R. Kapeller

Application Notes

General Recommendations

To work with the identification key, it is recommended to use a screen of suitable size and resolution, as well as a mouse.

Use a suitable browser (Firefox is not recommended due to slow performance).

Set up the browser window appropriately, preferably in full-screen mode, or at least big enough so that you have a good overview of all the elements on the main page of the identification key.

Determination Process

If you select 'enter database' on the homepage, you will first get to a start page where you have to select a sub-database by class and habitat (e.g. marine gastropods) by clicking into the plate. This takes you to the main page of the identification key.

The determination process is largely self-explanatory, so no lengthy explanations are required here. Read the functional notes that appear when you move the mouse pointer to the respective elements and buttons and you will learn everything you need to know. The identification key has been designed to be as easy to use as possible. However, that is not to say that identifying mollusks is in itself an easy matter. In some groups, species identification is so difficult that even the best experts do not always come to a correct result. Even the best tool cannot get rid of this fact.

Here are a few tips you should keep in mind:


Three ways to call up a gallery: You can just click a parent taxon (family, superfamily, suborder or order) to open the gallery for the chosen taxonomic unit. Alternatively, you can highlight an arbitrary range in the taxon list, and then click the 'gallery' button. If you click the 'gallery' button, without having made a selection, the gallery will be opened for the entire actually displayed page of the taxon list.

In the gallery there is an image and a text with the description and distribution for each species.

It is recommended that you only enter a gallery after you have reduced the taxa to a manageable level by answering a few questions.

If you are e.g. already confident in addressing a family or genus and want to go straight to the appropriate gallery, you should use 'select' before choosing 'gallery' as this will reduce the 'matches', otherwise it may be that the descriptions contain a confusingly long list of distinguishing criteria for similar species. For the same reason, for families or genera with numerous endemic species, you should first state the locality information.

Species page

Three ways to call up a species page: You can just click a species in the taxon list. Or you can highlight a species (the entire name), and then click the 'species-page' button. If you use the taxon search, the hits are highlighted and you can directly click 'species-page' then. From a gallery the species page is called by clicking an image.

Here you will find the following content:


You can get an explanation of terms marked accordingly in the text by clicking on it. Usually, an explanatory text and an illustration are then displayed. In the explanatory text there can be clickable terms again, this can be continued in unlimited levels. By clicking 'back' you will return level by level and finally to the page from where you have entered the glossay, or directly with the button 'exit glossary'.


On the home page you will find a 'Configuration' button. This will take you to a page where you can customize some functionalities to suit your preferences.