Lucidcentral Identification and Diagnostic Tools
Lucid April 2021 Newsletter

As for many of our readers, the past year has presented challenges to the Lucid team associated with the Covid pandemic. We hope that you and your families will have a better experience in 2021. Despite these Covid restrictions, the Lucid team has been busy for the past months developing a number of exciting projects, alongside our usual activities.

Lucid Phoenix

Lucid 4 will soon support building dichotomous keys. This update will replace Lucid Phoenix, our current dichotomous key Builder and Player. The best of Lucid Phoenix has been merged into Lucid v4 allowing key authors to manage all their key building needs within the one platform. The update will also support the deployment of Phoenix keys with an independent "play anywhere" player, similar to the current Lucid key player. The popular feature of importing and analysing existing text based dichotomous keys will also be included.

This update will be free to existing Lucid v4 licence holders. Current Lucid Phoenix licence holders will be able to upgrade to Lucid v4 with a 20% discount offer. Further news will be provided when this upgrade becomes available.

Lucid AI

As mentioned in our last Newsletter, the team has been developing tools and infrastructure needed to support Artificial Intelligence (image recognition) on the Lucid platform. AI will add a powerful new tool to the Lucid identification toolbox. While simple image classification* can show impressive results, we see unique opportunities to combine AI technologies with Lucid keys to improve the speed and quality of identification. 

*For those not familiar with AI, image classification in simple terms is the ability to submit an image to an AI model (trained on a subject e.g. different species of fish using hundreds or thousands of images) and have the image 'classified' by the model as one of the subjects the AI trained for (e.g. Salmon or Cod). Another, more advanced, approach of AI is object detection within a submitted image. This also requires many images, in addition to labelling of the image features.

Weed identification and AI

Environmental Weeds of AustraliaThe first project planned to use AI image recognition will be our Environmental Weeds of Australia key. We quickly found our existing weed image library far from adequate, so for the past 5 months the team has been out taking thousands of images of weeds specifically for AI training.  So far, for good results we've found we needed images of multiple plants (of the same species), across different growth stages and environmental conditions. Often taking 150-300 photos of each species. I know personally my camera's CCD has overheated on several occasions due to the number of images being taken - thank goodness for digital photography and large storage capacities! 

It will be a while before our users get to work with the results of these efforts, but we will post further updates on this as the year progresses.

Online Lucid workshops

We recently held a workshop for the CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere team who are building keys and fact sheets to phytoplankton and zooplankton using Lucid and Fact Sheet Fusion. While local participants in Brisbane were able to attend, some of the team based in Hobart, Tasmania could not because of Covid State restrictions. Therefore, this was the first workshop we have run where we combined live and online workshop sessions. 

Based on this experience and given that international travel is unlikely to resume for months or possibly years, we are now planning to provide online workshops for international Lucid users. We will provide more information about these plans later, including options for funding but in the meantime if you or your organisation are interested in being involved in an online Lucid workshop, please let us know.  

Key updates

Plants and Fungi of south-western New South Wales

An extensive update to the key and content has been released on Android and iOS.


Apple iOS

Key to insect orders

This revised app, aimed for use by schools, universities, and the general public, has been upgraded  for both the Android and iOS versions. 


Apple iOS

Coming Soon

On the Fly - An interactive identification tool for Australian flies

On the Fly

This popular key to fly families of Australia is being updated as Android and iOS apps and should be available in the next month.

Spotlight on “Unusual keys you may not have come across”

Lucid Builders are being used in over 130 countries to address a range of identification, diagnostic, and plant selection purposes. The following keys, selected from the Lucidcentral “Key Search” facility, illustrate some of the very different purposes that Lucid keys have been developed to address.

Diatom Identification Key for South African Rivers

Diatom Identification Key for South African Rivers - A key to 70 genera and 286 species of common and some endemic species of diatoms occurring in South African rivers. The key has been developed as a component of a project to re-instate the use of diatoms for aquatic biomonitoring in South Africa. More information.

Human Impacts Pollen Collection - A Pollen Lucid Identification Key

Pollen Identification key - The Human Impacts Pollen Collection at the University of Massachusetts, Boston focuses on taxa that relate to peoples’ impacts on the environment and landscape. This Lucid tool of pollen from over 870 taxa helps to identify pollen from cultivated and ornamental plants, as well as exotics and invasive spp, allowing changing vegetation patterns to be reconstructed, primarily on the North American landscape within the last 500 years. More information.

An identification guide for taro in the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian Kalo – This Lucid key to 94 Kalo (Taro) varieties and similar species, not only provides help in identifying specific varieties but, by deploying the Lucid subset facility, also provides the public, farmers, and horticulturalists with the ability to select those Kalo varieties best for cooking, medicinal use, landscaping, etc.  More information.

Fruits of Brazilian Savanna Attractive to Wildlife (Frutos Atrativos do Cerrado) Lucid key

Fruits of Brazilian Cerrado (Savanna) Attractive to Wildlife - Since it is estimated there are there are over 4,000 Cerrado species whose fruit is attractive to animals, this key includes those 330 fruit species that it is most important to identify for studies of plant-animal interactions in the Cerrado. More information.

Rust Fungi of Australia Lucid key

Rust Fungi of Australia – a key for 123 species of plant pathogenic rust fungi (Pucciniomycotina) known from Australia. Rust fungi parasitise a wide range of host plants including ferns, conifers. and angiosperms. Worldwide, there are about 8000 species of rust fungi and approximately 200 generic names have been proposed. More information.

Vicflora Lucid keys

Flora of Victoria (VICFLORA) – Several Lucid keys have recently been released by the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Australia), including keys to Fabaceae (310 spp); Cyperaceae (206 spp); Juncaceae (62 spp.) and Asteraceae (615 spp). In addition, a new key to the Eucalypts of Victoria has been released, which is a “customised version” of the recently published EUCLID a key to all Australian eucalypts, produced by the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Canberra. More information.

Can your Lucid key be found on Lucidcentral? If you would like to make your key available to more users please contact support to have your key listed.

Software Updates

Lucid v4Lucid v4 

A new update of Lucid v4 has been released and is available to download via See the release notes for bug fixes and changes.


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