key to Canadian Lepidoptera

Felix Sperling felix.sperling at
Tue Jul 19 20:33:36 EDT 2011

Hello Lepidopterists,

Jason Dombroskie's magnificent key to the Lepidoptera of Canada is finally published! It covers all leps to the level of family, and most of them to tribes, using a highly effective interactive key. For those of you who use only Macs, you'll have to wait until the XID format works on Macs, but in the near term future there should be an Android version (no kidding), and right now all PC users will want to download the interactive key as well as the pdf at:


A Matrix Key to Families, Subfamilies and Tribes of Lepidoptera of Canada
CJAI 17 July 19, 2011 

Jason J. Dombroskie

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. T6G 2E9, Canada. dombrosk at

          Despite being ecologically, economically, and scientifically important as well as a relatively well known group of insects, the order Lepidoptera can be difficult for non-experts to identify reliably.  The matrix-based key presented here provides an easy and reliable way to identify the more difficult groups of adult Lepidoptera using a standard dissecting microscope.  The key allows identification to the level of subfamily or tribe for most Canadian Lepidoptera, includes 222 taxa, and uses 73 characters with 266 character states.  Taxon pages covering the diversity, diagnosis, and taxonomic references of each taxon accompany the identification key.
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