Key to Australian Freshwater and Terrestrial Invertebrates


The Key to Australian Freshwater and Terrestrial Invertebrates has been developed with the help of numerous authors and contributors. The primary authors wish to acknowledge the support of the Australian Biological Resource Study, The Atlas of Living Australia, The University of Adelaide, The Western Australian Museum, CSIRO and the 500 image contributors whose fantastic photographs can be found on this site. The authors also wish to thank Matthew Taylor and the LucidCentral team for technical support and guidance, and Nadine Guthrie for the line drawings used in the keys.

Particular acknowledgements go to Dr. Ian Whittington for developing the key to Platyhelminthes, and to Dr. Robin Wilson for assistance with the key to Annelida.

Images used in the keys and displayed on fact sheets are property of the individual owners. A significant volume of Creative Commons licensed images were used in this key; please contact the authors if credits for these images are not correct.

Authors in alphabetical order

Andrew Austin

Professor Andy Austin is Director of the Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity at The University of Adelaide. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in 1977 from the University of Sydney and a PhD in 1982 at Adelaide University. He then spent two years at the Natural History Museum, London working on parasitoid systematics, and took up his current position at Adelaide University in 1985. Andy�s major research interests include the biology and systematics of the wasp families Scelionidae and Braconidae, the molecular phylogenetics of parasitic Hymenoptera, the systematics and biology of Australian spiders, and the phylogeography of subterranean arthropods. He has been a past President of the Australian Entomological Society and Society of Australian Systematic Biologists, and is the current Editor-in-Chief of the journal Invertebrate Systematics.

Erinn Fagan-Jeffries

Erinn graduated from her Bachelor of Science degree with Honours in 2012, and spent 2013 working as a research assistant in the Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity at The University of Adelaide. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies and is passionate about science education and communication. In 2014 she is studying a Masters of Science Communication Outreach as part of the Shell Questacon Science Circus at The Australian National University.

Mark Harvey

Dr Mark Harvey is head of the Department of Terrestrial Zoology and Senior Curator of Arachnids and Myriapods at the Western Australian Museum. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in 1978 from Monash University and a PhD from the same institution in 1983 studying pseudoscorpion systematics. He then spent two years at the Australian National Insect Collection in Canberra, continuing his pseudoscorpion work, followed by four years at the Museum of Victoria studying water mite systematics. In 1989 he was appointed Curator of Arachnids and Myriapods at the Western Australian Museum. Mark�s major research interests include the systematics, molecular phylogeny and biogeography of arachnids and myriapods. He has been a past President of the Society of Australian Systematic Biologists.

Mike Hodda

Dr Mike Hodda is a Senior Research Scientist at the Australian National Insect Collection and CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Adjunct Associate Professor at Charles Sturt University, and Visiting Fellow at The Australian National University. He obtained his BSc in 1981, an MSc in 1984 and PhD in 1992, all from ANU. He worked at the Natural History Museum in London from 1991 to 1994 before taking up his current position in CSIRO at the beginning of 1995. Mike has a particular interest in nematodes, researching all aspects of their biology, ecology, management, genetics and systematics, including higher classification, from all terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats. Other interests include other lesser-known phyla of animals from soils and sediments, including Nemerteans, Nematomorphs, Kinorhynchs, Gastrotrichs and Annelids. He is the President of the Australasian Association of Nematologists, Councillor for the International Federation of Nematology Societies, and Australasian Co-ordinator for the European Society of Nematologists.

John Jennings

Dr John Jennings is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide. He obtained his Bachelor of Science (Hons.) at Flinders University in 1973 and his PhD in 2000 from the University of Adelaide. John�s major interests include the biology and systematics of the wasp families Aulacidae, Evaniidae, Gasteruptiidae, Stephanidae and Xiphydriidae. John has been involved with many organisations including the Chair of the Council of Australian Entomological Collections (currently deputy-Chair), and is a past-President of the Royal Society of South Australia Inc. He is currently a subject editor (Hymenoptera) for Zootaxa and chairs the editorial board for the Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, and has edited two volumes in the series �Natural History of South Australia.�

Claire Stephens

Dr Claire Stephens is currently the coordinator of the joint ANU/CSIRO Centre for Biodiversity Analysis in Canberra. She has a BSc (hons) in zoology and entomology from The Australian National University and a PhD in entomology and ecology from The University of Adelaide. Her research interests include parasitic wasp community ecology, particularly their potential to investigate environmental changes such as habitat modification using a functional group approach; insect-plant interactions; and arthropod biodiversity and conservation. She also has a long-standing interest and involvement in science communication.

