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Identification and Diagnostic Tools
Lucid June 2023 Newsletter



Welcome to the May 2023 Lucid newsletter. This newsletter covers several items; most importantly recent Google and Apple app store policy changes for Lucid mobile app owners.


We’ve also released several Lucid and Fact Sheet Fusion software updates. For example, we have averaged at least one Lucid update per month. It pays to check your version to make sure you are up to date!


A more in-depth article on data mining older dichotomous keys and how easy it is now to convert them into the 21st century using Lucid v4.


In this newsletter:

  1. Google and Apple app store changes - read how this might affect your app.
  2. Lucid AI progress.
  3. Latest and upcoming keys.
  4. Data mining - converting printed dichotomous keys to digital pathway keys.
  5. Software updates.

We hope you enjoy reading our latest newsletter.




The Lucid Team

End of financial year sale


The end of the financial year is coming up fast!


Purchase Lucid and Fact Sheet Fusion together to receive a 20% discount. Use promo code: EOFY20.


Purchase either Lucid or Fact Sheet Fusion and receive a 10% discount. Use promo code: EOFY10.

Lucid mobile apps


Google and Apple have made changes to app visibility within their app stores. Essentially apps need to be updated to keep them visible to newer devices and operating system versions.  This change doesn’t mean your app will be removed from the app stores but, over time, they will become less and less accessible and visible as users upgrade to newer devices and operating systems. Essentially, Google and Apple are encouraging apps to be updated to meet new interface and security requirements, if they are to be used under their newer operating systems.


We are contacting all affected authors individually regarding updating their apps. If you are a Lucid mobile app owner and haven’t received an email in relation to this, please let us know.

Lucid AI Banner

Lucid AI


Beta testing of the Lucid AI platform has almost been completed. We have received useful feedback from a number of beta testers. Once we’ve finished incorporating this feedback, we’ll make the platform more widely available.


The next stage of testing is integrating the AI and Lucid keys via the Lucid Mobile Platform. The first key we will trial is the Environmental Weeds of Australia (EWA) app. The AI incorporated in the app already recognizes 250 weed species, many of which were prioritized based on their biosecurity importance. The new AI feature will be available as a free update to EWA app users.

Latest keys

Bees of Uganda Lucid Key

What’s that bee? Identification keys to the bees of Uganda/East Africa

This series of keys provides tools for identifying the bee families and genera that occur, or are likely to occur, in Uganda and regions adjacent to Uganda’s borders. Each key includes simple descriptors of morphological characters accompanied by high resolution images of the characters and representative specimens of each genus.

Authors: Skyler Burrows and Anne M. Akol



Anypodetus Lucid dichotomous key

Anypodetus dichotomous key

Torsten Dikow and Meliah Dubus have released a new key to species of the Afrotropical Asilidae genus Anypodetus Hermann.

Authors: Torsten Dikow and Meliah Dubus



Upcoming keys

Key to minerals banner

Key to minerals

A very early Lucid key (version 1) released 20 years ago has been updated. This key will allow students and enthusiastic collectors to identify more than ninety minerals based on hand specimen properties.

Lucid mobile app (Android and iOS) edition is expected in the next few months.

Author: Prof Sue Golding


Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds v12

Pacific Pest, Pathogens and Weeds v12

This extremely popular app is being prepared for its next release. The update will include fact sheets translated into five additional country languages (Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu). Each language will include 20 fact sheets to gauge user demand for content in their local language. The app will also include 33 new fact sheets.

The current version (v11) is available at:


Australian Freshwater Molluscs Lucid key

Australian Freshwater Molluscs - The snails and bivalves of Australian inland waters

This key and content have been updated, including new indexes to access taxa by family and genus. The update should be available by the end of June.


Taxonomic data-mining: converting printed dichotomous keys to digital pathway keys


Ever since the mid-18th century, published, hard copy, dichotomous or pathway keys were the main tools used to describe and provide guides for identifying animal and plant taxa.


Since many of these published keys are out-of-print or regarded as too difficult for non-taxonomists to use, they are likely to be overlooked or ignored.


To illustrate this point, consider one page (of this 50-page key) of the very detailed key shown in Figure 1, which is part of a major, out-of-print, published key for identifying over 800 insects and spiders found in Asian rice crops.


Data mining dichotomous keys figure 1.


Notice that line drawings have been referenced to illustrated certain morphological features, such as Fig. 406 and Fig 407 for couplet branch 203 and Fig. 408 for couplet branch 204. When using the published key, you needed to turn to page 88 to see these figures, as shown of Figure 2 below.


Data mining dichotomous keys figure 2.

Since identifying pest insects and predatory and parasitic insects and spiders can be very important in managing pest problems in rice, the huge effort involved in collecting, determining the taxonomy of these arthropods, and developing the original published keys, was well worth it.


To make such information more easily accessible, the Lucid pathway key facility has been recently incorporated into Lucid version 4.


Figure 3 (below) shows how the Lucid Player presents this specific key. In this case the top two windows show the current Couplet Question and the Entities Remaining, while the bottom two windows show the selection History and Entities Discarded.


Figure 3. Screen shot of couplet 204 in the Asian rice arthropod Lucid pathway key.


Data mining dichotomous keys figure 3.


You can read more about this Lucid pathway key and a similar key for West African rice arthropods at New interactive pathway keys for identifying insect pests of rice and their natural enemies - IAPPS (, showing how additional online support can be further provided by the use of images and glossaries.

Software Updates

Lucid v4


Lucid v4

Five (5) updates to Lucid v4 have already been released this year. We are continually pushing to improve Lucid and release updates for our users as soon as possible. A big thank you to our users who have taken the time to report issues or suggestions!


See the release notes at: 


Fact Sheet Fusion logo


Fact Sheet Fusion

The most recent update to Fact Sheet Fusion vastly improves the cross-linking speed of fact sheets and glossary items. We’ve replaced a third-party component with an in-house developed function and reduced the time (for very large fact sheet sets) from several hours to several minutes.


Download Lucid and Fact Sheet Fusion updates via your account (login required):


Lucid AI

Lucid AI

Beta testing of Lucid AI has almost been completed. Updates and availability will be announced in the next couple of months.

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