Guide to identification with Lucid
Once in the Lucid Player you will see a menu bar, a tool bar, and a main window,
which is split into four smaller windows - Characters
Available, Character States
Chosen (empty at start), Taxa Remaining and Taxa
Discarded (empty at start).
You are able to alter the look of your Lucid Player windows by changing
the font style, size and colour or by changing the window background
colour, these options are found under the Lucid Windows menu
In the Characters Available window, start with any character that matches
your unidentified specimen, pick which state or states best describes the character,
you can view images and notes to help with your selection.
Choosing character states: To select a character state click on the character
name to open the character state list and either double-click the state
you want to choose in the list or click and drag the state into the Characters
States Chosen window. If you need more information to decide, then to view character notes and images click the orange
information button next to the character state name.
Alternatively you can choose your states in the character graphics window
by clicking on the purple
information button next to the character name; select which state you want
by double-clicking the image, if you need more information, drag the image
over the book
icon for notes and larger images. This window will automatically go onto
the next character, if this is not the character you want either click the previous
or next arrow button to get the character you want or close the window and
go back to the list.
character states: To answer a numeric
character such as leaf blade width, double-click on it or drag it into the
Character States Chosen window and a small dialog box will appear. Enter
a value into the box between the given ranges indicated. You can either enter
a single value (5), a range (5-7), a greater or less than value (>5),
or a greater or less than or equal to value (<=5).
Deleting character states:
If you need to delete a chosen character state, either drag it back into the Characters
Available window or double-click on the state in the Character
States Chosen window.
As character states are selected your list of taxa will reduce, continue
selecting the next appropriate character available to you to narrow down your
taxa list. If you are unsure of which character to select next, the Best option
will suggest the best route to take. Alternatively, depending on the material
you have available, you can select a different Character
set to limit the character list to those relevant to your specimen.
Lucid has a number of other features to aid your identification process, some
of which are listed in detail below.
sets: You can use character sets to restrict your character list so
that only the characters you are interested in at any stage of identification
are displayed. The default "Quick" set has been created with
a limited number of characters, which are usually succesful in identification in 90% of cases. If you decide
you need more flower characters for example, click on the Character
set icon, and tick Flowers. You can select more than one set at a time.
Best: The "best" tool
can help you in selecting which character to use next to reach your identification.
By clicking the Best button, you are asking the player
to provide you with the "best" or most useful character to use
next, considering the taxa remaining. Using the "best" feature is particularly
useful when you have only a few taxa remaining.
You can use the "best" characters in two ways, either Sort by
Best which sorts the character list from most useful to least useful,
or Find Best which will select and open the "best" available
character. You can also sort through these via the previous and next arrows
to find which one you can answer.
Best which sorts the characters, Bingo identifies the character state
that applies to only one of the taxa remaining, choosing such a state would
reduce your list to a single taxon. Select the Bingo button and the Player
will scan the characters available and any "bingo" states will
appear in a dialog, then select which state if any that applies to your specimen.
you get to a few taxa remaining and can't think of any more characters to
use, you can access the supplementary information of notes and images to
select your taxa or you can view a list of character states that differ between
your taxa by selecting the Similarities/Differences button to reduce
the taxon list.
Discarded?: By clicking this button you can find out why any taxon
has been discarded, which can be useful if you were unsure of the character
state you selected.
Score: To query or check the scoring of a character, highlight the
character and taxa you want to check then click the Get
score button or keyboard shortcut Alt+T then G.
Once your specimen has been keyed out or you have only a few taxa remaining,
view the supplementary information of notes and images to confirm your identification.
Hopefully your specimen will be in the final taxa list. If not, go back to your
characters selected and review, you may have selected a wrong character state
or interpreted the character incorrectly.
supplementary information: To view the supplementary information associated
with each taxon, click on thegreen
information button to reveal a small window that gives you access to descriptions,
notes, images, distribution map and netsearch. Once in the Notes window
you are also able to view the images within the factsheet or by clicking
the "Media" button and scroll through the images. You must click
inside the Notes window first to be able to scroll.
Slide show: You may wish to see a slide show of the
images associated with the taxa to find a match for your specimen. This is
available under the Taxa menu - Slide Show; you have the option to show the
selected taxon or all remaining taxa. You can adjust the timing within the
slide show window as to how long each image is on screen and it also has
pause, skip, play and stop buttons.
If you want to learn more about orchids and the identification process
- the Introduction essay
on orchids, including habitat, variation and hybrids;
- the Orchid flower structure page
to understand the different flower parts;
- the Sample
Identification for step-by-step instructions on how to key
out a specimen with Lucid, or
- the Lucid Help for more detailed notes on Lucid (Help on menu bar)
Some tips to remember when using Lucid
- Become familiar with the specimen you wish to identify;
- Note any features you think may be relevant;
- Choose an appropriate character set;
- Browse the characters list and answer any easy character first, this is
an advantage of an interactive key opposed to a
- When selecting states, always choose more than one if you are uncertain,
this will retain the taxa that are coded for either state and not those coded
- If you are using a measurement character, where possible take an average
measurement rather than the largest or smallest;
- When you've addressed all the obvious characters ask the player to suggest
the best remaining character;
- If you have no taxa left, review what you have chosen and delete any character
states that you are dubious about;
- Don't assume you will end up with a single taxon remaining, in many cases
there may be a small number of taxa remaining, these can usually be differentiated
by checking the images and other supplementary information; and
- Once you have a potential answer, check its supplementary information
to see if it matches.
Tips to remember when using the Australian Orchid Genera identification key
- If the character you’re using is not obvious, check the notes that
are available for any specific instructions. (Remember that some characters
are not always obvious and they can depend on people’s perceptions,
while every effort has been taken to include all possible interpretations
some will be missed, this can make some characters less powerful. Those which
include colour and shape are obvious examples of this. Please remember to
look at the images available for the character states; these may help to
avoid misinterpretation, as coding has been done with these images in mind);
- If you are working with a plant or flower that has been grown in a glasshouse
or other simulated environment, remember that these plants are growing under
optimum conditions and that some of the plants' characteristics may be at
the extremes of their naturally occurring habit. Things such as flowering
time, leaf size and leaf thickness can be affected by optimum conditions.
This should be kept in mind when using these types of characters to identify
your specimen; and
- Remember that this is not a species level key and a photo of each species has not been included, don't try to identify your specimen to species level by looking at the photos as it may not be there.