Erich Volschenk

Dr Erich S. Volschenk is Australia�s only scorpion taxonomist and is currently revising the major scorpion genera of Australia: Lychas and Urodacus. Erich also has a keen research interest in pseudoscorpion systematics as well as the biology of subterranean invertebrates. He obtained his B.Sc. with first class honours in 1996 from James Cook University, studying pseudoscorpion systematics and the ecology of cave invertebrates. Erich completed his PhD at Curtin University and the Western Australian Museum in 2001 studying scorpion systematics. He then spent three years at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, continuing his work on scorpion systematics. In 2006, Erich returned to the Western Australian Museum to continue systematic research on scorpions. In 2008, he relegated academia to part time and began pursuing a career in environmental science and conservation, where he has focussed on the subterranean fauna (troglofauna and stygofauna) of Western Australia. Erich�s major research interests include biogeography, morphological and molecular systematics of scorpions and pseudoscorpions, as well as the phylogeography and conservation genetics of subterranean invertebrates.

David Yeates

David Yeates is the Director of the Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC) and a Research Scientist with CSIRO�s Division of Ecosystem Sciences. He obtained his undergraduate degree and PhD at the University of Queensland, and then spent two years (1990-1992) as Roosevelt Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, USA. He held an academic position at the University of Queensland from 1994-2000, and took up his current position in 2001. Most of his research career has focused on the systematics, taxonomy, ecology and biology of the insect order Diptera (flies). David has published over 140 ISI-listed publications, is an Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University, holds the Schlinger endowed position in the ANIC, and is President of the Australian Entomological Society.

Image Contributors

Anna Murray
A. G. Willis
A. Simson (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery)
Adrian Pinder
Alan Couch
Alejandro Velasco Castrillon
Andras Keszei
Andrew Bould
Andy Murray
Abbey Throssell
Antonio Guill�n
Ariel Chipman
Armed Forces Pet Management Board
Arthur Chapman
Bastian Brenzinger
Beverley Van Praagh
Bill and Mark Bell
Bill Humphries (Western Australian Museum)
Biodiversity Institute of Ontario
BioImages - the Virtual Fieldguide (UK)
Blair Patullo, Museum Victoria
Bob Goldstein & Vicky Madden, UNC Chapel Hill
Brett Ingram
Brian Timms, Honorary Research Associate, Australian Museum, Sydney
Marcus Ng
C. Bryce (Western Australian Museum)
C. Manchester (ANIC)
CCARP Database of Watering Requirements
Chris Glasby
Chris Rowley (Museum Victoria)
Christopher Laumer
Clare Snow
D. Elford (Western Australian Museum)
D. Sikes
Dan Gustafson, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Pacific Regions
Daniel Stoupin
Danielle Stringer
Dark Morelia
David E. Walter
David Gray
David Midgley
David R Maddison
David Staples
Dean Gilligan CCARP Database of Watering Requirements
Department of Immigration and Citizenship Images
Donald Hobern
Stefano Pagnoni
Duncan Farquhar
Dyanislav Krejc�k
Erich S. Volschenk
Erinn Fagan-Jeffries
Felipe Miguel
Franco Folini
G. Giribet
G. Read NIWA Wellington NZ
Gilles San Martin
Giuseppe Vago
Graeme Smith
Graham Montgomery
Gunther Schmida
Hans Hillewaert
Haylee Weaver
Horia R. Galea
Hugh Jones
Hutchings, P., De Deckker, P. & Geddes, M.C.
Ian Boyd
Ian sutton
Isidro Martinez
J. Koh
J.T. Jennings
Jan Anderson
Jan Delsing
Jan �evc�k
Jean and Fred Hort
Jean-Fran�ois Cart
Jeff Smallwood
John Slaney
John Stanisic
John Tann
Jurgen Otto
Katrine Worsaae
Ken Walker (Museum Victoria)
Keni-ici Ueda
Kenneth Hayes
Kerrie Davies
Kirt L. Onthank
Kristi Ellingsen
Kym Abrams
Leo Berzins
Leslie Harris
Lauryne Grant
Lorraine Phelan
Lukas Scharer
Malcolm Storey
Malcolm Tattersall
Marc Perkins
Marco Spiller
Mark Harvey
Marshal Hedin
Matthew Kenwrick
Michael Jefferies
Michael Shackleton
Michelle Carter
Miroslav Deml
Natalie Tapson
Neusser T. P., J�rger K. M. & Schr�dl M.
Noeneel Sharma
NSW Industry and Investment
Ondrej Kor�bek
Ondrej Zicha
Paddy Ryan (Ryan Photographic)
Paul Hebert
Paul Hocksenar
Peter Serov, Stygoecologia
Peter Shanks
Phil Warner
Queen Victoria Museum Art Gallery
R. Hochburgs
Reiner Richter
Richard Lehnert
Richard Ling
Richard Taylor
Robert Mesibov
Russell Shiel
Ryan Wick
Sam Fraser-Smith
Sarah faulwetter
��rka Ma�ov�
Sean Murrayv Shaun Winterton
Simon Hinkley & Ken Walker�(Museum Victoria)
Sophie Harrison
Srikumar Venugopal
State of New South Wales through Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services
Stepanka Nemcova
Stephen Zozaya
T. Houston (Western Australian Museum)
Tenison Woods, Reverend J.E. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
The Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center (SERTC), South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Thomas Bond
Timea Neusser
Tobias K�nneby
Tony Daley
Torsten Struck
Vanessa Pike-Russell
Wi Bing Tan
Wim Willems