Friday, 29 January 2016

New key to Aleocharinae published

Just posted a key to genus of subfamily Aleocharinae in the Staphylinidae (Coleoptera). This is a large subfamily of the rove beetles which is often neglected by entomologists and I hope that this key may spark some interest.  You will find it at

Off to Dinton Pastures tomorrow for a day identifying Tachinidae (Diptera).  Should be good as I love learning from entomologists who know so much more than me.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

New key to genus Cryptophagus published

I've just completed my translation and adaptation of a key for the British species of genus Cryptophagus.  This genus has a reputation amongst beetle-specialists of being one of the most difficult in our fauna.  If you experience any success with it or find that it fails at certain points please let me know.  You'll find the key at

Reorganisation of the web site

One of these days I'll shell out some cash and buy my own web space for my online keys. As for now I'll stick on Google sites which gives me about 100MB of storage per site.  I have now got to the limit again so I have carved up the keys into their orders as follows

Keys to coleoptera (beetles)

Still at the original site  I am working on some other family keys at the moment and on keys from order to family to access the rest of the site.

Keys to diptera (true flies) 

These are published at  The keys here will be increased over time.  This was the order in which my interest in entomology started.  I have keys at home for all British families but have published relatively few.

Keys to hymenoptera (bees and wasps) and other orders

Now published at  I have done some work on some families of superfamily Chalcidoidea and on sawflies.

I am sorry that this is not at all ideal but until I buy my own web space this is how it will need to be.

Many thanks to those of you that have given me feedback.  Many have said they are finding the keys useful but I'd really love to have specific points so that the keys can be improved. I have described the keys as working documents so whenever things are pointed out I update the key and republish it.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Key to the beetle family Ptinidae published

After a long gap in my postings I thought I would restart with the new year.  Over the last couple of months I've been working on a key for the beetle family Ptinidae.  This has involved translating keys from the German and researching some of the species recently introduced to the British list not included in the German keys. The last thing was translating some descriptions from the Latin and Spanish which are added as appendices to the main key.  If you find the key useful then please let me know so I can improve it.  The key is published at