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Species Identification Guides

KiteSiteThe campus has a wide range of organisms. It can take years of practice to become an expert on species identification. However, identification becomes much easier with the use of resources, especially those that allow visual comparisons. Resource on mobile device can often save the laborious task of using lengthy keys when a quick identification is needed.

Below you will find a collection of basic identification aids for a wide range of organism groups. The resources range from simple sheets to apps used to identify organisms to the species level. Those listed on this page are the tip of an iceberg of identification aids online. Considerably more in-depth keys exist for more detailed identification to sub-species levels.

Some resources are usable without internet connection making them ideal for on the go use. Web-pages, PDFs and applications can be preloaded and reopened in the field. Other resources require an active internet connection, such resources are indicated with an asterix.

Online Resources

Organism Group Author Organisation Description
Plants Woodland Trust A simple sheet portraying winter twigs of varying common broadleaf trees.
Woodland Trust Portrayal of varying seeds and fruits of common trees. Particularly useful during the spring.
Woodland Trust A tick display blossom and catkins of trees/shrubs.
Shrudington A pictorial list of common British trees (broadleaf and conifer). Contains whole tree views, leaves and fruit.
SAPS Interactive key for identification.
Photographers Resource Common wild flowers sorted by months of flowering.
Syngenta Grass identification (produced by a herbicide company, so focusses on management of listed grasses).
OPAL Detailed key for moss identification.
Fungi and Lichens Natural History Museum Interactive guide for on twig lichens.
Wild About Britain Extensive list of British fungi (alphabetically sorted not grouped).
Fungi 4 Schools Identification sheet for common fungi.
OPAL Ten common British lichen.
Invertebrates The Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland Short visual key to aid in identification of terrestrial molluscs.
Steve Cheshire's British Butterflies Collection of British butterflies ordered by family or via the use of interactive guide.
UK Safari Image gallery of UK moths.
Natural History Museum Interactive bumblebee identification key.
Woodland Trust Simple identification sheet for 20 ladybirds.
British Bugs Lengthy list of bugs separated by family.
Wild About Britain Gallery of common British beetles.
UK Safari Complete list of spiders found within the UK.
Amphibians and Reptiles Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Basic identification of lizards and snakes.
Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Brief guide on the identification of frogs, toads and newts.
Birds RSPB Interactive identifier that takes into appearance, size and location spotted.
RSPB Extensive index of bird species listed for family.
First Nature Illustrated collection of common garden, countryside and water birds.
Mammals Wild England Comprehensive list of British bats.
ANOB Identification of small mammals via appearance, faeces, nests and pawprints.


There are considerably large number of species identification apps in existence. However, many such apps are reasonably costly, ranging for £0.69 - £15.00, and are often situated in North America. Below is a small selection of species identification apps within the lower pricing bracket. If you are willing to fork out, Isoperla produce great apps for Apple products.

Organism Name App Name Description

Available on Apple?

Available on Android?

Plants FSC Tree Guide In app key that allows for the identification of common species. (FREE). Yes No
Fungi and Lichen iFungi Galley of common fungis. However limited selection of species within the free version. Yes Yes
Birds BirdGuide The BirdGuides app offers specially designed access to the latest UK and Ireland bird news and photos from (FREE). Yes Yes
Birds of Britain A database of species found in Britain. Includes images and basic information. (Price of 69p at time of writing). Yes Yes
Invertebrates FSC Bug Guide Another hand held key allowing identification of creepy crawlies (Price of 69p at the time of writing). Yes No

Amphibians and Reptiles

Froglife's Dragon Finder A great interactive key for frogs, toads, newts and snakes. (FREE). Yes Yes

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