Recent Lucid Melbourne Workshop

Lucid Melbourne Workshop

A recent Lucid workshop was held in Melbourne, Victoria at the Centre for AgriBioscience, Agriculture Victoria. The two day workshop covered Lucid key Building and Fact Sheet Fusion.
AgriBioscience, Agriculture Victoria

Participants covered a wide range of interests from fish, Miridae, Lygaeoidea to Lepidopteran larvae.

We would like to thank Dr Malipatil, for his help organising the workshop.

This workshop was sold out and we’ve had several requests for an additional workshop. So far requests have been for Sydney and Perth. If you would like to attend a Lucid workshop please let us know your preferred location.

Spotlight on Q-bank: Invasive plant keys for Europe

Q-Bank Plants

The Q-bank invasive plants database provides detailed species-level information on all plants species on the EU list of Union concern, associated with EU regulation 1143/2014. This includes fact sheets, look alike pages and DNA barcodes to facilitate identification during border inspection and verification of interceptions in support of the implementation of the EU regulation regarding invasive alien species.

Q-Bank chart

The first interactive key built for Q-bank was to deal with contaminants (weeds) of pot plants imported into Europe. Some of these weeds show invasive behaviour and proper identification is essential to track accidental introductions rapidly. The identification of the weeds in pot plants proved to be difficult as floras (the commonly used identification tools) generally only cover a limited geographical area. Moreover, “traditional” floras seldom include non-native weedy plants. The weeds to be identified originate from many different countries and continents and even include cultivated plants. This means that identification of these weed species using floras is falling short and, for that reason, an inspection tool for identification of these plants had to be developed.

The first species to be included in a key were based on an inventory of weeds found in bonsai plants imported from China. At a later stage more species were added as they were intercepted in pot plants imported from other production regions of the world. Currently the key covers 136 species.

We have chosen Lucid software since the resulting keys are extraordinarily user friendly and intuitive to use. They rely on a visual (‘image-driven’) mode of work, thereby avoiding as much as possible technical (or botanical) terms. The multiple entry keys do not require the user to select characters in a fixed sequence; the user scores characters in the order that suits him or her best. The results of characters selected are immediately shown on-screen. Another reason to choose Lucid is that the user only needs an internet browser and no other software.

The species in the keys are all illustrated by photographs showing the distinguishing characters and a link to species information on Q-bank is provided in the keys. Here users can find more information on the species, a selection of herbarium voucher specimens as well as molecular data. The links between the different databases on invasive plants within Q-bank are shown in the diagram below.

The keys on invasive plant species currently available are:

  1. Weeds in imported pot plants in Europe
  2. Invasive terrestrial plants in Europe
  3. Invasive aquatic plants
  4. Seedlings of invasive plants
  5. Seeds of invasive plants
  6. Pennisetum cultivars

Lucid keys and apps coming soon

  • Bunching vegetables by the Department of Primary Industry NSW. (Lucid Mobile)
  • Sheep Parasites by the University of Melbourne. (Lucid Mobile)
  • Edible wild orchids of Zambia by KEW Gardens. (Lucid Mobile)
  • Spider Mites of Australia, Queensland Museum. (Web key)
  • Wilding conifer of New Zealand, Landcare Research, New Zealand. (Lucid Mobile)
  • Adult Frogs and tadpoles, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil. (Lucid Mobile)

More information will be available on these key once released.

New and Updated Lucid Mobile Apps

Wattle: Acacias of Australia

This new app covering 1,270 species of Acacia and three other related genera, was released on Wattle Day (1st September); wattle (or specifically the golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha Benth.) is Australia’s National floral emblem.


The identification and naming of wattles was greatly simplified in 2001 with the publication on CD of an electronic (Lucid) identification key called WATTLE; subsequently updated, this key was made available on the web in 2014. Now available as an app, it is the culmination of many years’ research by a team of Australian botanists, headed by Bruce Maslin.

