Common Marine Macro-algae of the Hawaiian Islands

This key has been created for the identification of the most commonly found and collected marine macro-algae of the Hawaiian Islands.

Equipment you will need: A small hand-lense (10x magnification is best) may assist in the species identification. A dissecting microscope may be useful. If anatomical characteristics need to be determined, a binocular microscope and dissecting equipment are required.

Knowledge required: This key was written for people with no prior knowlege of marine algae. To assist with the terminology, a glossary has been supplied. A glossary can be accessed via the general information icon or via the character state notes pages .

Where to start: Click any of the links, the key image , or the front-page image to start the key.

The user interface of Lucid Player is a four panel window. The top two panels are devoted to characters and their states. The bottom two are devoted to taxa.

The top left panel displays the characters and a list of variations (the states). When a character and its associated state are selected (by double-clicking) they are listed in the upper right Character States Chosen panel.

When a character state is selected, the taxa that do not satisfy the criteria of that state are moved to the lower left hand Taxa discarded panel. When the list of taxa in the Taxa remaining right hand panel is reduced to one, the identification process is complete.

The simplest way of identifying an unknown algal specimen is to start by clicking on the text of the first character, "Overall structure", choosing the appropriate state by double-clicking on the words or dragging the words across to the Character States Chosen panel, and moving down to the next character. Selecting the buttons will give information relating to each character.

Simply by trying the various buttons, you will learn how the key operates. The selection of two or more character states will result in taxa with either of those states remaining in the Taxa remaining window.

Hint: Clicking on the button for each character shows illustrations of all of the possible states. Within this window information or images of each state can be viewed by dragging the icon to the book or projector at the top of the window. Double-click on the thumbnails to choose the appropriate state. The program will automatically move to the next character. Skipping characters can be achieved by clicking on the arrows .

One taxon left? This is possibly the taxonomic name of your algal specimen.

Is it your specimen? Click on the for the remaining taxon or taxa. Read the 'Notes' and compare the unknown specimen to the 'Images' to confirm identity.

Note: If no characteristic fits your specimen, then the taxon may not be included in this key. Similarly, if at any stage there are no taxa in the Taxa remaining window, the unknown specimen may not be included in this key.

Made a mistake? Simply double-click on the wrong character state. The key can also be restarted by pressing the restart button .

Subsets of characters can be selected by selecting the subsets button .

Some advice: Never guess a character state. If you can't determine the answer for your specimen, go onto another character. Some algal species have several of the character states. Select all those that apply to your specimen.

Making the choice between taxa easier - features only available with Lucid Player Plus.

Characters and states that do no apply to the remaining taxa can be discarded using the Prune redundants function.

Characteristics by which the remaining taxa differ can be seen by choosing the Similarities and Differences option. Character states of your unknown specimen can be chosen from this window by double-clicking on the appropriate character state.

Best selects the character recommended in order to distinguish between the remaining taxa.

When the majority of taxa have been eliminated, the Bingo function will list characters and states that apply to only one of the remaining taxa.

Need more help? Click on the Help window for more information while using the key.

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