site has been developed for those who are interested in insects
and their close relatives but have only basic knowledge of them.
The main aim of this site is to provide an understanding of the
different types of invertebrates, their Classification
allowing a person to become familiar with those that are more common
or conspicuous. The site includes an overview of the biology, ecology
and life cycle of all 26 orders of true insects found in Australia
as well as other groups of invertebrates likely to be encountered.
Further distinction, to family level within some groups is also
provided as well as photographs or drawings of representative species.
included on this site is a basic dichotomous Key
to the major groups of terrestrial invertebrates within Australia.
The images and descriptions in the key as well as those throughout
the site will provide assistance in classifying most invertebrates
to order level. Classifying
insects and other invertebrates can be very confusing for the beginner,
the main problem being the difference in appearance between adults
and juveniles within many of the orders. Therefore to identify these
creatures some basic knowledge of their anatomy and aspects of their
life cycle is needed. Descriptions throughout the key and on the
pages throughout the site supply only a general overview of the
different invertebrate groups and their distinguishing feature,
but should be helpful in classifying most specimens likely to be
encountered. Always remember though, that in nature there are many
variables and there is likely to be exceptions for all groups of
invertebrates that make them harder to classify.
available the numbers of described species are provided. However,
it must be realised that the invertebrate fauna in Australia is
extremely diverse and some individuals may be still unknown or not
described. Therefore exact numbers of species stated in the text
can only be taken as an approximation. Also the biology and distribution
information of many species should only be used as a guide of what
is currently published.
assist in the classification of such diverse organisms many strange
words may be used that are not familiar in everyday speech. In most
cases these words are an effective way to communicate in one or
two words that which would take a whole sentence. Throughout the
site some of these words are explained in the text as they are used,
others are active links to the Glossary.