toolbar buttons and menu options that then become available.
Worked examples using Intkey for identification and information retrieval are available at http://delta-intkey.com under ‘Overview of the DELTA System’.
At startup, the top-left pane is headed ‘Best Characters’. Your identification will usually be quicker and more accurate if you use characters near the top of this list. However, if you want to see the characters in their ‘natural’ order, click the button.
If, at any stage, you think you’ve made a mistake and want to correct it, click on the appropriate character in the ‘Used Characters’ (bottom-left) pane. The program again displays the box for selecting character states or entering values, and you can change the information you previously entered. You can remove the character from the identification by clearing all the information.
Tentative identifications should be checked against further information. Full descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, and illustrations are available via the (Information) button.
Another way of checking is to increase the error tolerance value and proceed with the identification.
For more information, click the ‘Help’ button that is displayed at the completion of an identification (i.e., when 1 or 0 taxa remain).
If you think your tentative identification is incorrect, click the button (Set the error tolerance), enter a higher value, and continue the identification.
The ‘distribution by state’ and ‘botanical district’ characters allow you to restrict the species under consideration by specifying where your specimen was collected:
If the species was not previously recorded from that area, you can still reach a correct identification by using error tolerance.
You can also specify geographical subsets of the taxa by means of the button (Use a subset of the taxa), but with this method the restriction is not subject to error tolerance. There are subsets defined for Australian states, and for some miscellaneous smaller regions. You can also define subsets yourself from a list of the species occuring in an area. For example:
*DEFINE NAMES "Rockinover River"
You can add the definition to the Intkey initializaton file ‘intkey.ink’, or store it in a separate text file, e.g. ‘rockinover.inp’, and invoke it (in ‘Advanced Mode’) by selecting ‘File > File > Input...> rockinover.inp’.
For convenient access, there are special toolbar buttons to access predefined subsets for the eastern states.
The ‘classification’ character allows you to specify the subgenus or section to which your specimen belongs.
If you are mistaken, you can still reach a correct identification by using error tolerance.