This pack, consisting of a CD-ROM and a 52-page colour-illustrated manual, provides an interactive tool for identifying beetle larvae to the family and sub-family levels. It also allows retrieval of anatomical, ecological, biogeographic and other information about these families and subfamilies. The database consists of 385 beetle groups or taxa (such as Chrysomelidae: Galerucine, Scarabaeidae or Tenebrionidae) coded for 180 characters or attributes (such as the presence of legs or number of leg segments), each with two or more character states (specific conditions of a character, such as "no legs" or "five leg segments"). Illustrations have been provided for 110 characters (60%) and 206 taxa (50%). In most cases, the taxa consist of families or subfamilies of Coleoptera, but sometimes individual tribes or genera with distinctive larvae have been recorded separately. Almost all the taxa have been coded from dissected specimens, but in a few cases information was derived from the available literature (in which case some characters not - or poorly - described were coded as unknown). Most of the characters are multistate, with from 2-17 (usually 2-5) character states; these can be used in either identification or information retrieval. Six of the characters are text characters, and are used only for retrieving information about a particular taxon. Identification and data retrieval are accomplished using the powerful interactive program, INTKEY. Identification is aided by hundreds of dedicated colour diagrams with the relevant features highlighted and, for most groups, habitus drawings are provided based on representatives from various parts of the world. This package includes a colour-illustrated manual which gives examples to work through so that people with little or no knowledge of beetle identification can feel confident in using the program. Help screens are available throughout the entire identification process and can be called up at any time without interfering in the process. The manual also includes a detailed glossary which should help significantly in using the program. All the necessary software is included and there are no extras to purchase. This includes a full working version of the program INTKEY. The program is designed to run on MS-DOS machines with a hard disk (only 1 MB of disk space needed), a CD-ROM drive, a Tseng Labs or VESA Super VGA card and a colour monitor. Installation is designed to be a simple process, with basically a single command, and takes only a few minutes. This volume should be a useful guide for agricultural, veterinary and medical researchers, quarantine officers, entomologists, students, insect collectors and conservationists.
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
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