All of Life
These resources don't focus on a single taxonomic group.
Apps for Identification
Below are some identification apps for your mobile devices. It's not a complete list - see what's available on your device.
- Audubon GuidesIdentify almost anything found in North America.
Search databases that focus on information about organisms. AGRICOLA and PubAg focus on plants and agriculture. PsycINFO includes literature about animal behavior. SCOPUS and Web of Science cover almost all scientific disciplines.
Information by Group
Biodiversity Heritage Library -- "Free access to hundreds of thousands of volumes, comprising over 58 million pages," from the 15th century to the present. Read more about the BHL, including their taxonomic names, tools and services, data exports, and other tools that will help you. More information on the FAQ, including finding images and reusing content.
Encyclopedia of Life -- A central search hub for information about "animals, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria, [which is] scattered around the world in books, journals, databases, websites, [and] specimen collections." Shows food webs (who eats whom), and more. Hosted by the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History.
- All About Birds from the Cornell Lab of OrnithologyInformation on how to identify birds which includes pictures of many of the common species in North America.
- Bird identification booksOnline and print books in the MSEL collection.
- Birds of North AmericaThis series, produced by the American Ornithologists' Union and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, provides life history information about each species of bird found in North America. Images, maps, audio, and video are inclded.
- Fish identification booksOnline and print books in the MSEL collection.
- Fish IdentificationPart of the FishBase.org website.
- Bug GuideThe guide is maintained by a community of naturalists. Pictures, natural history, and citations to the literature are provided. They also offer to help id pics, but you have to create a login to submit a picture.
- Insect identification booksOnline and print books in the MSEL collection.
- Insect IdentificationProvides help identifying common North American insects.
- Plant identification booksOnline and print books in the MSEL collection.
- World Flora Online (updated from The Plant List)A working list of all the plant species, the result of a collaboration between Royal Botanic, Kew, and Missouri Botanical Gardens.
- PlantSystematics.orgImages and keys provided. Search by taxon, common name, and location.
- Tree Identification from Kew Royal Botanical GardensInteractive tool helps identify trees by leaf shape, tree silhouette, bark, and fruit type.
- USDA Plants Database - Image GalleryIncludes searchable database of images of U.S. plants, plus some international.
- USDA PLANTS databaseProvides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories.
- What Tree is That? from the National Arbor Day FoundationProvides an online guide to some North American trees as well as a tutorial about identifying characteristics of trees.