This Wattle app contains copious feature state drawings and notes and fact sheets, including over 8,000 images of wattles displayed in an updated Lucid Mobile Fact Sheet design. Released on Wattle Day (1st September), a Media Release provides further information about this app and links to download sites – http://identic.com.au/blog/wattle-acacias-of-australia-media-release/

Recent keys and Pest Identification tool from the USA

Bee Identification and Information Tool

The Identification Technology Program (ITP) that supports the biosecurity organisation (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture has recently released a new Identification and Information tool – Exotic Bee ID.

Like other countries, the USA has experienced a decline in some bee populations, due to habitat loss, pesticides, parasites and pathogens, as well as the introduction of non-native bee species. Exotic Bee ID has been designed to help those working at ports, state departments and extension services who monitor and intercept non-native bees in the US. It will also be of interest to non-experts with an interest in learning features important in bee identification.

This initial release is the first of three phases: future releases will include keys, fact sheets, and images for additional bee families and genera. This phase includes:

  • Instructions on bee specimen preparation
  • Bee morphology illustrations
  • Illustrated glossary of terms
  • Filterable image gallery
  • Searchable fact sheets
  • Two Lucid keys

Exotic Bee ID can be accessed at: http://idtools.org/id/bees/exotic/

Aquarium and Pond Plants of the World, Edition 3 (APPW e3)

This key, also from the ITP team, is a major revision and update to the 2007 second edition. The worldwide trade in plants for use in aquaria and ponds is of considerable quarantine concern, particularly since many aquatic plants have the ability to disperse widely and become dominant in waterways, displacing native species. APPW e3 aims to cover all genera of aquatic plants cultivated commercially in nurseries and private collections around the world. Initially intended for officials at U.S. ports of entry and state departments of agriculture, this key is also useful to other biosecurity agencies and aquatic plant nursery managers, to help them become aware of invasive aquatic species in their stocks or among new acquisitions.

APPWe3 includes:

  • 129 new genera; now a total of 270
  • An additional 1,460 photos to enhance both new and existing taxa
  • An image gallery that is now filterable
  • An additional six aquatic federal noxious weed species included
  • Illustrated glossary with many new terms
  • Restructured, more usable Lucid key

This key can be accessed at https://idtools.org/id/appw/.

Watch for the APPW e3 Lucid Mobile app version, due to be published later this year.

Release of a new web interface to search for pest identification aids

The USDA APHIS ITP team recently announced a new searchable interface for pest identification support. Built in cooperation with North Carolina State University’s Center for Integrated Pest Management, Search ID Aids can be used to quickly find useful web-based identification and screening resources.

ITP maintains an ongoing collection of ID Aids: high-quality web-based tools and apps that support identification of plant pests of concern to PPQ. Each ID Aid is thoroughly reviewed and evaluated to ensure it has value and is from a reputable source. This collection currently includes over 3,800 vetted ID Aids that are image galleries, fact sheets, screening aids, keys of all types, molecular tools, and more, and they cover all plant pest groups. Since we’re continually adding ID Aids, we also have a contact page where we welcome suggestions for pests to cover.

With Search ID Aids both experts and novices can find suitable identification resources. Search by either scientific or common pest name, and then instantly filter your results.

Find Search ID Aids at https://idtools.net/idaids/.

WATTLE: Acacias of Australia Media Release

Identic Media Release Header

Wattle App IconWhat Wattle is that?

A new app – “WATTLE: Acacias of Australia” – will help provide an answer.
Wattles (botanically called Acacia) have great cultural, environmental, scientific and other significance in Australia. Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is our national floral emblem and 1 September is celebrated annually as our official Wattle Day. A Wattle species is incorporated into the Australian Coat of Arms and the design of The Order of Australia medals, which recognise achievement or meritorious service by citizens, is based on a single wattle blossom. And who isn’t familiar with the “Green and Gold”, our official national colours proudly worn by many Australian sporting teams; these colours are taken from the predominant colours of wattle foliage and flowers. Most recently, different species of wattle are featured on the new currency notes that are being released by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Wattles are by far the largest group of woody plants in Australia with over 1000 species currently recognised. These species are important to the environment and represent a resource for both social and environmental utilisation. However, to be effectively managed and used, the species must first to be correctly identified. The naming of wattles was greatly simplified in 2001 with the publication on CD of an electronic identification key called WATTLE; this key was subsequently updated and made available on the web in 2014.

