Commonly confused pairs of Australian arthropods

In the invertebrate world, there are many groups of cryptic species for which identification is difficult, or even impossible, from photographs due to their similar morphology and colouration. In some cases, a single identification gets applied indiscriminately to multiple different (and sometimes even unrelated) species; for example, the name Amenia imperialis is very commonly used for not only true A. imperialis, but all the other Amenia species, and a number of lookalikes (e.g., Rutilia) in an entirely different family. Not only are many online records (on iNaturalist and elsewhere) putatively of A. imperialis not that species, in most cases the photographs do not allow an identification to species anyway.

However, there are many instances for which it is possible to readily differentiate between several similar options. On iNaturalist, there are a number of invertebrates for which two common, morphologically similar species are often confused for each other, but are relatively easy to identify once you know what to look for. In many of these cases, the computer vision will offer both species as suggestions, creating further uncertainty. In this guide, I present ten pairs of commonly observed, and commonly confused, Australian arthropods, and highlight how to differentiate them. A number of these pairs have distributional differences between the two species that can help with identifications in some cases, but I will focus only on morphology here. Note that for all ten pairs there are far more differences between the two species than I have noted, but I have highlighted the most prominent differences/those that are easiest to see.

1 . Trichonephila edulis and Trichonephila plumipes (females)

Above, left: @jacksonnugent
Above, right: @kymelen

Above, left: @bushrevival
Above, right: @pardalotebellion

2 . Nyctemera baulus and Nyctemera amicus

Above, left: @cher63
Above, right: @vicfazio3

3 . Coelophora inaequalis (merged spot morph) and Micraspis frenata

Above, top left: @thebeachcomber
Above, middle left: @imcmaster
Above, bottom left: @jantly
Above, right: @reiner

4 . Papilio aegeus (female) and Papilio anactus

Above, top left: @halobaena
Above, bottom left: @thebeachcomber
Above, top right: @richie_south

5 . Nyssus coloripes and Nyssus albopunctatus

Above, left: @tjeales
Above, right: @debtaylor142

6 . Graphium choredon and Graphium eurypylus

Above, top left: @debjoliver
Above, bottom left: @scottytar
Above, top right: @dddwebbb
Above, bottom right: @dan_bishop

7 . Ptomaphila lacrymosa and Ptomaphila perlata

Above, top left: @mattcampbellaus
Above, bottom left: @vicfazio3
Above, right: @ianmcmillan

8 . Hemicordulia tau and Hemicordulia australasiae

Above, top left: @happywonderer
Above, bottom left: @ecologibel
Above, top right: @reiner
Above, bottom right: @benjaminlancer

9 . Delias harpalyce and Delias nigrina

Above, left: @karenmcgregor
Above, right: @nmain

10 . Mictyris longicarpus and Mictyris platycheles

Above, left: @thebeachcomber
Above, right: @w_martin

הועלה ב-אפריל 20, 2022 08:36 לפנה"צ על ידי thebeachcomber thebeachcomber


Excellent resource. Thanks for this.

פורסם על-ידי tjeales לפני יותר משנה


פורסם על-ידי reiner לפני יותר משנה

Thabk you

פורסם על-ידי scottytar לפני יותר משנה

Great work!

פורסם על-ידי mattcampbellaus לפני יותר משנה

Great resource, thanks!

פורסם על-ידי ecologibel לפני יותר משנה

Thankyou, a great help, I will refer back to this.

פורסם על-ידי pardalotebellion לפני יותר משנה

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