What Bug Is That?

About this project
What Bug Is That? provides identification keys and information to the 600+ insect families of Australia.

Insects have always been a challenge to identify because of their extremely high diversity. We estimate there are approximately 200,000 species of insects in Australia, and these are placed in about 640 families and 24–26 orders. By utilising modern identification tools, this project aims to facilitate the identification of Australian insects.

While the project’s intellectual roots are in the dichotomous, paper-based keys to order and family found in CSIRO’s Insects of Australia (2nd Edition 1991), the goal is to update those keys, and wherever possible, use modern computer-based identification tools, whether they be dichotomous or matrix keys.

The project provides a stable web environment and clearing house for keys to any hierarchical level. While we have begun with keys to the Orders and families within each order, there is scope to attach or add keys to genera and species, and we have provided these where they are available (for example Diptera: Tabanidae).


The keys are aimed at an advanced undergraduate or early postgraduate level, although we hope that the key to orders is accessible even to less experienced users.

Key Author(s): CSIRO
Key Publisher: CSIRO
Key Version: 1.1

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