Now we have the WATTLE App, a revised electronic key that was released on Wattle Day this year. This key retains the best characteristics of earlier editions of WATTLE but includes more species and adds features that make species identification easier and more accurate. The WATTLE App can be downloaded to an Android/Apple smartphone or tablet. No phone or Wi-Fi connection is required to use the key, making it especially valuable for people working in the field. The WATTLE App is therefore a very useful tool for researchers, conservationists, amateur botanists, horticulturalists and indeed, for anyone interested in naming wattles, either within Australia or in other countries where wattles are found.

Like its predecessors the WATTLE App uses the powerful Lucid program that helps to make the naming process quick, simple and reliable. To name specimens users answer a few simple questions regarding morphological features of the plant they are trying to identify – its leaf form, flower details, etc. – or where the plant is found in Australia. Based on answers to questions Lucid progressively removes species from a list of 1270 different kinds of wattle, leaving just a few or a single wattle that the specimen is likely to be.

The WATTLE App incorporates images and text to help users understand and correctly interpret morphological features of their plant. Similarly, most of the 1270 different types of wattle included in the key are accompanied by line drawings, photographs, maps and the most recent descriptive information, all of which help users confirm the identity of the plant they are trying to name.

The WATTLE key has been developed over the past 20 years or more by Bruce Maslin, assisted by many other Australian botanists. Funding to support the development of the these keys, and the WATTLE App, has been provided by the Australian Biological Resources Study, IDENTIC, the Atlas of Living Australia and other agencies.

The Android and Apple versions of the WATTLE App can be downloaded from the Google Play and iTunes app stores respectively on payment of $9.95 to help fund further content updates and software upgrades.

Similar Lucid Mobile identification apps include “Rainforest Plants of Australia: Rockhampton to Victoria” (released) and “Snakes of Australia” (due for release later this year) [See www.lucidcentral.org].

Media note: To interview Bruce Maslin contact: Anthony Whalen (General Manager, Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of the Environment and Energy. m: 0411 512 248. e: Anthony.Whalen@environment.gov.au

Weeds of South-East Queensland and Northern NSW Media Release

Would you like help in identifying troublesome weeds – in your garden, on your farm, or in recreation or conservation areas?

Weeds of South-East Queensland and Northern NSW App home screen

Weeds of South-East Queensland and Northern NSW – an updated weed identification and information app – may be what you are looking for. This free app has recently been released on Google Play Store and Apple iTunes, through sponsorship from four South East Queensland councils.

The app includes over 700 weed species found in suburban, rural, environmental and agricultural situations. It is an invaluable resource for gardeners, Landcare and Bushcare volunteers, weed control officers, ecologists, researchers, students, and others interested in learning more about the weeds found in our region.

This latest version using the Lucid Mobile platform now includes:

  • An interactive, easy to use Lucid identification key
  • Best practice guide in using the key to identify weed species
  • Fact sheets with in-depth descriptions of specific weeds
  • Over 8,000 colour photographs of weeds and diagnostic features
  • Information about plants suitable for replacing suburban weeds
  • Details of Prohibited and Restricted weeds in Queensland
  • A glossary of commonly used botanical terms

The latest version of the app has a much-reduced storage footprint, allowing images associated with the identification tool to be downloaded as required, with the option to download all the images to your device for use offline in the field or when using the app with poor network connectivity.

The following Queensland councils supported this update of the content and upgrade of the Lucid Mobile platform, enabling the app to be freely available:

  • Brisbane City Council
  • Sunshine Coast Council
  • Gold Coast City Council
  • Bundaberg Regional Council

Weeds of South-East Queensland and Northern NSW sponsors

Download the app free from:

Android Lucid Mobile Apphttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?d=com.lucidcentral.mobile.sew_full&hl=en_AU

 

Apple iOS Lucid Mobile Apphttps://itunes.apple.com/au/app/weeds-of-south-east-qld/id935518023?mt=8

 

Download screen shots:

App screen shots (ZIP – 1MB)