Pictorial Keys to Arthropods, Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals of Public Health Significance

Public health biologists are often responsible for teaching animal identification to personnel (sanitarians, engineers, physicians, veterinarians, etc.) without special training in taxonomy. One of the most successful devices for such training has been the pictorial key. The first U.S. Public Health Service pictorial key was devised by Stanley B. Freeborn and Eugene J. Gerberg (1943) to guide personnel in the identification of anopheline mosquito larvae during our national malaria control program.

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was founded (1946) additional keys were developed. At present the CDC utilizes more than 75 such keys in its regular training program. These are the major items incorporated into this booklet. Apropos morphological diagrams are also included.

Precise identification of disease vectors is essential to their efficient control. In using the following keys it should be remembered that only a few of them include all species in a group, and that determinations made using them are only tentative. The pictorial keys are typical of identification keys found in reference works and scientific papers except that they are arranged as diagrams and are illustrated.

Note: This publication was previously issued under the same title by the Center for Disease Control of the U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia. These files are reproductions from the original publication. The publication has not been updated.

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Page last reviewed: March 14, 2013 (archived document)