Species Identification Guides
The 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.
|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 BirdGuides.com. (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|