What are some common “look-alikes” IDs that you know about or have encountered ?
For example :
Short-billed Dowitchers (above) and Willets (below)
Pink Stripped Oakworm Moth (1), Orange Tipped Oakworm Moths (2), & Spiny Oakworm Moths (3)
These are not my pictures* I do not take credit for them.
What examples can you share ?
Are you considering mimics for this or just plain coincidence/other reason?
Lysimachia foemina vs the blue variant of L arvensis. I don’t actually know which one is in this pic, because they look exactly the same without a microscope.
This is how you tell them apart:
mimics are welcome here too!
Just open “similar taxa” tab on a species page and you’ll see those for anything possible.
I focus on a trio of mustelids which are commonly confused in North America. Neogale frenata (Long-tailed Weasel), Mustela richardsonii (American Stoat), and Mustela nivalis (Least Weasel). The former are trickier because the larger males of American Stoats may resemble the smaller females of Long-tailed Weasels. Observations need regular review!
It would definitely be Cypripedium parviflorum var. parviflorum and Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens, the two looks extremely similar with pubescens being a larger, taller plant with usually wider leaves and flowers that have thinner, arched or straight twisted tepals, a longer and latitudinally squished lip and lighter (orange-yellow) tepals:
parviflorum var. parviflorum on the other hand is smaller and has a somewhat rounder lip with darker tepals that are usually less twisted:
People usually identify C. pubescens as C. parviflorum, unfortunately, natural hybridization makes it even more difficult to tell them apart.
oh wow, they do look very similar, I would have though they were the same !
See these confused all the time.
Top: Drosera collina, Middle: Drosera erythrorhiza, Bottom: Drosera rosulata
Yes. welcome to my world.
[Moth Photographers Group – Plate 33 – Noctuidae: Noctuinae (msstate.edu)]
Argiope keyserlingi and A. aetherea are not particularly closely related to each other, and yet they’re extremely similar, and to make it worse their ranges overlap!
They also vary a decent amount so any differences you think you can see between them are probably not consistent :/
wow you really have to look at them closely to see the differences… crazy
the Blacksaddled Toby (Canthigaster valentini) and the Mimic Filefish (Paraluteres prionurus) are commonly and easily confused. They’re not closely related, but the filefish mimics the poisonous toby for protection from predators. With clear, close up views, the two can be distinguished (by the shape of the dorsal and anal fins, thickness of the body when seen from above, and the presence or not of a first dorsal fin), but from a distance the two look nearly identical, even when swimming right next to each other.
I found out only recently that Paraluteres prionurus is not the only filefish mimicking Canthigaster puffers! other Paraluteres species mimic other Canthigaster species. many of these remain undescribed.
and a mimicking Prionurus, an undescribed species
the mimicking Paraluterus arqat
some bugs that I used to get confused, so I made those collages:
Ups! I just realized I’d have to update this collage. Graphosoma lineatum is now called Graphosoma italicum ;-)
…and there are the large and the small pincertail:
description is in Spanish, but you can see that O. forcipatus has a yellow ring at the beginng of the thorax and the first black line reaches the middle line
O. uncatus is the reverse: the yellow ring is separated by a black line and the black line does not reach the middle line.
Gulp! I spotted my first, um… “C. parviflorum” just over a month ago, and (being still pretty clueless on the whole ID logistics) maybe this is a chance for me to understand how an observation can go from casual to RG without any outside IDers popping in.
I mean, I think I remember seeing the two similar species and noting the structural points (lip roundness, size, sepal color density), but I guess I thought that someone with more experience would confirm my guess before it moved up. (It’s here, if anyone’s interested).
If it’s such a tricky and commonly misidentified one, why did it go RG so quickly? How does that work?
Those are not separate species, so it’s easy to get RG.
Thanks Marina. But see, I remember reading the iNat notes about this one and there was something about how “some authors” considered some varieties as separate species… What or how should I have entered things to avoid problems?