Tuesday, November 6, 2012

AntKey Released!!

Antkey seeks to mitigate the spread of established introduced ants and prevent the incursion of new introductions by providing quarantine personnel, inspectors, and conservation biologists with a user-friendly, digital, identification tool specifically designed for non-specialists. Antkey focuses on over 115 ant species that are introduced, invasive, or commonly intercepted in the United States including Hawaii. Features include an interactive Lucid key, dynamically generated species pages, a searchable media collection of over 1,150 images, over 70 live video clips of introduced ants, a fully illustrated glossary with over 400 terms, a searchable database of introduced ant literature, and over 12,000 specimen records of introduced ants imported from Antweb (www.antweb.org). The Scratchpads platform allows users to participate in the discussion forums and post comments on nearly every page.

Antkey is ITP’s first tool developed in the platform of Scratchpads (http://scratchpads.eu/), a social networking platform that allows communities to bring taxonomic information together without the limitations of traditional paper-based publications. Web systems and content can be developed and updated in minutes so websites can reflect the latest knowledge of a particular group. The platform also allows multiple authors to create and edit content without using any html code. The Scratchpads platform relies on the content management system Drupal (http://drupal.org/) for its underlying architecture.

Antkey can be accessed at: http://www.antkey.org/  [Scratchpads is currently in beta version. Please be patient waiting for a page to load.]

To view additional digital identification aids, via ITP’s ID Source, for ants (Formicidae), visit ID-Source Formicidae

To access other digital identification tools published by ITP, via ID Source, visit ID-Source ITP