Journal archives for April 2022

April 20, 2022

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

Posted on April 20, 2022 08:36 AM by thebeachcomber thebeachcomber | 6 comments | Leave a comment

Setting up projects with 'Australia' as a place filter

As a heads up for anyone that either runs an existing project (or intends to make a project) with Australia as a place filter, there are a number of external territories that are not included in 'Australia' as a place on iNat, and must instead be added manually as additional places. These are:

Norfolk Island
Christmas Island
Cocos Islands
Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Another useful addition is the waters around Australia, i.e., the Australia Exclusive Economic Zone

Similarly, if you have a project with NSW set as the place filter, you must also manually add Jervis Bay Territory as an extra place, otherwise observations from Jervis Bay won't be included

Here are the iNat codes for all these places:

Australia - 6744
Norfolk - 7333
Christmas - 7616
Cocos - 10287
Heard/McDonald - 10293
Waters - 118147
Jervis Bay - 96781

Posted on April 20, 2022 09:33 AM by thebeachcomber thebeachcomber | 1 comment | Leave a comment

April 21, 2022

Schedule, registration, general details!

Hi all,

Just two weeks to go until the third bushfire bioblitz!

If you are attending the event, could you please officially register at, so we can get a sense of numbers and also send you a form to sign off on.

Our schedule for the event is here: We've got lots of fantastic walks planned, being led by some awesome survey leaders, so it should be a great event!

More information about how to prepare for the weekend can be found here:

For accommodation, the best option would be to book an Airbnb or motel in either Laurieton or Dunbogan, or North Haven; these towns are just a few minutes drive from base camp depending on where you are, and all the walks are super close as well.

Please feel free to ask me any questions at any time. Looking forward to seeing you all there!


Posted on April 21, 2022 07:35 AM by thebeachcomber thebeachcomber | 2 comments | Leave a comment