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Freshwater Invertebrates in Central Europe

Kriska Gy. (2013) Freshwater Invertebrates in Central Europe - A Field Guide. Springer–Verlag Wien Heidelberg New York Dordrecht London, p. 411

The issue titled Freshwater Invertebrates in Central Europe gives a comprehensive overview on the invertebrate fauna of the freshwaters. This book not only aids the identification of the invertebrates bearing crucial importance in the matter cycles, the biological assessment and the natural self-purification process of freshwaters, but it also presents a detailed description of their lifestyles and the role they play in the ecosystems. The book begins with a General identification key, which helps to identify the studied specimen to the level of large taxonomic groups (e.g. moss animal, sponge, snail, etc.). The key contains colour illustrations and photos beside the short textual descriptions so that to ease the identification of the invertebrates. The illustrations are labelled in details; in addition to the names of the identifying characteristics, organs of general orientation (e.g. head, jointed leg, compound eye) are also specified. The colourings of the illustrations are based on the original colours of photos taken of the animals. Within the key, the numbers in bold set at the end of each description indicates the sequence number of the next identification step, from where the process should be continued. Finally, after several steps taken in the general key, you get to a larger taxon (e.g. mayfly larvae, beetles) and a specified page number. The detailed key of the group can be found at the end of the chapter beginning at the referred page. The identification of the specimen can be continued with the aid of this detailed key. Beside the illustrated keys, the book includes detailed textual descriptions for each discussed group of animals. In these parts – similarly to the identification key – the pictures on the right side of the page always show the animal presented in the nearby text. The sequence numbers of the pictures are indicated both in the textual part and in the identification key, giving also the respective page number before a slash (e.g. 103/11 – the 11th picture on page 103).

The digital annex of the book includes slideshows and movies, as well as interactive tests that can be used to check the knowledge gained on the invertebrates either by certain taxonomic groups or in general. A special item of the software is a stereoscopic (3D) application enabling to visualise three-dimensional (anaglyph) pictures on the monitor or by a projector. The latter solution also gives the possibility to show the pictures for several spectators at once. Anaglyph pictures should be viewed through red-cyan glasses.

Today, almost everybody has a mobile phone that is taken everywhere. This gave the idea to construct such an identification key for the freshwater macro-invertebrates that can be run on a cell phone. The electronic version of the key was prepared for mobiles running the Android operating system. This mobile key contains the simplified general key of the book, completed with the image collections of the taxonomic groups. The mobile key deals only with the macroscopic invertebrates; thus, it is principally suitable for field work. The instructions of the mobile version are presented at the end of the book.


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