What is the dichotomous Identification Key
It can be a huge challenge to determine the inclusions, you find in your amber. To make this process easier, you can benefit greatly by using a Dichotomous key. Such key consist of a series of choices which gradually narrowing down the number of possibilities, and in the end helps you to find a possible provision. Once you have identified a possible determination, click on the name, and compare your inclusion with the ones in the desciption galleri.
"Dichotomous" means "divided into two parts". Therefore, dichotomous keys always offer two choices in each step. A step could for example be "How many wings does it have?" Choice A: 4 wings go to x or B: 2 wings go to y
There are an incredible number of these keys, as you easily can make your own. I have here on my website decided to gather some of the the different keys lying around on the Internet and make them available to you. Do you have ideas for improvements, please feel free to write - here
Important when using these keys
- The keys will only identify to a specific order.
- The keys will only work for adult insects (the imago) so make sure you are not identifying juvenile insects, larvae or caterpillar.
- When you work whit Dichotomous keys it is all about learning by doing, and do not give up - the more you use these keys, the better you get to assess characters, while you also train your taxonomic skills.
- You can get into a situation where your inclusion does not fit on the two alternatives which the step offers, or the inclusion might fit on both options. Go back and check if you should choose differently in a previous step or try to take both options and see where you are being led to.
If you want to read more
about Dichotomous keys, or
learn how to make your own,
I can recommend this page