An interactive lucid key is presented to assist in recognising families of targeted Lepidoptera of biosecurity concern using morphological characters of the adult. Many existing keys to adult Lepidoptera lack good illustrations of the important characters and this key provides high quality photographs of all the characters used. Easily identifiable features that are visible on set specimens using a stereomicroscope have been chosen in an attempt to avoid where possible, the type of characters requiring manipulation or dissection of the specimen for example, wing venation, apodemes and genitalia.
The range of families included in the key encompasses those exotic species identified by Plant Health Australia (2012), Department of Agriculture (Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy) (2013) and the National Plant Biosecurity Strategy Diagnostic Network (2013). The key has been adapted from Nielsen et al. (1991), Kristensen (1999) and Holloway et al. (1987). Diagnoses were evaluated using data from Bradley (1986), Common (1990), Holloway (2011), Kyrki (1984), Landry (2003), Miller (1991), Nielsen et al. (1996), Solis (2007) and Zborowski et al. (2007).
Diagnostic images were taken by S. Anderson and were prepared from curated specimens using, LEICA DC300 digital camera using Leica DC Twain® version 5.1.10 software. Numerous photographs of each specimen were taken at differing focal planes and these were montaged using Automontage Essentials® 5.020096 ES to produce a single image. Images were taken at 2592 x 1944 resolution and saved in TIFF format.
The authors would like to thank Ted Edwards for his extensive lepidopteran expertise, Matt Taylor, James Walker, John Nielsen, Len Willan, David Britton, Thomas Wallenius, You Ning Su, Ying Luo and Luke Halling.