To run the Lucid key through your web browser you may need Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed on your computer. Download for free on the Java website www.java.com
Lucid multi-access keys are simple to use, once some basic functions are understood. The process involves working through each group of features (e.g. animal shape), and selecting the feature that matches your specimen, in order to narrow the options down to just one taxa. You can select features in any order you choose, which means you can still make progress towards identifying the animal if a feature is missing.
The Lucid key interface is divided into four panes:At the top of the browser window is a menu bar with four menus, which contain a number of options and features that you may find useful. Immediately below these are a row of buttons that are useful functions and shortcuts. Hovering the mouse cursor over each one will bring up a dialog box with the function of the button.
Recommended setting:under the Features/Display option select ‘Thumbnails’ and unselect ‘Gallery’. This allows you to see the full word description next to each feature, as shown above in the screen shot.
Most features and entity (taxa) have an image; click on the image to enlarge it so details can be seen. Clicking on the image for each entity (taxa) also enlarges the image.Select the feature you want by the tick box next to the feature. To unselect a feature, uncheck the tick box in either of the two left-hand panes. You can select more than one feature per group. Each feature that you select will cause some entities (taxa) to be discarded. Eventually, if you have correctly selected each feature for your animal, you will be left with one taxa left in the entity list.
Next to each taxon name in the entity list, there is a button that is the image of a page. Clicking this will open the information sheet for that taxon. In the main key, clicking that button for Chironomidae will open the separate Chironomidae key.
For more information, forums, and a helpdesk visit the Lucidcentral website www.lucidcentral.org