What insect is that?
Collecting insects or other invertebrates (animals that do not have a backbone) is an excellent way to observe environments and discover biodiversity in the local area.
However collectors usually want to classify the insects they have collected to species level. Species level identification of even common insects can be a very difficult business, even for professional entomologists. More than half of Australia's insects can't be identified to species level because they haven’t been named yet. The most that should be expected is classification of larger species to Order level.
Key to Order of Common Larger Adult Insects
There are several insect keys freely available to identify insects to Order. For high school students the dichotomous Key to Orders of Common Larger Adult Insects enables this to be done for the common larger adult insects, usually without having to use a microscope.
This Insect Identifier from the Backyard Explorer (2330 KB) outlines the major groups of Insects for primary school students.
For a more comprehensive, interactive key to Australian Insects visit the CSIRO Key to Invertebrates website.
Queensland Museum's Find out about... is proudly supported by the Thyne Reid Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.