Online polychaete identification and information

Chris.Glasby at Chris.Glasby at
Wed Sep 4 22:32:38 EST 2002

In the spirit of making identification tools (and the results of systematic 
research generally) widely and freely available, the Australian Biological 
Resources Study (ABRS) has released an online version of POLiKEY. An 
information system for polychaete families and higher taxa 
(Glasby/Fauchald). This work was originally to be published on CD ROM, 
and appears in the literature as Glasby CJ & Fauchald K (2000). An 
interactive key to the polychaete families of the world. CSIRO publishing : 
Melbourne. Sorry for the premature announcement and possible confusion.  

To use POLiKEY go to the POLiKEY page on the ABRS website

and follow the instructions for downloading POLiKEY. POLiKEY runs under 
the interactive identification program Intkey, so you will first need to download 
and install Intkey if it is not already on your computer. A link to Intkey is 

POLikEY is not only a tool for identifying families and higher taxa, but 
includes substantial information on the taxonomy, biology and ecology of 
polychaetes. In Advanced mode POLiKEY operates like a database enabling 
all sorts of queries relating to characters and taxa. For example, ''what is the 
difference between a terebellid and a trichobranchid?" (there are 3 
differences) or "what polychaete families have hooded hooks?" (9 of them!). 
Hopefully, POLiKEY will be a useful resource for polychaete biologists, 
educators, and anyone involved in polychaete identification.  

Please let me know of any problems accessing POLiKEY as well as 
suggestions on ways it can be improved. We are aware that the jpg colour 
images take a while (up to a minute) to download, but this should not affect 
the identification process which utilises smaller gif image files; the problem is 
being addressed.  



Dr Chris Glasby
Curator of Worms
Natural Sciences
Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
GPO Box 4646
Darwin NT 0801

Email: chris.glasby at
Ph: +61-8-8999 8108
Fax: +61-8-8999 8289

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