WOW!   Look at all these tiny animals.

What in the world are they?

This is the typical reaction of most people who run a Berlese extraction for the first time.   They are simply overwhelmed by the diversity and have no idea what they are looking at.  The picture gallery contains photos of some common soil-dwelling arthropods.

To help students and teachers wade through all this diversity, I have created an illustrated identification key entitled Kwik-Key to Soil-Dwelling Invertebrates.   It includes a step-by-step method for identifying (to class or order) most of the small organisms that are likely to be found in soil, mulch, compost, and leaf litter.   It is abundantly illustrated with line drawings as well as short descriptions of the life history and ecology of each taxon.   This 43-page, spiral-bound booklet can be purchased for $10.00 (plus $2 shipping & handling) from:

Vision Press
2824 Bogle Branch Ct.
Raleigh, NC  27606

If you're a cheapskate and don't want to shell out the big bucks for my book, you can try a "less user-friendly" version by following the link below:

Start the Key

Return to ENT 525 HomePage John R. Meyer
Last Updated:   30 December 2013 Department of Entomology
NC State University